Office 365 License Comparison: Business Plans Vs. E5, E3, and E1

Office 365 License Comparison

Updated September 2022
Choosing an Office 365 license is a critical step before migrating to the cloud. With multiple options for small, medium and enterprise businesses, navigating the differences can get overwhelming. This Office 365 license comparison will reveal the options available within Business and Enterprise options to help you make the correct choice for your organization.

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Price Comparison for Office 365 Business Plans and Enterprise Licenses

When comparing Office 365 licenses, price is one of the first questions decision-makers ask. Here are the prices of each Office 365 Business and Enterprise license:

Microsoft Licensing Plan Price Per User Per Month
Microsoft 365 Business Basic $6.00
Microsoft 365 Apps for Business $8.25
Microsoft 365 Business Standard $12.50
Microsoft 365 Business Premium $22.00
Office 365 Enterprise F3 $4.00
Office 365 Enterprise E1 $10
Office 365 Enterprise E3 $23
Office 365 Enterprise E5 $38
Microsoft 365 Enterprise F1 $2.25
Microsoft 365 Enterprise F3 $8
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 $36
Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 $57

The base price per user for Office 365 Business and Enterprise Plans ranges from $6 to $35, and this cost can quickly add up for larger organizations. On the other hand, if you rely on certain functionalities like Rights Management or cloud PBX, bundling these services into your license can actually save your organization money. If you have third party tools for Anti-Virus, eDiscovery, MFA, SIEM etc, these savings can become immense.

It is important to know that Microsoft now requires an annual term for all licensing. Under “The New Commerce Experience” licensing can be accquired as P1Y (Pay One Year) or P1M (Pay One Month) licensing. Month-to-Month pricing is available at a 10% premium. To learn more read our run down on Microsoft New Commerce Experience.

To better weigh the costs to your organization, let’s compare the features of the Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise plans.

How Office 365 Enterprise and Business Plans Differ

Both the Microsoft 365 Business plans and Enterprise plans are available for organizations with fewer than 300 employees.

Because larger companies are more likely to be using Office 365, you might be contemplating whether to go with a Business or Enterprise option.

Here are some major features you gain with Office 365 Enterprise plans:

  • Microsoft Teams PBX and PSTN conferencing (PSTN calling is available as an add-on in E3 and E5)
  • Advanced Information Protection
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Active Directory integration
  • Power BI
  • Viva Insights
  • Litigation Hold
  • Unlimited archive and mail storage
  • Enterprise app management

Enterprise plans are only available when purchased as a one-year commitment.

Here’s a breakdown of all Microsoft 365 Business plans so you can better understand how they differ.

Microsoft 365 Business Plans

Microsoft 365 Business plans were created for small businesses with fewer than 300 employees that might not need all the bells and whistles Enterprise Microsoft 365 and Office 365 offer.

Here’s what’s included in each Microsoft 365 Business plan for small companies.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (Formerly Office 365 Business Essentials)

Looking to get basic Microsoft 365 functionality? Microsoft 365 Business Basic offers business email with 50 GB mailbox storage, custom email domain, and web versions of essential Office 365 applications like Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Here’s what you need to know about the Business Essentials license:

The Basics
Price $6/user/month
Who It's For Companies with fewer than 300 users that don’t rely heavily on Office 365 applications, online storage, and who do not need desktop applications
What You'll Get
Email with 50 GB mailbox
Custom email domain addresses
Web versions of Office applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint
1 TB of OneDrive storage
SharePoint (company-wide intranet and team sites to connect people to content, expertise and processes.)
Unlimited Microsoft Teams video conferencing for up to 250 people.
Microsoft Teams chat-based workspace
Microsoft Planner to manage tasks and teamwork
Yammer to collaborate across departments and locations
24/7 phone and web support
300 user maximum

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business (Formerly Office 365 Business)

Next is the Office 365 Business plan. Here are the price and specs for this license option:

The Basics
Price $8.25/user/month (1-year agreement) or $10/user/month (1-month agreement)
Who It's For Businesses with fewer than 300 users that only need Office applications, cloud file storage, and sharing (email hosting not included)
What You'll Get
Desktop versions of Office 365 applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote (plus Publisher and Access for PCs)
Office Online: Web versions of Office 365 applications Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
OneDrive and 1 TB of OneDrive storage
Per user licensing permits apps installed on 5 phones, tab;lets and PCs for each user.
24/7 phone and web support

Microsoft 365 Business Standard (Formerly Office 365 Business Premium)

Microsoft 365 Business Standard adds critical small business tools such as Microsoft Bookings to allows customers to schedule appointments, and Mile IQ for real-time mileage tracking from your mobile devices.

The Basics
Price $12.50/user/month
Who It's For Businesses with fewer than 300 users that need the latest desktop versions of Office applications, cloud services and email hosting alongside small business applications.
What You'll Get
Email with 50 GB mailbox
Custom email domain addresses
Desktop versions of Office 365 applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
Web versions of Office 365 applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
1 TB of OneDrive storage
SharePoint (company-wide intranet and team sites to connect people to content, expertise and processes)
Unlimited Teams video conferencing for up to 250 people
Microsoft Teams chat-based workspace
Microsoft Bookings to enable customers to schedule appointments
Microsoft Planner to manage tasks and teamwork
Yammer to collaborate across departments and locations
FastTrack deployment support (with purchase of 50+ seats)
24/7 phone and web support

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

The most powerful Microsoft Business Suite without going for full enterprise plans, Microsoft 365 Business premium takes all of the features of Microsoft 365 Business Standard and rolls in industry leading advanced security features, including Advance Threat Protection against zero-days, ransomware, malware, the ability to selectively wipe company data from mobile devices with Intune, Restrict copying and saving of company information on mobile devices, apply document restrictions and provide unlimited archiving.

The Basics
Price $22/user/month
Who It's For Businesses with fewer than 300 users that need stronger security and compliance tools, but not the full Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite (EMS).
What You'll Get
Email with 50 GB mailbox
Custom email domain addresses
Desktop versions of Office 365 applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
Web versions of Office 365 applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
1 TB of OneDrive storage
SharePoint (company-wide intranet and team sites to connect people to content, expertise and processes)
Unlimited Teams video conferencing for up to 250 people
Microsoft Teams chat-based workspace
Microsoft Bookings to enable customers to schedule appointments
Microsoft Planner to manage tasks and teamwork
Yammer to collaborate across departments and locations
FastTrack deployment support (with purchase of 50+ seats)
24/7 phone and web support
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
Intune Selective Wipe
App Protection for Office Mobile Apps
Information Rights Management
Windows Defender Exploit Guard
Windows Defender
Exchange Online Archiving

Note on GoDaddy’s Microsoft 365

We strongly suggest against purchasing Office 365 or Microsoft 365 from GoDaddy due to both hidden costs, and lack of feature availability. To learn more, read our blog on Migrating from GoDaddy Office 365 to Microsoft Office 365.

Office 365 Enterprise Plans

Office 365 Business plans are great for companies just starting out or that only require limited functionality. For organizations looking for a more robust solution, Office 365 Enterprise plans are available. With Enterprise plans, your can choose from Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans. Office 365 only includes Office, while Microsoft 365 is a full suite that includes Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Windows 10 Enterprise. These licenses are broken up into E1, E3, and E5 enterprise plans, and F1 and F3 first line worker plans. (Learn all about Microsoft First Line Worker licensing)

Office 365 Enterprise F3

Ideal for line workers, drivers, retail staff, Office 365 F3 is focused on workers who do not spend much time in front of a computer. Including popular office apps for web and mobile devices, including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Bring every employee into the fold with Teams collaboration including Task and Shift Management and the unique Walkie Talkie voice mode on mobile.

The Basics
Price $8/user/month
Who It's For Desk-less, mobile, line, and floor staff that do not need desktop applications. Ideally blends into environments with a mix of F3, E3, and E5 licenses for full enterprise management.
What You'll Get
Office for Web and Mobile Apps (Including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote and Teams)
Use apps on all mobile devices and tablets
Outlook Web and Mobile (No desktop integration or voice mail)
Microsoft Teams
2 GB of OneDrive storage
SharePoint (Without personal sites site mailbox, or ability to create forms) 2GB/user 10GB shared storage
Microsoft Stream (View only)
Microsoft Power Apps
Microsoft To Do
Microsoft Shifts
Microsoft Forms (Complete only, cannot create)
Microsoft Planner
Microsoft Sway for Digital Storytelling

Office 365 Enterprise E1

E1 is the least expensive Enterprise plan. Here’s what you get with the E1 license:

The Basics
Price $10/user/month
Who It's For Users that don't need desktop versions of Outlook or Office applications but still require eDiscovery and data governance.
What You'll Get
Email 50 GB mailbox (only accessible from Outlook online)
Teams web conferencing, online meetings, and presence
OneDrive for Business
Yammer
SharePoint
Video Sharing
Web versions of Office applications: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
File sharing and 1 TB OneDrive storage
HD video conferencing
Team sites
eDiscovery search
Data Governance manual classifications and manual policies for retention and deletion

Here’s how Office 365 Enterprise E1 differs from Business Premium:

  • With E1, you can only access email via the online application.
  • With E1, you lose desktop versions of Office applications. You must use the online versions of Outlook and other Office applications like Word or PowerPoint online.

Office 365 Enterprise E3

The E3 license is one of the more popular options for digital-driven businesses. With E3, you gain desktop apps, You gain email, archiving, information protection and more storage options. Additionally, you gain Intune for device management and Azure Information Protection (plan 1) for data loss protection.

Here’s what’s included in E3:

The Basics
Price $23/user/month (annual commitment)
Who It's For Businesses that need more advanced BI, compliance, email, security and voice capabilities.
What You'll Get
Everything included in the Office E1 License
Office Client Apps
Legal compliance and archiving needs for email: archiving, eDiscovery hold and export, mailbox hold
Information protection: message encryptions, rights management, data loss prevention
Azure Rights Management and document management functions: archiving, rights management, data loss prevention and document-level encryption.
Email storage for in-place archive
Unlimited OneDrive storage
eDiscovery legal hold
eDiscovery export and case management
Hosted voicemail support

The Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan is most comparable to the Enterprise E3 plan in terms of base features.

Unlike Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Office 365 E3 includes: 

  • Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) and Legal Hold
  • Unified eDiscovery Center
  • Rights management, data loss prevention and encryption
  • Ability to add on PSTN

Office 365 Enterprise E5

Building off the E1 and E3 business plans, Office 365 E5 is the highest tier Microsoft offers. With this license, you gain Audio Conferencing, Phone System, Power BI pro, Customer Lockbox, and Microsoft Cloud App Security: 

The Basics
Price $38/user/month (annual commitment)
Who It's For If you use or plan to use Skype for Business Cloud PBX, we recommend the Office 365 E5 license. For $35/user/month, you gain a complete, consolidated phone system along with all functionality available within Office 365.
What You'll Get
Everything included in E3 licenses
Enhanced security features: Advanced ediscovery, secure attachments and URLs and access controls
Microsoft’s Business Intelligence tools for end user organizational analytics
Teams Calling
Unlimited OneDrive storage
Cloud-based call management
Advanced analytics with Power BI Pro and Microsoft MyAnalytics
Advanced eDiscovery
Advanced Data Governance
Advanced security with Advanced Threat Protection and Customer Lockbox
Enhanced visibility and control of your Office 365 environment

Next, we look at Office 365 Enterprise ProPlus. It is the last Enterprise plan offering.

Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (Previously Office 365 ProPlus):

Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise offers a option for users who don’t need email but want Office 365 applications.

The Basics
Price $12/user/month (annual commitment)
Who It's For Users that rely heavily on Office 365 applications on mobile devices, do not need email access but require compliance and basic business intelligence.
What You'll Get
File sharing and 1 TB OneDrive online document storage
Fully installed Office on PC/Mac
Office apps on tablets and phones
Self-service BI in Excel
Office Online: Create, view and edit rights for online versions of core Office apps for collaborating on documents
Sway for Office 365
eDiscovery search
On-premises Active Directory sync for single sign-on
Mobile device management

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licenses

Unlike the consumer branded Microsoft 365, Microsoft 365 Enterprise  is a suite that includes Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Windows Enterprise. M365 Enterprise gives you the enterprise security and compliance features you need, while providing cost savings through vendor consolodation and reduced management and training overhead.

Microsoft 365 F1

While Office 365 F1 was retired in April 2020, Microsoft 365 F1 remains. A cost effective way to give first line workers collaboration tools including Teams, Sharepoint and Yammer, M365 F1 lacks email and while it includes Office apps for Web and Mobile devices, that access is just read only. This gives desk-less workers the ability read documentation no matter where they are. While this license is incredibly cost effective, you should consider if users may have a need to edit for tasks such as inventories, security logging, etc. before settling on F1 licensing.

The Basics
Price $2.25/user/month
Who It's For Desk-less, mobile, line, and floor staff that do not need to edit documents. Ideally blends into environments with a mix of F3, E3, and E5 licenses for full enterprise management.
What You'll Get
READ ONLY Office for Web and Mobile Apps (Including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote and Teams)
Use apps on all mobile devices and tablets
Microsoft Teams
SharePoint (Without personal sites site mailbox, or ability to create forms) 2GB/user 10GB shared storage
Microsoft Stream (View only)
Microsoft To Do
Microsoft Shifts
Microsoft Forms (Complete only, cannot create)
Microsoft Planner
Multi-factor authentication and Conditional Access
Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management
Integrated PC and On-Premises Management
Microsoft Security and Compliance Center
Document Tracking and Revocation
Azure Rights Management
Encryption Key Management

Microsoft 365 F3

M365 F3 bring email into the fold for desk-less workers, but also gives workers the ability to edit documents with mobile and web Office applications, while providing Windows 10 Enterprise features for users with existing Win 10 Pro installs. Enabling M365 enterprise security features including Device and Credential Guard, Windows Hello for Passwordless sign on, Secure Score, and Windows Virtual Desktop (Additional licensing needed)

The Basics
Price $10/user/month
Who It's For Front line workers who still need to collaborate and communicate with email, and office documents.
What You'll Get
Office for Web and Mobile Apps (Including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote and Teams)
Use apps on up to 5 mobile devices and 5 tablets per user
Microsoft Teams
SharePoint (Without personal sites site mailbox, or ability to create forms) 2GB/user 10GB shared storage. (Users cannot be admins)
Microsoft Stream (View only)
Microsoft To Do
Microsoft Shifts
Microsoft Forms (Complete only, cannot create)
Microsoft Planner
Multi-factor authentication and Conditional Access
Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management
Windows 10 Enterprise (Requires existing Windows 10 Pro)
Integrated PC and On-Premises Management
Microsoft Security and Compliance Center
Document Tracking and Revocation
Azure Rights Management
Encryption Key Management

Microsoft 365 E3

M365 E3 brings together best in productivity and collaboration with Office 365 Enterprise E3, Enterprise Mobility and Security E3. and Windows 10 E3

The Basics
Price $32/user/month
Who It's For Employees who want the best in productivity and collaboration and administrators who want to be assured they are operating in a secure and compliant environment.
What You'll Get
Everything in Office 365 E1 + Office 365 Apps for up to 5 PCs/Macs + 5 Tablets + 5 Mobile Devices
Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) E3
Multi-Factor Authentication and Conditional Access
Mobile Device Management
Mobile Application Management
Advanced Office 365 data protection
Integrated PC Management
Integrated on-premises management
Document tracking and revocation
Encryption Key Management
Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management
Windows 10 Enterprise (Requires existing Windows 10 Pro)
Integrated PC and On-Premises Management
Microsoft Security and Compliance Center
Document Tracking and Revocation
Azure Rights Management
Encryption Key Management
Azure Rights Management
Advanced Threat Analytics
Windows 10 Enterprise E3
Windows 10 Enterprise (Require Win 10 Pro Install)
Windows Hello for Passwordless Sign On
Credential Guard
Device Guard
Windows Virtual Desktop (Requires additional licensing)

Microsoft 365 E5

E5 is the most feature packed of the suites, bringing an integrated phone system and audio conferencing into the mix, as well as advanced security tools such as Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat protection, and Microsoft Cloud App Security.

The Basics
Price $57/user/month
Who It's For Enterprises looking for the most complete productivity and security solution available.
What You'll Get
Everything in Office 365 E3 +
Audio Conferencing
Integrated Phone System
Advanced eDiscovery
Advanced Compliance
Customer Lockbox
Data Governance
Exchange Threat Detection
Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
Everything in Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) E3+
Azure Advanced Threat protection
Intelligent data classification and licensing
Microsoft Cloud App Security
Privileged Identity Management
Risk based conditional access
Everything in Windows 10 Enterprise E3+
Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection

If any license doesn’t suit your needs, you can also add on specific features via add-on licensing. But often, the cost of upgrading is cheaper than ballooning a license with monthly add-on charges. (Read more about add-ons here.) You can also mix and match licenses depending on user needs to better control costs.

Agile IT’s cloud licensing services make it easy to purchase, transfer, and manage your licenses. As your cloud solutions provider, Agile IT handles all billing and subscriptions for your Office 365 products. You continue paying Microsoft the monthly license fee, and we take care of the rest.

Have questions about which Office 365 license is right for your organization? Request a quote to see how much you can save.



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