Adobe Creative Cloud: team versus individual licenses

Effective IT asset management hinges on flexibility and accuracy. Organizations that can quickly transfer software or hardware between users can keep up with changes in projects, responsibilities, and personnel. The introduction of Adobe Creative Cloud with subscription-based licensing simplified software deployment and the delivery of updates, but also left organizations confused regarding transfer rights.

I recently spoke with clients struggling to transfer or reassign Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions from one user to another via After investigating, I discovered that in each instance the software subscription was licensed for an individual instead of a team.

While Creative Cloud for individuals is perfect for small shops or freelancers, Creative Cloud team licenses are the optimal choice for creative groups within larger organizations. Team licenses give management full access to an administrator console that allows them to add, transfer, or revoke licenses as needed.

Team licenses are available under the Adobe Value Incentive Plan (VIP) program, an evergreen program that doesn’t require a minimum purchase. Customers receive one agreement number upon purchasing, and anything acquired throughout the year is co-termed with a single anniversary date. This allows for greater budget predictability, ensures compliance, and fosters collaboration among workgroups without sacrificing immediate access to the latest and greatest Adobe technology updates.

The chart below compares Creative Cloud for teams against Creative Cloud for individuals in more detail. For those of you who love to read through legal jargon (who doesn’t?) the terms of use for both offerings are also available.

Adobe Creative Cloud teams versus individuals

If you already purchased individual licenses from but you actually need team licenses, it might not be too late. Organizations can migrate annual or monthly individual licenses purchased from to a team subscription within the first 30 days at no charge. To switch after 30 days, Adobe bills organizations 50 percent of the remaining contract obligation.

Although Adobe customer support handles the transition, SHI can assist with the cancellation and start of new VIP programs or transfer users to existing VIP suites. Contact your SHI account team for assistance.

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3 thoughts on “Adobe Creative Cloud: team versus individual licenses

  1. I think you are missing the point. What is at issue is that Adobe requires each individual user to have their own Adobe ID & login so that they can manage their own license. This is simply not conducive to an enterprise, where an IT department typically purchases and manages the license. The end user should not be entering into a licensing contract with Adobe directly, if said license belongs to the university.

  2. alex says:

    Mine is a small shop with three creative cloud individual licenses. Is there any legal issues with using individual licenses? I got a call threatening that I should convert it to team license or else they will sue me.

    • There are no legal issues with purchasing Individual licenses as long as they were purchased from The only concern with the Individual licenses is they are licensed to the individual and not to the company, so if that individual leaves they take the license with them for however months they purchased.

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