Sign up for a Microsoft 365 Apps for business subscription

Want to sign up for a Microsoft 365 Apps for business subscription?

There are a couple of ways to get started:

Need something different? You can:

Important

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business subscription is for commercial use and is intended for business and enterprise customers.

Sign up steps

To sign up and purchase Microsoft 365 Apps for business, complete the following steps.

Important

The person who signs up for Microsoft 365 for business (usually the business owner) automatically becomes the technical administrator of the organization. You can add other people as admins if you want help managing your Microsoft 365 services. Check out Assign admin roles for more info.

  1. On the For business page, see what's included in Microsoft 365. Under Microsoft 365 Apps for business, select Buy now.

  2. On the You've selected Microsoft 365 Apps for business page, enter an email address that you already use. This can be any address you want Microsoft to use to communicate with you during setup. It is also the address where we'll send you information about your bill and renewals. Then select, Set up account.

  3. Enter your name, business phone number, business size, company name, and location. Select Next.

    Note

    We display your company name in the admin center. This is where you manage Microsoft 365 users, licenses and other features and services. We also include it in any internal SharePoint site URLs.

  4. Help us make sure this is you. Enter a number that we can use to reach you and select Send Verification Code. You'll receive a text. Enter your code and select Verify.

  5. Decide how you'll sign in to Microsoft 365. You can sign in with your current personal email or create a new account by adding a domain.

Choosing the right business subscription

When signing up for Microsoft 365 Apps for Business, you have 2 options for how to get started. Evaluate three key factors to choose which best meets your needs:

  • Which apps and services do you want to use straight away?

  • How much technical skill do you have?

  • Do you need Microsoft to act as a processor for your data?

The table below outlines each choice.

  Option 1 – Sign in with Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or other email account Option 2 – Add a business domain
Available apps and services Use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Teams, Access. This set of apps is best for very small businesses who don't need branded email immediately, or who already use branded email from a different provider and do not intend to switch to use Microsoft Exchange. You'll use Outlook with your existing email account (be it outlook.com, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or other). Use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Teams, Access. Option 2 also lets you access a wide range of additional services: Bookings appointment scheduling and Meeting recordings.
Required knowledge Let's you get started without technical know-how. Requires you to buy a domain, or to own a domain. You may need technical knowledge to prove ownership of the domain.
Data handling Available under the Supplement to the Microsoft Services Agreement and is best for businesses that want some remote work and collaboration tools and are comfortable with Microsoft acting as controller for your data under the Microsoft Privacy Statement. Subscribers to services using this option will not have access to an individual's user content or data until a domain is attached. Subscribers should evaluate data ownership and intellectual property rights considerations based on their needs. For example, if you are working collaboratively with other users on a document stored in their account, they may choose to make those documents inaccessible to you. As such, you should evaluate data ownership and intellectual property rights considerations accordingly. Separately, users may choose not to transfer documents in their Simplified Sign-Up account to your Domain Account subscription, even after you invite them to do so. This means their documents may also not be accessible to you even if you add a domain account later Available under the Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement and is best for businesses that need Microsoft to act as a processor for their data under Microsoft's Data Protection Addendum and need our full suite of remote work and collaboration tools. Subscribers who are in regulated industries or seek more control, both over the use of the services by your employees and over processing of related data by Microsoft, should choose Option 2 and attach a domain and sign up under the Domain Account enterprise-level agreement.

Use these three factors to determine which of the two options is best for your business needs.

Option 1: Sign in with your Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or other email account

This applies to Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Apps for Business. You'll sign in to Microsoft 365 with this email address. For example, alliebellew@hotmail.com.

Screenshot: Sign in with your personal email.

  1. Create a password on the next page, and select Create account to continue. On the next page, read about how we handle your data and select whether you want Microsoft Partners to contact you. Select Next.

  2. Select how many Microsoft 365 Apps for business licenses you want for your organization and select Add payment method and continue with checkout to Place order.

  3. On the Confirmation details page, we'll give you some more info about your subscription. You can now go to the Microsoft 365 admin center to add users, install Office apps, invite your team to use Microsoft 365 and more. We'll also send you an email with set up steps for Microsoft 365 Business Standard.

Remember this option doesn't provide branded email, admin control for use of the services by other users, or industry specific compliance support. Subscribers don't have any access or control over other users' (employees) usage or documents under this option. Users may choose not to transfer data created in storage such as OneDrive to your upgraded, enterprise-level domain account should you not choose Option 2.

You can add a business domain at any point to access the rest of the functionality of your Apps for business subscription, including:

  • Bookings appointment scheduling and Meeting recordings
  • Shared document storage with OneDrive

Follow these steps to finish setting up your Microsoft 365 Apps for business subscription. You can also add a domain when you're ready.

Option 2: Add a domain

For steps on how to buy or add a domain, see Set up Microsoft 365 Business Standard.

Next steps

Terms of service update for Simplified Sign-Up mode

Applies to: Existing subscribers of Microsoft 365 Apps for business who previously purchased using Simplified Sign-up mode.

If you previously used Simplified Sign-up mode to purchase a business subscription October 2021 without a business domain you may need to accept new terms of service for uninterrupted service and usage of the Microsoft Office apps. You may be sent emails or you'll see in-app prompts when you sign in to Microsoft 365 admin Center.

The Simplified Sign-Up terms of use have been recently updated, and notably they clarify licensing and data ownership for multi-user business subscriptions. For continued service of your business subscription, you may either visit Microsoft 365 admin Center and stay using Simplified Sign-Up (and agree to use the updated Microsoft Services Agreement Supplemental terms), or visit the admin center and add a domain (and use the Enterprise-grade Microsoft Online Services Agreement). To help you choose which of these two modes best suits your needs, consult the table at the top of this article.

Should you choose not to accept terms, your subscription will not automatically renew, and at the end of your current subscription contract, you will lose access to the Office apps. Your OneDrive data will be retained for 90 days for you to make copies of it, and then it will be deleted.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a benefit to paying monthly vs annually?

To provide customers with the greatest amount of flexibility, different payment options are available.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Apps for business, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium plans are available for monthly commitment payment or annual commitment payment.
  • Monthly commitment payment: You pay month by month, and you can cancel at any time.
  • Annual commitment payment: You sign up for a one-year subscription, but you can choose to pay month to month or pay for the entire year at the time you sign up. There is a discount for using this payment option.

How does recurring billing work?

When Recurring billing is on, your subscription will continue to be billed each year on the day you subscribed. You can turn it off or back on again in the admin center if your subscription is active. Learn more at Turn recurring billing off or on.

What do I do if I want to change my business name?

Contact our small business support experts who can help you change your business name. Learn more at Get support.

Set up Microsoft 365 Apps for business