Microsoft used to offer this free Office 365 Business Essentials (Basic) Engineering Feedback Program to some of users. It includes online versions of Office with email, instant messaging, HD video conferencing, plus 1TB personal file storage and sharing for at most 10 users. .
Unfortunately, not everyone will receive it from their admin portal. There is a way to get this offer even it is not showing to your account.
This post is to show the steps which might let you get 10 free Business Basic Office 365 subscription.
Note: This offer is still valid based on my testing on May 2022. It will be auto renewed annually with $0. Feedback from users are positive, but I am not sure if it will be forever. No credit card required though.
Here is a comparing for all four Microsoft 365 business plans:
In this case, what you need to do is to create a new Global Admin account after you add a custom domain into your own personal AAD.
Add custom domain into Azure Active Directory
Log into Azure portal
You can use your personal Azure account if your work/school account is not having global admin role.
After logged in Azure portal, click Manage Azure Active Direcotry
Since this subscription is for business, it will require a business email address to log in and order M365 business plan.
We will click Custom domain names on your left panel, then add a custom domain
Add a custom domain
Add Txt record from your domain registrar website.
I am using Cloudflare to manage dns records.
Purchase M365 Business Basic with 0$
Create a new Global Admin user from AAD
Assign a global admin role
Purchase subscription using this URL
Click Check Out Now
Payment method – Inovice
Before assign a license to user, you will need to assign a usage location to this user. Else, you will get following error
“License not assgined”
“License cannot be assigned to a user without a usage location specified.“
Edit user and assign a country to the usage location:
After this step, you should be able to assign the license to your user:
You might get an invoice notification, but the price is $0.
And the process seems able to be repeated. You can do it multiple times to get more license than just 10 to use.
Azure Subscription VS Microsoft 365 (Office 365) Subscription
Microsoft 365 and Azure use the Azure AD service to manage users and subscriptions. The Azure directory is like a container in which you can group users and subscriptions. To use the same user accounts for your Azure and Microsoft 365 subscriptions, you need to make sure that the Azure subscriptions are created in the same directory as the Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Keep in mind the following points:
- A subscription gets created under a directory
- Users belong to directories
- A subscription lands in the directory of the user who creates the subscription. So your Microsoft 365 subscription is tied to the same account as your Azure subscription.
- Azure subscriptions are owned by individual users in the directory
- Microsoft 365 subscriptions are owned by the directory itself. Users with the right permissions within the directory can manage these subscriptions.