Zulip Cloud billing

This page answers some frequently asked questions about Zulip Cloud plans and pricing. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out at sales@zulip.com.

Upgrade to a Zulip Cloud Standard or Plus plan

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Plans and pricing.

  3. On the page listing Zulip Cloud plans, click the button at the bottom of the plan you would like to purchase.

  4. Select your preferred option from the Payment schedule dropdown.

  5. Click Add card to enter your payment details.

  6. (optional) View and update billing information included on receipts so that they are different from the information entered for the payment method, e.g. in case you would prefer that the company's name be on receipts instead of the card holder's name.

  7. Click the Purchase button to complete your purchase.

Only manual license management is available when paying by invoice.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Plans and pricing.

  3. On the page listing Zulip Cloud plans, click the button at the bottom of the plan you would like to purchase.

  4. Select pay by invoice.

  5. Select your preferred option from the Payment schedule dropdown.

  6. Select the Number of licenses you would like to purchase for your organization; see details about manual license management.

  7. Click Update billing information to enter your billing details, which will be included on invoices and receipts.

  8. Click the Send invoice button, and an email with an initial invoice will be sent to the email address you used to sign in.

  9. Your plan will be upgraded when the initial invoice is paid.

Until the initial invoice is paid, logging in to manage your billing will show a page with a link to the outstanding invoice. You'll be able to manage your plan once your first invoice is paid.

Manage billing

On the billing page for an active paid plan you can:

  • View your past invoices.

  • View and update the billing details displayed on invoices and receipts for future payments.

  • If you pay for your plan by credit card, update your card's payment details.

  • Change your billing frequency to be monthly or annual.

  • If you opted for manual license management, you can update the number of licenses for the current billing period or the next billing period.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Billing.

Cancel paid plan

If you cancel your plan, your organization will be downgraded to Zulip Cloud Free at the end of the current billing period.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Billing.

  3. At the bottom of the page, click Cancel plan.

  4. Click Downgrade to confirm.

Free and discounted Zulip Cloud Standard

Zulip sponsors free plans for over 1000 worthy organizations. The following types of organizations are generally eligible for a free Zulip Cloud Standard plan.

  • Open-source projects, including projects with a small paid team.
  • Research in an academic setting, such as research groups, cross-institutional collaborations, etc.
  • Academic conferences and other non-profit events.
  • Non-profits with no paid staff.
  • Most communities that need features beyond the Free plan in order to use Zulip.

The following types of organizations are generally eligible for significant discounts on Zulip Cloud Standard.

  • Education organizations are eligible for education pricing.

  • Discounts are available for organizations based in the developing world.

  • Non-profits and other organizations where many users are not paid staff are generally eligible for a discount.

If there are any circumstances that make regular pricing unaffordable for your organization, contact sales@zulip.com to discuss your situation.

Education pricing

Educators using Zulip with students are eligible for discounted education pricing. Other educational uses (e.g., by teaching staff or university IT) may qualify for a non-profit discount instead.

Organizations operated by individual educators (for example, a professor teaching one or more classes) usually find that the Zulip Cloud Free plan suits their needs.

Non-profit educational pricing applies to online purchases with no additional legal agreements, for use at registered non-profit institutions (e.g. colleges and universities).

To arrange discounted pricing for your organization, please apply for sponosorship. Contact sales@zulip.com with any questions.

Apply for sponsorship

Submit a sponsorship request to apply for a free or discounted Zulip Cloud Standard plan. If you do not have a Zulip organization yet, contact sales@zulip.com to inquire about sponsorship eligibility.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Click the Request sponsorship link at the top of the gear menu.

  3. Fill out the requested information, and click Submit.

If you don't see the Request sponsorship link in the gear menu, update your organization type to one of the eligible types of organizations listed above that best fits your organization.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Click the Request education pricing link at the top of the gear menu.

  3. Fill out the requested information, and click Submit.

If you don't see the Request education pricing link in the gear menu, update your organization type to either Education (non-profit) or Education (for-profit).

Differences between Zulip Cloud plans

How does having 10,000 messages of search history on Zulip Cloud Free work?

Only the most recent 10,000 messages can be viewed and searched on the Zulip Cloud Free plan. Older messages are still stored and will become available again if the organization is upgraded to Zulip Cloud Standard.

Will you switch to limiting Zulip Cloud Free history to messages sent in the last 90 days (like Slack has)?

No. As discussed in this blog post, a time-based limit to message history is simply a bad model for a collaboration tool.

Payment methods

What are my payment options?

You can pay by credit card or by invoice. If you choose to pay by invoice, your organization will be upgraded to the plan you selected once the initial invoice is paid.

Note that automatic license management is only available if you pay by credit card. Paying by invoice requires manual license management.

How does automatic license management work?

Automatic license management is recommended unless you have a specific reason to choose manual license management.

With automatic license management, you automatically purchase a Zulip license for each user in your organization at the start of each billing period (month or year), and whenever you need additional licenses.

  • Deactivating a user frees up their license for reuse. No refunds are given for unused licenses you have purchased for the current billing period. For example if you start an annual billing period with 10 users, and deactivate 4 users halfway through the year, then you will receive no refund, even if those licenses are not used in the remaining 6 months of the year.

  • If you have no free licenses when a new user joins or an existing user is reactivated, you will be automatically billed for an additional license. You will be charged only for the remaining part of the billing period. For example, if you are on a $8/user/month monthly plan, you will be billed $4 for a user added halfway through the month.

  • If you have an annual billing period, each month, you will see a single charge for all licenses added the previous month. If you have a monthly billing period, the charge for licenses added during the previous month will be combined with your monthly renewal charge.

How does manual license management work?

With manual license management, you choose and pay for a fixed number of licenses, which limits the number of users in your organization.

  • If the limit is reached, unlike automatic license management, new users cannot join and existing users cannot be reactivated until licenses are manually added (or freed up by deactivating existing users).

  • When you add a license for the current billing period, you will be charged only for the remaining part of the billing period.

  • If you have an annual billing period, each month, you will see a single charge for all licenses added the previous month. If you have a monthly billing period, the charge for licenses added during the previous month will be combined with your monthly renewal charge.

Manually update number of licenses

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Billing.

  3. Modify Number of licenses for current billing period or Number of licenses for next billing period, and click Update.

Modifying the number of licenses for the current billing period also automatically updates the number of licenses for the next billing period.

Temporary users and guests

How will I be charged for temporary users (e.g. limited-time clients)?

Users can be deactivated any time. Deactivating a user frees up their license for reuse.

How are guest accounts billed? Is there special pricing?

For an organization with N other users, 5*N guest users are included at no extra charge. After that, you will be charged at 1/5 of your regular per-user pricing for each additional guest.