During the Teams Service setup process you will be required to provide an unassigned O365 user licence. You may be wondering why this is required, what the cost implications of this are or whether there is a way of avoiding this requirement.

By providing the additional licence the portal can perform all the set-up tasks on your behalf and remove the need for any specialist skills or training.

The unassigned licences are only required once, for the few minutes during the initial set-up process. When this is completed you can release the licences.

> The licence needs to a be one that includes Teams, so a phone system or Business Voice addon is not sufficient.


  • Applies To
  • Overview
  • Cost of additional licences:
    • Apply a free-trial offer from Microsoft (recommended) 
    • Temporary removing a licence from an existing user. (Making the licence unassigned)
    • Purchase an additional licence for a short period.
    • Common Area Phone (Free Trial)
  • Why is the Additional Licence required?
  • What if it's impossible to provide additional Licences? (Manual Intervention Required)
  • Teams Meeting Room Setup (Manual Intervention Required)
  • Note

Cost of additional licences:

There are several ways to mitigate or completely eliminate the cost of providing the temporary licence during set-up:

  • Apply a free-trial offer from Microsoft (recommended) 

Within the MS portal you can take up the following free-trial subscriptions without charge for 30 days:

  • E5 – 25 users
  • Business Premium – 25 users
  • Common Area Phone – 25 users (recommended)

The choice of the free trial you take depends on the SKUs you already have, any of the above SKUs will suffice.

  • Temporary removing a licence from an existing user. (Making the licence unassigned)

Microsoft support the temporary removal of a licence for up to 30 days without affecting the configuration of the user. Our requirement is for around 15 minutes. You can find out more here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/manage/remove-licenses-from-users?view=o365-worldwide


  • Purchase an additional licence for a short period.

Office 365 licence billing is prorated to the day. See: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/common-billing-scenarios-monthly

The cost of adding and removing a business essentials licence for one day is around USD $0.16; in practice our understanding is that MS won’t bill you for such a short period.

  • Common Area Phone (Free Trial)

In this example we will select the Common Area Phone free trial as this offer provides the required licence for the set-up and  the free trial can be added to up to 25 users to provide the calling capability required (there's no limit to the number of licences that can be purchased).

1. Go to the Admin console for Office 365 and select the Billing tab on the left, then select “Purchase Services”

2.  On the right-hand pane a selection of Office 365 services can be seen to review

3. In the  Search box enter "Common Area"

Here you will see the Common Area Phone offer.

4: Select the offer

Note: the free-trial option may not show if the free trial has previously been used.

4. Select the “Get free trial” button

5. Microsoft may ask for identity verification by text message

6. A final confirmation is offered to start the trial and the licences will be available on the account


Why is the Additional Licence required?

This requirement is for convenience of the set-up process and mitigates the need for you to perform domain-based set-up tasks. You can research the underlying mechanisms and why this is required for your reference at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/direct-routing-sbc-multiple-tenants

Our automation removes the need for your intervention by using a spare licence to perform these tasks by proxy. If you prefer not to facilitate a space licence then these steps will be required as detailed in our set-up process.

What if it's impossible to provide additional Licences? (Manual Intervention Required)

If you can't provide the additional licences, the portal will pause during the set-up process and provide instructions to manually perform some tasks. This will be indicated by the alert 'Manual Intervention Required'. Once performed the set-up automation will resume.

Note: This notification can also apply to the Teams Meeting Room setup.
See Below

What Does This Mean?

As per the Teams OneClick setup guide, you need to have a spare user licence available to allow us to automatically configure your DNS entries. If this is not available the setup process cannot complete.

The simplest way to resolve this issue to to provide an unallocated user licence on the Microsoft 365 account and run Sync Now again.

For the domain activation you're going to need at least one (preferably two) unused licences of any the following types:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium*
  • Office 365 E3
  • Office 365 E5*
  • Common Area Phone*
  • Skype for Business Plan 2


If you don’t have any unused licence of this type, then the options are:

  1. Take the 25-user free trial offer of one of the available licences denoted with a * in the list above, or 
  2. Purchase additional Microsoft 365 Business basic subscription for a few hours and then cancel.

The spare licence can be removed after the setup and Sync successfully completes.

This is the longest part of the automated process since DNS records have to migrate through many systems within Microsoft. Keep returning to the page and refreshing to keep abreast of the status.

Teams Meeting Room Setup (Manual Intervention Required)

This notification may show during the Teams Meeting Room Setup

The Teams meeting rooms users cannot be set up through the Sync Now automation so need to be done manually.

Customers can refer the Microsoft or the meeting room equipment provider who'll have the ability to set this service up. It's quite customer-specific so difficult to provide prescriptive guidance for.

There is Microsoft info online: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/rooms/with-office-365

Normally this notification applies only to teams meeting Rooms users, and otherwise the Microsoft tenant will be set-up and service is ready for use  by users. The notification will clear when the meeting room users have been manually configured.


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