Self-hosted Zulip billing

This page describes how to manage your self-hosted plan, and answers some common questions about plans and billing for self-hosted organizations. Please refer to Self-hosted Zulip plans and pricing for plan details. If you have any questions not answered here, please don't hesitate to reach out at sales@zulip.com.

For businesses with up to 10 Zulip users, the Free plan is a good option, and includes free access to the Mobile Push Notification Service.

For businesses with more than 10 Zulip users, both the Basic and Business plans include unlimited access to the Mobile Push Notification Service.

The Business plan also includes commercial support for dozens of features and integrations that help businesses take full advantage of their Zulip implementation. The minimum purchase is 25 licenses.

If your organization requires hands-on support, such as real-time support during installation and upgrades, support for advanced deployment options, custom feature development or integrations, etc., should contact sales@zulip.com to discuss pricing.

Paid plan discounts are available in a variety of situations; see below for details.

Upgrade to a paid plan

Start a free trial

New customers are eligible for a free 30-day trial of Zulip Basic. An organization is considered to be a new customer if:

  • It was not registered for Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service prior to December 12, 2023, and
  • It has never previously signed up for a self-hosted Zulip plan (Basic, Business, Community or Enterprise).

  1. Your Zulip server administrator should register the server with Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service, following these instructions.

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

  3. Select Plan management.

  4. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  5. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  6. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  7. Verify your information, and click Continue.

  8. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, click the Start 30-day trial button at the bottom of the Basic plan.

  9. Click Add card to enter your payment details.

  10. Click Start 30-day trial to start your free trial.

Once you start the trial, you can switch between monthly and annual billing on your organization's billing page.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Register the server with Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service, following these instructions.

  2. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  3. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  4. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

  3. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, click the Start 30-day trial button at the bottom of the Basic plan.

  4. Click Add card to enter your payment details.

  5. Click Start 30-day trial to start your free trial.

Once you start the trial, you can switch between monthly and annual billing on your organization's billing page.

Upgrade directly to a paid plan

If your server has more than one organization, upgrade to Zulip Server 8.0+ to manage billing and plan upgrades separately for each organization. You must purchase the same plan for all users in your organization. Older servers only support server-wide plan management.

This feature is only available to organization owners and billing administrators.

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

  2. Select Plan management.

  3. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  4. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  5. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  6. Verify your information, and click Continue.

  7. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, click the button at the bottom of the plan you would like to purchase.

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

  9. Click Add card to enter your payment details.

  10. Click the Purchase button to complete your purchase.

If your server hosts more than one organization, commercial support for server-wide configurations requires upgrading the organization with the largest number of users.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  2. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  3. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

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

  4. Click Add card to enter your payment details.

  5. Click the Purchase button to complete your purchase.

Do I have to upgrade my server first?

While upgrading your Zulip server to version 8.0+ makes it more convenient to manage your plan, you do not have to upgrade your Zulip installation in order to sign up for a plan. The same plans are offered for all Zulip versions.

In addition to hundreds of other improvements, upgrading to Zulip Server 8.0+ lets you:

  • Easily log in to Zulip plan management, without an additional server authentication step.

  • Separately manage plans for all the organizations on your server.

  • Upload only the basic metadata required for the service, without also uploading usage statistics.

If you upgrade your server after signing up for a plan, you will be able to transfer your plan to an organization on your server. If your server has one organization on it, this will happen automatically. Otherwise, contact support@zulip.com for help.

Manage billing

If your server has more than one organization, upgrade to Zulip Server 8.0+ to manage billing and plan upgrades separately for each organization. You must purchase the same plan for all users in your organization. Older servers only support server-wide plan management.

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

  2. Select Plan management.

  3. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  4. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  5. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  6. Verify your information, and click Continue.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  2. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  3. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

Cancel paid plan

If your server has more than one organization, upgrade to Zulip Server 8.0+ to manage billing and plan upgrades separately for each organization. You must purchase the same plan for all users in your organization. Older servers only support server-wide plan management.

If you cancel your plan, your organization will be downgraded to the Free plan 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 Plan management.

  3. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  4. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  5. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  6. Verify your information, and click Continue.

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

  8. Click Downgrade to confirm.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  2. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  3. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

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

  4. Click Downgrade to confirm.

Free Community plan

Zulip sponsors free plans for over 1000 worthy organizations. The following types of organizations are generally eligible for the free Community plan.

  • Open-source projects, including projects with a small paid team.
  • Research in an academic setting, such as research groups, cross-institutional collaborations, etc.
  • Organizations operated by individual educators, such as a professor teaching one or more classes.
  • Non-profits with no paid staff.
  • Communities and personal organizations (clubs, groups of friends, volunteer groups, etc.).

Organizations that have up to 10 users, or do not require mobile push notifications, will likely find the Free plan to be the most convenient option. Larger organizations are encouraged to apply for the free Community plan, which includes unlimited push notifications and support for many Zulip features.

If you aren't sure whether your organization qualifies, submitting a sponsorship form describing your situation is a great starting point. Many organizations that don't qualify for the Community plan can still receive discounted paid plan pricing.

Apply for Community plan

These instructions describe the Community plan application process for an existing Zulip server. If you would like to inquire about Community plan eligibility prior to setting up a server, contact sales@zulip.com.

Organizations that do not qualify for a Community plan may be offered a discount on the Business plan.

  1. Your Zulip server administrator should register the server with Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service, following these instructions.

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

  3. Select Plan management.

  4. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  5. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  6. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  7. Verify your information, and click Continue.

  8. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, scroll down to the Sponsorship and discounts area, and click Apply here.

  9. Fill out the requested information, and click Submit. Your application will be reviewed for Community plan eligibility.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Register the server with Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service, following these instructions.

  2. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  3. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  4. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

  3. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, scroll down to the Sponsorship and discounts area, and click Apply here.

  4. Fill out the requested information, and click Submit. Your application will be reviewed for Community plan eligibility.

Organizations that do not qualify for a Community plan may be offered a discount on the Business plan.

The following types of organizations are generally eligible for significant discounts on paid plans. You can also contact sales@zulip.com to discuss bulk discount pricing for a large organization.

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

Education pricing

Organizations operated by individual educators (for example, a professor teaching one or more classes) are generally eligible for a free Community plan.

Departments and other institutions using Zulip with students are eligible for discounted education pricing. Other educational uses (e.g., by teaching staff or university IT) may qualify for non-profit pricing.

  • For-profit education pricing:

    • Basic plan: $0.50 per user per month
    • Business plan: $1 per user per month with annual billing ($1.20/month billed monthly) with a minimum purchase of 100 licenses.
  • Non-profit education pricing: The non-profit discount applies to online purchases only (no additional legal agreements) for use at registered non-profit institutions (e.g., colleges and universities).

    • Basic plan: $0.35 per user per month
    • Business plan: $0.67 per user per month with annual billing ($0.80/month billed monthly) with a minimum purchase of 100 licenses.

Non-profit pricing

Non-profits with no paid staff are eligible for the free Community plan.

For non-profits with paid staff, volunteers and other unpaid participants in your community are eligible for free Zulip accounts. Additionally, discounts are available for paid staff accounts. Contact sales@zulip.com to arrange discounted pricing for your organization.

Guest user discounts

There is no automatic discount for guest users. However, organizations with a large number of guest users are very likely to be eligible for a discount. If this is your situation, please apply for a discount or email sales@zulip.com.

Duplicate accounts

Some servers host multiple organizations, with some individuals having accounts in several of these organizations. If you have this setup, the ability to configure whether guests can see other users (introduced in Zulip 8.0) may allow you to consolidate into a single Zulip organization.

If you want to maintain a multi-organization setup with duplicate accounts, you may contact sales@zulip.com to arrange a discounted rate.

Apply for a paid plan discount

These instructions describe the paid plan discount application process for an existing Zulip server. If you would like to inquire about paid plan discount eligibility prior to setting up a server, contact sales@zulip.com.

  1. Your Zulip server administrator should register the server with Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service, following these instructions.

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

  3. Select Plan management.

  4. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  5. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  6. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  7. Verify your information, and click Continue.

  8. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, scroll down to the Sponsorship and discounts area, and click Apply here.

  9. Select your preferred option from the Plan dropdown.

  10. Fill out the requested information, and click Submit. Your application will be reviewed for discount eligibility.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Register the server with Zulip's Mobile Push Notification Service, following these instructions.

  2. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  3. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  4. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

  3. On the page listing Zulip's self-hosted plans, scroll down to the Sponsorship and discounts area, and click Apply here.

  4. Select your preferred option from the Plan dropdown.

  5. Fill out the requested information, and click Submit. Your application will be reviewed for discount eligibility.

Payment methods

Can I pay by credit card and/or invoice?

You can always use a credit card to pay. If you would like to pay by invoice, you will need to sign up for an annual plan.

How does automatic billing work?

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

With automatic billing, 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 example, if you start a billing period with 10 users, deactivate 5 users, and then add 2 new users, you will be billed for 10 licenses for the entire billing period.

  • If you have no free licenses when you add a user, 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 half way through the month. Each month, you will see a single charge for all licenses added that month.

How does manual billing work?

With manual billing, you choose and pay for a preset user limit. If the limit is reached, no more users can join until licenses are manually added.

Manually manage licenses

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

  2. Select Plan management.

  3. (first-time log in) Enter the e-mail address you want to use for plan management, and click Continue.

  4. (first-time log in) In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Confirm email for Zulip plan management), and click Confirm and log in.

  5. (first-time log in) Enter your name, configure your email preferences, and accept the Terms of Service.

  6. Verify your information, and click Continue.

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

You can only increase the number of licenses for the current billing period.

A server administrator is anyone who sets up and manages your Zulip installation. A billing administrator is anyone responsible for managing your Zulip plan.

Server administrator steps:

  1. Go to https://selfhosting.zulip.com/serverlogin/.

  2. Fill out the requested server information, and click Continue.

  3. Enter the e-mail address of the billing contact for your organization, and click Confirm email.

Billing administrator steps:

  1. In your e-mail account, open the e-mail you received (Subject: Log in to Zulip plan management), and click Log in.

  2. Verify your information, and click Continue. If you are logging in for the first time, you will need to enter your name and accept the Terms of Service.

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

You can only increase the number of licenses for the current billing period.

How paid plans support the Zulip project

Zulip is proudly independent, with no venture capital funding, which means that revenue strongly impacts the pace of Zulip’s development. Paid plans for self-hosted customers help fund improvements in Zulip's self-hosting experience, and overall product development. Zulip needs the support of businesses that self-host Zulip in order to thrive as an independent, 100% open-source project.

You can also learn about other ways to support the Zulip project.

Self-hosting Zulip for free

Zulip is 100% open-source. Organizations that do not require support with their installation can always use Zulip for free with no limitations. Additionally, the Mobile Push Notification Service is provided free of charge for organizations with up to 10 users.

You can self-manage your Zulip installation without signing up for a plan. Get started with the installation guide.