If you have multiple G Suite subscriptions

Having multiple G Suite subscriptions means that your organization has a combination of G Suite Basic, Business, and Enterprise users.

Here are common questions about buying and using multiple G Suite subscriptions.

Getting started

I’m new to G Suite. Where should I start?
Customers who are new to G Suite should start at the basic setup. These steps are the same if you’re using multiple subscriptions. The main difference is that you must work with a Google sales representative or partner to buy licenses for multiple G Suite subscriptions. See Set up G Suite for your organization.
How do I buy licenses for multiple G Suite subscriptions? How does billing work?
The billing processes are mostly the same if you’re using multiple G Suite subscriptions. Here are the differences:
  • For customers who have automatic payments or invoiced billing, your invoice shows each G Suite subscription as a separate line item.
  • All of your subscriptions have the same monthly draw date. The first month is prorated, as needed, to bring the draw dates into alignment. However, the annual renewal dates for each subscription stay separate based on the date you bought each one.

For more information, see Billing.

How do I assign Vault or Drive storage to my G Suite Basic users?

You can’t buy add-on subscriptions such as Drive and Vault if one of your products is G Suite Business or Enterprise. If your users need extra features such as unlimited Google Drive storage or Google Vault, you need to assign those users a Business or Enterprise license.

Using licenses with multiple subscriptions

How do I manage user licenses?

In general, licensing for multiple G Suite subscriptions works the same as for a single subscription. If you manually assign licenses, you simply assign the correct license to each user.

Note: If you’ve set up organizational units within your top-level organization, child organizations can have users with different licenses from the parent.

Automatically assign licenses

  • You can set up automatic license assignment for only one of the subscriptions. If you do, all new users and users with no licenses are automatically assigned licenses for the subscription. Any existing users continue on their current license unless you manually reassign the license.
  • You can switch automatic licensing to another G Suite subscription at any time. If you do, all new users and users with no licenses are automatically assigned licenses for the new subscription.

Learn more about assigning licenses.

How do I add seats (licenses or users)?
The process for getting more licenses or adding users is the same if you’re using multiple G Suite subscriptions. If you have automatic licensing turned on for one of your subscriptions, the number of users you can add is limited to the number of seats you have for that subscription.
How do I change a user’s license to a different subscription?

You can change a user’s license to a different subscription—for example, to upgrade a user from G Suite Basic to G Suite Business.

You can adjust licenses based on your payment plan:

  • If you’re on the Flexible Plan, you can upgrade some or all of your users at any time.
  • If you’re on the Annual Plan, you have 15 days to assign licenses according to the new license levels you commit to and get from your Google sales representative or partner.


    • Initially, you have 1,000 users with G Suite Basic licenses on the Annual Plan.
    • You upgrade 500 users to G Suite Business through your Google sales representative or partner. You have 15 days to move the 500 upgraded users to a G Suite Business license.
    • After 15 days, we update your committed license count for G Suite Basic to the number of users with G Suite Basic licenses.
    • So, if you only move 300 users to G Suite Business by the end of 15 days, we update the committed license count for G Suite Basic to 700 and charge you accordingly.

Learn how to change a user’s license to a different subscription.

Managing users

I want to move just a few users between G Suite subscriptions. How do I do this?
  1. Make sure you have enough licenses for all your users.
  2. If needed, get more licenses.
  3. For each user, assign the correct license type.

    You can upgrade or downgrade the license type. See how service and administrative settings change if you downgrade a user.

Are all features available when I have users on multiple subscriptions?
If you have users with multiple licenses in your organization, some features may not be available for all your users.

Also, some G Suite Enterprise advanced features might be enforced for G Suite Basic and G Suite Business users in the same organization. These include Gmail data loss prevention (DLP) and Google Drive sharing and data access.

Set up session length example

Google session control is available for G Suite Business and Enterprise users.

Mobile audit log example

Mobile audit logs that display events for all mobile devices or for a specific device are available only for users with G Suite Business and later editions.

Drive sharing policy example

If some users in an organization have G Suite Enterprise licenses and an administrator configures an organizational unit within a domain to allow sharing to users in whitelisted domains, all users in that organization can share Google Drive items to users in the whitelisted domains.

See Compare G Suite editions to learn more about G Suite editions.
If I restore a user, what license do they get?

It depends if you have automatic licensing turned on for one of your G Suite subscriptions. If so, a restored user automatically gets a license for that subscription, if one is available. This means that the user might get a license that’s different from the one they had before they were deleted.

Otherwise, you need to manually reassign a license to the user.

If the user had an Archived User (AU) license, manually reassign that license to ensure that the user’s data and policies are appropriately restored. Read Manage former employees and their data.

Still need help?

For more information about working with multiple G Suite subscriptions, contact your Google sales representatives, Google partner, or G Suite support.

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