Difference between Commercial and Personal Licenses

Key Difference: Commercial licenses are meant to be used by a company or corporation that is engage in commercial operations, whereas personal licenses are meant to be used by individual people who are engaged in personal activities.

There are many types of licenses that are categorized under the titles of commercial and personal licenses. These include but are not limited to business licenses, driving licenses, copyright licenses, and so many more. Though each and every license is different, and entails different permissions and are required for different things, the truth of the matter is that all of them have one thing in common, which is that commercial licenses are meant to be used by a company or corporation that is engage in commercial operations, whereas personal licenses are meant to be used by individual people who are engaged in personal activities.

To elaborate, commercial licenses are generally registered in the name of the company or a corporation that is engaged in a business. The idea behind a commercial license is that it will be used by the company in the course of their business and in order to either directly or indirectly make profit. Most commercial licenses can be used by any person in the company, usually one who has been authorized by the management to act on the company’s authority in regard to the license. However, the licenses cannot be used for personal benefit and can legally only be used for official company business.

Personal Licenses, on the other hand, are much more lenient. They are registered to and meant to be used by an individual person. Usually, it is implied that the license has been purchased by a private individual with their own funds, and solely for their own use. A personal license cannot be used by a company or corporation in any regard or in any circumstance, even if the company is owned by the person who registered the license.

Still, a personal license can be used by an individual for any purposes including commercial development or a startup business, but only the person to whom that license is registered can use the license. It cannot be used by anyone else even if they are involved in the business. Whereas, the commercial licenses can be used by anyone in the company. Yet, it must be noted that the actual laws be differ in regard to specific types of licenses.

However, there is some overlap between their uses, which is probably why the confusion arises. Personal licenses cannot be used by a corporation, that much is clear; however, commercial licenses may be used by a person under specific reasons. An individual person will need a commercial license if his activities will lead to making money or profit. For example, a freelancer or a startup which sells services may require commercial licenses especially if he has registered his business as a company.

 In regard to copyright laws, the same rule applies. Commercial licenses are needed if the copyrighted work will be used to make a profit. However, here the commercial licenses are needed regardless of whether the person making the profit is a person or a company. Here, even personal websites that run ads or sell ads count as commercial since it would lead to making money, technically a form of business.

In contrast, personal licenses can be used for work that is for personal use, i.e. the person will not be making profit by using the copyrighted work. It can be used for their own collection or for their own personal use, whatever that entails, as long as no money making is involved.

Comparison between Commercial and Personal Licenses:

 

Commercial Licenses

Personal Licenses

Registered for

Commercial Use

Personal Use

Registered by

A company or corporation

A individual person

Used for

Commercial purposes, such as a business or any activity that will lead to a profit or making money

Personal uses and purposes, i.e. it can’t be used in any activity that will lead to making money or profit

Can it be used by a person

Yes. A person can use a commercial licenses if he intend to make profit or run a business

Yes. It is specifically for individual purposes.

Can it be used by a corporation

Yes

No, only by a company

Copyrights

Work that will be used to make profit. Even by personal websites that run ads.

Copyrighted work can only be used for personal uses, and not to make money.

Reference: Jetbrains.com
Image Courtesy: content.cdlib.org, klearthoughtsmentalismhypnosis.wordpress.com

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