Recently on Episode 25 of The Cloud Whisperers Podcast, my fellow Cloud Whisperer Brian and I talked about what licenses you might need when you are moving to Microsoft 365.  Most of the time we see organizations using Enterprise licenses (E1, E3, E5) licenses because they see themselves as needing all of that power.  Sometimes that is true, but it also true that the Business Licenses for M365 offer almost the same features as the Enterprise licenses as long as you have fewer than 300 employees for much less.

As an example, Microsoft offer 3 levels of Business licenses Basic at $5.00/month, Standard at $12.50/month, and Premium at $20.00/month.

I use the Basic licenses for my home tenant and each family member and we get 50GB mailboxes and 1TB of OD4B storage as well as Office on the Web.  Its a great deal for a few users.  I then purchase a Office 365 Family sub ($99/year) so that everyone has access to office on the desktop.

Standard is roughly equivalent to the E3 license and you get 50GB mailbox (as opposed to 100GB), and 1TB of OD4B (as opposed to unlimited).

Premium is similar to getting E3 + EM-S E3 because it adds a slew of security and compliance features to your Business tenant.  If you are concerned about security (and you should be) then the Premium license makes sense.  You get everything from the Standard license plus Defender, MFA, Intune management of devices, Self-Service password reset, even Windows Autopilot to allow you to setup new computers.

For all of the full details, check out the Microsoft Documentation on Business Licenses and compares them to Enterprise licenses.

So, in summation, if you have 300 employees or less, the Business licenses likely are a great solution for you that saves you money.