Create New Companies in Business Central

In Business Central, the container for business data that belongs to a business unit or legal entity is referred to as a company. When you sign up for Business Central, you're given a demonstration company and an empty company, My Company. Switching between the companies is easy: just go to My Settings and move to the other company. But you can also create new companies in Business Central depending on your business needs.

When you create a new company, an assisted setup guide helps you get the basics in place. Then, you can import relevant data from your legacy system or another company in Business Central.

Tip

Take free e-learning content about the Business Central user interface on Microsoft Learn.

Choose the right template

If you decide to add a company to your Business Central, you can use the Create New Company assisted setup guide to get you started. The setup wizard is available from the Companies page and from the lookup in the Company field on the My Settings page.

The setup wizard offers two templates and a blank option:

  • Evaluation - Sample Data
    This creates a company that is similar to the demonstration company with sample data and setup data. This type of company is available to you without switching to a 30-day trial period, which the other types do.
  • Production - Setup Data Only
    This creates a company that is similar to My Company with setup data but without sample data. You'll be able to use this company for a 30-day trial period.
  • Create New - No Data
    This creates a blank company without setup data. You'll be able to use this company for a 30-day trial period.

If you want to get started easily with a new company, choose Production - Setup Data Only and then import your own business data, such as customers, items, and vendors. Choose the New template if you want to set up everything from scratch. In that case, you can use the Company Setup assisted setup guide to help you get started with essential setup data.

Note

When you create a new company, it takes a few minutes before you can access it in Business Central. The setup status on the Companies page shows when the new company is ready for you. Then, you can switch to the new company by using My Settings.

During your 30 day trial, you can create any number of new companies, but they'll only be available during your trial. For more information, contact your Business Central partner. See also the Dynamics 365 Business Central trial FAQ article.

Copy a company

On the Companies page, you can use the Copy action to create a second company based on the contents of an existing company. That's useful, for example, when you want to test a company without disrupting production data.

Important

This function cannot be used to take a backup of a company. Taking a company backup begins by exporting the database as a .bacpac file. For more information, see Exporting Databases in the development and administration help.

Set up the company

When you sign in to a new company, the Company Setup wizard runs automatically and helps you get started. You'll be asked for information about your business, such as the address, bank details, and inventory costing method. We ask for this information because it's used as a basis for many areas in Business Central that you'll then not have to set up manually later.

For example, Business Central includes your company address in invoices and other documents and your bank information in payments. The costing method is used to calculate prices and inventory valuation.

Once you have the basics in place, you can set up remaining core areas. Then, you're ready to add business data, such as customers and vendors. For more information, see Set Up Business Central.

Companies and environments

Business Central users sometimes support more than one department or suborganization within a business unit. For example, a business might have sales offices in different cities and multiple countries, so it has created a separate business unit for each office. The offices that are in the same country are set up as separate companies in a shared environment. Other offices are created as companies in separate environments because they are geographically based in other countries.

  • What's a company?

    Think of a company as a container that holds information about a legal entity. Using the example above, the business has a sales office in Seattle and another in New York, so it creates a company in Business Central for each office so that it can manage operations for each office separately.

  • What's an environment?

    Companies in Business Central online exist in what are referred to as environments. There are two types of environments, Production and Sandbox. In short, production environments contain live business data, and sandbox environments are used as a safe place to test things like new business processes or features. For more information, see Types of environments (in English only). If you have access to a company, you have access to the environment it's in. If you have access to more than one company, and those companies are in different environments, when you sign in to Business Central you must specify the environment that you want to work in. Environments are particular to a given country, so if your organization works in multiple countries, you need separate environments for each country. For more information, see Environments and companies (in English only).

For more information, see Switching to Another Company or Environment. For more information about environments, see Understanding the Infrastructure of Business Central Online (in English only).

Changing a company's name

Once a company has been created, you can't change its name. But you can change its Display Name, which is text that will be shown for the company throughout the application.

Tip

You can rename a company if you're using Business Central on-premises.

Add Contoso Coffee

The Contoso Coffee app provides demonstration data to help you explore the advanced capabilities of Business Central. Find the app in AppSource, and install it in an empty company, for example a company in a sandbox environment. For more information, see Introduction to Contoso Coffee Demo Data.

See Also

Customizing Business Central
Setting Up Business Central
Importing Business Data from Other Finance Systems
Change Basic Settings
Getting Ready for Doing Business
Trials and Subscriptions
Understanding the Infrastructure of Business Central Online (English only)

Business Central on Microsoft Learn