Office 365 Licenses Business Comparison

Office 365 Licenses Business Comparison

Utilising all the tools and features within Microsoft Office 365 is one of the best things your business can do. Starting to use Microsoft Office 365 and all its features will kickstart and/or continue to encourage your business to thrive. You can have everything you need in one place – communication methods, ways to create documents, easily accessible places to save those documents, files, data, and much more.

However, the features you have access to will depend on your Office 365 License. There are a few Office 365 licences you can choose for your business, which one should you choose? This is a very popular question that many people ponder on.

Carry on reading to discover an easy to understand explanation that will help you when making your decision.

Exchange Online (Plan 1)

This is the most basic Office 365 license Microsoft offer. It is just simply access to Microsoft Outlook, providing you with a license for an email and a calendar. This is different to a free email service because you can edit the domain name (can be tied to your business name) and make your email more professional – instead of “” it could be “”.

Signing up to this license is cheap and does supply a few features alongside your mailbox, including; access from anywhere, guaranteed reliability, security across devices, and more – check out more features here. If an email with the most basic functionality is just what you are looking for then this license is for you.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Signing up to the Office 365 Business Basic license will unlock some of Microsoft’s useful applications, I’m sure you would’ve used some of these apps before:

  • Outlook – email – One of the world’s most popular email applications. Accessible via web browser or downloaded as an application on most devices.
  • Word – this application is used to type up words and save documents, it is arguably the most popular word processor.
  • Excel – capture and log all data on a spreadsheet using Excel. Numbers and data can be organised with formulas and function.
  • PowerPointcreate engaging presentations with PowerPoint, from scratch or using a template for inspiration.
  • Teams – a communication app that brings employees together so they can stay connected in one place, no matter where they are working.
  • OneDrive – Microsoft Cloud application, which is very important as it keeps you connected to all your files, protecting them and keeping them safe.
  • SharePoint – this is a Cloud App that works alongside OneDrive and Teams, tying them together and making it even easier to access your files. It’s similar to the File Explorer on your desktop (where you have “My Documents” and “Pictures” etc). You can sync files from the Cloud and have them stored on your device and vice versa.

With this license you will only be able to access these apps through an online web browser (Google Chrome), you will not be able to download the desktop apps. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend this license because it can be pretty irritating. It would only work if you are a very small business and don’t mind the limited functionality of the browser versions of these programmes.

What level of security does the Business Basic license provide?

When deciding which license to go for it’s great to look at which features and applications you’ll have access to, but you’ll also need to take into consideration how much security you will receive. Cyber security is no joke and should be at the top of your priority list.

This basic license does not offer a lot of security, which can leave your business at risk of a data breach, especially if you do not have any other security measures in place.

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Step up your business with the Microsoft 365 Business Standard license – receive more features and have access to more applications, which will be accessible via desktop apps for PC and Mac. You will have access to the same applications as Business Basic license and a few more:

  • Outlook
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneDrive
  • Access – database management system
  • Publisher – powerful application used for desktop publishing – utilises this creative tool to help you create professional looking flyers, brochures, and newsletters.

What level of security does the Business Standard License provide?

Unfortunately, the same as the Basic License, the Business Standard License also has very limited security that isn’t enough to keep your data safe. If you feel as though this license type is more suitable for your business, you can have a look at alternative tools that will help protect your business via a previous blog we wrote – How much cyber security does my business need?


Microsoft 365 Business Premium

The super Microsoft 365 license for businesses is the Business Premium. You will receive the features of the previous two plans and additional security to keep your business safe.

The cyber security elements include the following additions:

  • Enables protection across all devices, preventing ransomware and other cyber threats
  • Protection for emails against sophisticated hidden threats in malicious email attachments and links – the dreaded Phishing emails will be fought off by the cutting edge Defender for Office 365
  • Restrict copying or saving documents/files to unauthorised apps and locations using protection for Office mobile apps
  • Windows 10 and Windows 11 policies now provide pre-breach threat resistance

In summary, only you can work out what your business requirements are, factoring in cyber security we always strongly recommend the Business Premium License. But a Business Standard License with additional bolt on security features is also satisfactory.

We hope this helps you decide which license will be more suitable for your business, if you would like to discuss this more or have any questions, call us on 01273 806211 or email [email protected] – our IT specialists would love to assist you.