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Tech Insights 37 min read

Simple Guide to Dynamics 365 Business Central Pricing & Licensing

Is it me or ERPs are generally not simple? Their capabilities, licensing, and even pricing list can be sometimes a puzzle. And we haven’t talked about the implementation process yet.

In some ways, businesses are complicated too. Yours is different than your competitors, and you all have particularities even though you sell the same kind of products. This is why ERP requires partners to help you navigate this difficult process: they have to be tailored to your uniqueness. Partners, in the process of buying and implementing an ERP, are like guides through the jungles. I kid you not.

So, when you want to understand prices and licenses you need that kind of guidance, a person that will show you, teach you, and help you make the best decisions for your business. This is why I have decided to write this simple guide. Dynamics 365 Business Central pricing and licensing can be quite easy to understand if you have someone to walk you through it.

Let’s start with the basic, what is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

In my last blog I explained that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the new version of what was once called Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. It is a CRM and ERP perfectly designed to help small and medium sized businesses efficiently manage their company. It’s that simple! But what about pricing and licensing for Dynamics 365 Business Central?

So, how does the Dynamics 365 Business Central pricing and licensing work?

The Dynamics 365 Business Central pricing is different depending on the Subscription License you chose. Since this is a simple guide about pricing and licensing for Business Central, let me break this down in a very clear way for you: there are two different licenses.

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials costs $89.6/month per user.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium costs $128/month per user.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for Team Members (an add on) costs $10.20/month per user.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has only one type of Subscription no matter if you select Premium or Essentials. The Subscription Licenses are assigned to individual users and each user is required to have their own User Subscription License which cannot be shared, but the licenses can be accessed through multiple devices.

Keep this in mind when selecting either the Essentials or Premium Subscription Licenses. The prices change for each and the total cost will depend on the number of users.

What about the different Dynamics 365 Business Central license types?

The different license types are, as stated above, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium License, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials License, and there is a type of license that you can give to your team as an add to your plan: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Member License.

The biggest difference with these three is that users with Essentials and Premium Licenses are considered “Full Users” and Team Member License holders are considered “Additional Users.” Full Users are staff such as Sales Representatives, Finance Employees, or Supply Chain Managers. These users need full access to the system. The Team Members would be people who only need to consume data or complete light tasks such as expense entry or HR record updates.

What do these Licenses include? (Functions/modules per type of licenses)

Each of the Licenses above offer different Functionalities. Please know that you cannot mix and match the Premium and Essentials Users, you can only have one or the other, so choose wisely. With either selection though, it is possible to have “Additional Users,” or Team Members.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials includes these functionalities:

This functionality will help you to make informed decisions about your company’s finances. It will connect data across all factions of your company including sales, purchasing, inventory, and customer interactions. You will also be able to speed up closing and financial reporting since the software automatically reconciles accounts to close and report on financials. The tools below will help you better understand and manage your company’s finances:

  • Basic General Ledger
  • Budgets
  • Fixed Assets
  • Account Schedules
  • Cash Flow Forecast
  • Multiple Currencies
  • Allocations
  • Check Writing
  • Payment Handling
  • Bank Account Management
  • Consolidation
  • Responsibility Centers
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Deferrals
  • Unlimited Dimensions
  • Basic XBRL
  • Electronic Payment/Direct Debits
  • Cost Accounting
  • Inter-company Postings

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will help increase your company’s revenue and maximize profitability by providing a comprehensive summary of employee skills, workloads, and service tasks. This functionality will also help you to manage customer interactions and see where there are the best opportunities for profit. The below tools will help you manage these opportunities:

  • Business Inbox for Outlook
  • Contact Management
  • Opportunity Management
  • Campaign Management
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Integration
  • Relationship Management
  • Campaign Pricing
  • Email Logging
  • Task Management
  • Contact Classification
  • Interaction / Document Management

Artificial Intelligence

The built in Artificial Intelligence will provide the following:

  • Cash Flow Forecast
  • Inventory Forecast
  • Sales Forecast
  • Image Recognition
  • Late Payment Prediction

Project Management

Some of the most important aspects of project management are planning, communicating, and staying on budget. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central will help with that and more, including:

  • Basic Resources
  • Real Time Translation (for available languages)
  • Job Quotes
  • Project Management Jobs
  • Capacity Management
  • Multiple Costs
  • Time Sheet

Supply Chain Management

This functionality will help maximize profitability by recommending when to pay vendors or use vendor discounts, as well as assist in avoiding overdue penalties. It also provides the following information and tools:

  • Alternative Order Addresses
  • Item Charges
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Alternative Ship-To Addresses
  • Item Cross References
  • Sales Invoice Discounts
  • Alternative Vendors
  • Item Substitutions
  • Sales Invoicing
  • Assembly Management
  • Item Tracking
  • Sales Line Discounting
  • Basic Inventory
  • Location Transfers
  • Sales Line Pricing
  • Basic Payables
  • Multiple Locations
  • Sales Order Management
  • Basic Receivables
  • Order Promising
  • Sales Return Order Management
  • Calendars
  • Purchase Invoicing
  • Sales Tax/VAT~
  • Cycle Counting
  • Purchase Line Discounting
  • Shipping Agents
  • Drop Shipments
  • Purchase Line Pricing
  • Standard Cost Worksheet
  • Item Attributes
  • Purchase Order Management
  • Stock keeping Units
  • Item Budgets
  • Purchase Return Order Management
  • Vendor Catalogue Items
  • Item Categories
  • Requisition Management

Human Resources Management

Organize your employees and group them according to different sets of data, such as skills, union membership, education, and/or training. You can also track and reimburse employee expenses with this functionality.

Warehouse Management

This functionality can be implemented differently based on your company’s processes and order volume. If you select basic warehousing activities will be performed order by order, but if you select advanced warehousing these activities will be consolidated for multiple orders at a time. The following are including with the functionality (both basic and advanced):

  • Automated Data Capture System
  • Warehouse Shipment
  • Bin Set-Up
  • Warehouse Management Systems
  • Internal Picks and Put Aways
  • Warehouse Receipt

The License with the most perks would be, of course, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium License. This License is for “Full Users” who require more functionality. This License includes everything Essentials does as well as:

Service Order Management

This functionality will assist in running your warehouse and reaching optimal output for maximum profit. It will also provide a forecast of sales and generate a plan for production as well as purchase orders. It will also assist in the following:

  • Service Item Management
  • Planning and Dispatching
  • Service Price Management
  • Service Contract Management


Materials are one of the most important parts of manufacturing. This functionality will make it possible to track, register, and sell resources as well as monitor the usage of resources and provide an overview of the company’s capacity for each and every resource the company uses. It also helps with the following:

  • Production Orders
  • Machine Centers
  • Finite Loading
  • Production Bill of Materials
  • Basic Supply Planning
  • Sales and Inventory Forecasting
  • Version Management
  • Basic Capacity Planning
  • Agile Manufacturing

These License also include three External Accountant licenses for companies with external accountants who need to connect their Dynamics 365. These accountants will have access to everything except Admin tasks and other applications.

Team Member Licenses are more restricted than those above. There must already be at least one user with Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials or Premium to License other users at Team Members. Users with a Team Member License have rights to:

  • Read anything within Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Update existing data and entries in Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Approve or reject tasks in all workflows assigned to a user
  • Create, edit, delete a quote
  • Create, edit, delete personal information
  • Enter a time sheet for Jobs
  • Use PowerApps for Dynamics 365

Default subscription capacities for both Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials and Premium Licenses:

  • Production Instance: 1 included
  • Non-Production instance: None
  • File and database storage: unlimited
  • External accountant license: 1 included
  • Companies: Unlimited
  • Cortana Intelligence: 1800 seconds per month/tenant

What about additional Services and Software?

Other products are not included with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, but some may be required to extend functionality or to integrate scenarios. Licensing for these products must be established separately.

One license that is included is for Microsoft Power Platform, upon which the Dynamics 365 applications are built. This includes the ability for customers to integrate products such as PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI.

PowerApps allows those with Essentials or Premium Licenses to create, modify, and use mobile apps based on Dynamics 365 data.

A license for Microsoft Power BI is not included with a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials or Premium license. If you need a Power BI license, you will have to pay for it separately. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central subscriptions include an option to add on Microsoft Power BI content as a product feature, but users are required to subscribe to Power BI (either as a free user or a Pro depending on the feature you need) separately to obtain access to the content.

I hope this article answered your questions about licensing and pricing for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials, Premium, and Team Members. It is, after all, a very important and complex software that requires all of your attention if you are contemplating the idea of getting an ERP for your company. Don’t forget to find the right partner to help you navigate the pricing and licensing process.

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June 21, 2019 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization