O365 Licensing T&C's - Sharing an account with multiple users?

New Contributor

Can someone please clarify or point me in the direction of the Office 365 licensing agreement, where I can confirm back to a client if sharing a single O365 account among multiple users is "legal" or not. I am certain it is not compliant, however some offical word would be beneficial when discussing this with the client.


EXAMPLE SCENARIO: A business is looking to migrate from legacy on-prem services to O365 for email etc. Currently, not everyone in their organisation has an email to-date, for example 3 users would share a single email address like "". In reviewing options with the business, we have of course suggested this account would become a shared mailbox/O365 group, with the 3 users having their own account/email and appropiate permissions assigned to the new shared mailbox for their use. However there is some resistance due to the fact they would require 3x licenses as opposed to one.


While technically you could create a single O365 account/mailbox and share the credentials among the 3 users; putting all the other reasons aside as to why this is a bad idea, is this even compliant from a licensing perspective. I think not, however I need to find the fineprint that says so.


Thanks is advance for any assistance!

2 Replies
best response confirmed by Dominic Wall (New Contributor)

From Online Services Terms, Nov 1 2016:


General Terms
Customer may use the Online Services and related software as expressly permitted in Customer’s volume licensing agreement. Microsoft reserves all other rights. Customer must acquire and assign the appropriate subscription licenses required for its use of each Online Service. Each user that accesses the Online Service must be assigned a User SL or access the Online Service only through a device that has been assigned a Device SL, unless specified otherwise in the Online Service-specific Terms. Attachment 2 describes SL Suites that also fulfill requirements for User SLs. Customer has no right to use an Online Service after the SL for that Online Service ends.


Each user needs a license to access Office 365. That fact is absolutely clear.

Perfect, thanks for your assistance Tony.