Managing Companies in Business Central

In Business Central, companies define the entity that contains data for an organisation. These sit within an environment. You can have multiple companies in an environment. In fact, it’s recommended. We typically recommend having a ‘live’, ‘gold’ and at least one ‘test’ company. A live company is where your business’ real life data is held. A gold company would have all the relevant setup done, but wouldn’t have any transactional data. A test company would be a copy of either of the previous two, and you’d use this where you wish to test something prior to performing whatever action it may be, in ‘live’. That’s at least three companies we’d recommend having, so let’s cover how you can create, amend and delete them. We’ll also cover other information we think is important and related to the topic.

Create a new company from scratch

To create a new company manually in Business Central, go to the Companies page and click ‘New’. From here, click to continue and you’ll reach this page. There’s three things to note here. The first is you can name your new company here. Below that, you can define the type of company it is you’re creating, and lastly you can specify whether or not to add ‘Additional Demo Data’. The ‘Select the data and setup to get started’ field lets you choose the type of data you are creating the company with. Let’s clarify what each option in the dropdown menu includes:

  • Evaluation
    • An Evaluation company includes standard Cronus data. For example, it includes lots of default office desks and chairs as available items. An Evaluation company doesn’t include data for the Warehousing and Service Management modules.
  • Advanced Evaluation
    • This is similar to an Evaluation company. The main difference is this requires a Premium license and includes data for the Manufacturing and Service Management modules.
  • Production
    • A production company includes all Cronus settings, without any transactional information. For example, it doesn’t include items and customers. This is typically used by those who are tying to go-live in a very short period of time.
  • Create New
    • This is a blank company, and what’s typically used for implementations generally. This is because you start with a blank canvas and every piece of set up is done by you and so is tailored to your needs.
This is the screen you will get when you are creating a new company in Business Central. Notice you also have the ability to add Additional Demo Data from this screen, something which we touch on slightly further on.
Note, you have the ability to check the box to add Additional Demo Data here. If you miss this, don’t worry as we cover how to add it further on.

Managing users in the new company

After creating a company, click next. Here, the system administrator can use the assisted setup screen to manage which users can access the new company.

This screen allows the system administrator to manage which users can access the Business Central company.

The system administrator can always amend which users have permission to access specific Business Central companies if necessary.

Adding demo data to your Business Central Company

Users have the ability to add additional demo data, aimed at introducing you to manufacturing in Business Central. If you choose to add this data, it can take several minutes to add to your new company.

To get access to extra demo data, you can type in Contoso Coffee Demo Data.
If you go to the Contoso Coffee Demo Data page, you can amend where the related data’s posting groups and manufacturing location.

I’ve attached a link to Microsoft documentation’s on the demo data if you’d like to better understand the topic.

Accessing Business Central companies

After the company configuration has finished, you will now be able to access it, assuming your permissions aren’t set to specific companies in the system. If they are, ask your system administrator to give you the relevant permissions for the new company.

The Companies page lists all the companies in the environment, regardless of whether you have permission to access them. See below:

This image shows the list of Business Central companies. Even if you don't have the relevant permissions to access these records.

To access ‘Allowed Companies’, click the settings cog in the top right-hand corner. From there, click ‘My Settings’ and ‘…’ to the right of ‘Company’.

By clicking the settings cog, you can access 'Company' where you select which company you work in. You can also create new companies from this page too.
As you can see, you can create new companies here but can’t delete them.
In the Allowed Companies page, you will only be able to see the companies you have the permissions to access.

If you don’t have the relevant permissions to access particular companies, you will only be able to see those that you do have access to in the Allowed Companies. However, in the Companies page, despite this, you will be able to see every company. However, you won’t be able to access, amend or delete them.

One other thing to mention is that you can configure which company a user logs into when they first access the Business Central environment. Read our post to see how.

Migrating data into your Business Central company

Whilst users can’t make a company using a Rapidstart package, they can go about populating their company using these packages. So after creating a new company, users can begin adding data. And when it comes to setting up companies quickly, the fastest way of adding data is using configuration packages. We previously covered Rapidstart (data migration) so if you’re unfamiliar with how it works, please give that post a read.

If you go to the CRONUS UK Ltd. company, you can go to the Configuration Packages page and see its records. The one we are interested in is the ‘GB.ENG.EVALUATION’ package. This contains all the data for page fields in the company. So you can use this as a point of reference, or in some cases, as a model.

Is migrating data into my new Business Central company risky?

When it comes to importing data in the system, it does provide a level of risk. This is amplified when you are using a singular package to import data for multiple pages. When it comes to importing data, I would always recommend trying it in a ‘test’ company, before doing it in live. That way you can identify any issues and handle them before putting them into ‘live’.

Regardless of whether you choose to use a singular package or multiple, importing is inherently more prone to error than manually entering the data, but obviously saves a lot of time. I don’t recommend using a singular package to import the necessary data into the company. It can be troublesome trying to identify where errors stem from. However, using multiple packages is a brilliant way to balance efficiency and handling issues arising from the data.

Copying an existing company in Business Central

To copy an existing company, go to the companies page. From there, click the line pertaining to the company you wish to copy and click ‘Process’ and ‘Copy’. At this stage, you can name the new company, enable the checkbox to say you understand the consequences of copying a company and then click ‘ok’.

Users can create a new company by copying another company in Business Central.

Deleting a company in Business Central

To delete a company, from the Companies page, click the line which includes the company you wish to delete and then click ‘delete’. It’s unlikely you’d be able to delete a company unintentionally as there’s a couple of messages to click through, confirming whether you wish to proceed.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that you can only delete a company you’re not presently in. So in that instance, simply switch out from the company beforehand.

Closing remarks

Thanks for reading. Making sure to manage your Business Central companies appropriately is vital for keeping your environment quick, accessible and clear. We mentioned environments earlier; this is a topic we will cover in a post soon. So if you’d like to keep up to date with when we post, follow us on LinkedIn. Lastly, if you’ve any questions, be sure to contact us.

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