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Know the differences: Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Office 365 E3 – Which do you need

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Know the differences: Microsoft 365 Business Premium vs Office 365 E3 – Which do you need

To help businesses understand the differences between Business Premium and E3 We have created this helpful summary.

For small businesses (less than 300 staff) looking to achieve Cyber Essentials certification, they would be advised to consider Business Premium.

Important: This comparison is against Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Office 365 E3, NOT Microsoft 365 E3.

If you plan to switch from Office 365 E3 to Microsoft Business Premium consider this.

The advanced threat protection tools that come with Business Premium can really help you protect your Office 365 environment against cyber security threats.

Group Policy support is for most larger organizations really a requirement. It helps you with configuring and protecting Office apps (by disabling macro for example). Officially GPOs are not supported in Office 365 Business, but if you search online you will find that in most cases it just works.

As an alternative, you could also use the Office Deployment Tools to create a configuration with all the settings that you require. Not as good as a GPO, but might be sufficient. The main consideration is that E3 customers receive 24/7 support from Microsoft whereas Business Premium only get support for critical issues.


 Business PremiumOffice 365 E3
Annual commitment£18.10 p/m£22.00 p/m
Monthly commitment£21.72 p/m£26.40 p/m
Core Details
Seat Cap300Unlimited
Office Apps
Install Office on 5 Devices   
Office Online    
Excel Power Query and Power Pivot   
Standard Services
Onedrive Storage1 TBUnlimited*
ExchangePlan 1Plan 2
Exchange Online Mailbox storage50GB100GB
Exchange Online Archive Storage1.5TB1.5TB
SharePointPlan 1Plan 2
Teams    
Yammer    
Business Apps
Planner    
Staffhub    
Flow    
PowerApps    
Forms    
To-DoPlan 1Plan 2
Stream  Plan 1
Microsoft Bookings    
Insights by MyAnalytics    
Advanced Services
Azure Active Directory P1   
Azure Information Protection Plan 1   
Active Directory Intergration    
Azure Rights Management    
Microsoft Intune    
Support for shared computer activation    
eDiscovery, Litigation Hold, Retention Policies    
SharePoint eDiscovery, DLP & Insights   
Advanced Threat Analytics   
Microsoft Defender for Office 365   
Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps   
Windows 10/11
Windows 10/11Pro 
Windows Virtualization Rights  
Windows Autopatch   
Windows Autopilot   
Exploit Guard  
Application, Credential, Device Guard  
Defender for Business   

* Is unlimited really unlimited? Unlimited OneDrive storage, actually means each user will 5 TB to start with. When the user runs out of space, you can contact Microsoft who will then increase the limit to 25 TB. You can’t go larger than the 25 TB limit. So you might wonder where the unlimited part is. If you need more than 25 TB, then Microsoft will create a personal SharePoint site for you, which is also limited to 25 TB.

What Else Is Different

The version of Office you get is different. In “Business Premium” users get “Apps for Business” in E3 users get “Apps for Enterprise“.
Below are some of the features not available in Apps for Business:

  • Database Compare
  • Excel Spreadsheet Compare
  • Excel Spreadsheet Inquire
  • Group Policy support
  • Power Map for Excel
  • Power Query for Excel
  • Power View for Excel
  • Tap to find and reuse content

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