When you’re looking for a free business email account, it’s easy enough to choose a platform and keep the default domain (e.g., yahoo.com or gmail.com). However, creating a custom business email address will elevate your brand and burnish your small business’s credibility.
We’ll go through why you should set up a custom business email account, the best options for free (and paid) business email platforms and how to create a custom business email.
Why Should You Create a Business Email Address?
In addition to launching an official website for your business, securing a custom business email account helps give your small business a professional and consistent brand image online. Sending business emails with a custom address reinforces your brand with your audience. Customization also allows you to make your free business email address creative or memorable.
Credibility and Visibility
A business email address that isn’t customized could be overlooked in a customer’s inbox, or mistaken for spam. Whether you’re sending numerous customers an email blast about your store’s upcoming sale or corresponding with a client 1-on-1, a message from a free custom email domain such as “[email protected]” vs. “[email protected]” better signals that this is an official email from your small business.
Customizing your business email also looks more polished and can help customers trust that you’re operating an established company.
Combine your customized business email account’s message with a personalized, compelling subject line, and you’ll increase the likelihood a customer will click to open.
Paid and Free Business Email Options
Google business email through Google Workspace is one of the most popular options for a business email account. Email tools include Smart Reply and Smart Compose, which are suggested text as well as grammar and spelling corrections to help users craft messages. In addition to email, Google Workspace also has applications to chat and video conference with employees or other Google business email users and a calendar that integrates with your email account. Note, there are no options to create Gmail for business for free. If you want your domain name in your address — instead of “gmail.com” — you’ll have to pay for one of the business packages. The least expensive option is the Business Starter package.
The Business Starter package includes:
- Custom, secure email
- 30 GB storage for each user
- $6 per user per month
The Business Standard package includes:
- Custom, secure email
- 2 TB of storage for each user
- $12 per user per month
The Business Plus package includes:
- Custom, secure email with +eDiscovery and retention
- 5 TB of stoarge for each user
- $18 per user per month
The Enterprise package includes the following:
- Custom and secure email with S/MIME encryption
- Unlimited storage
- Advanced security options
- Contact sales team for pricing
If you’re looking for a completely free business email option, GMX is one of the better platforms for you. You can create up to 10 email aliases to cover employees’ accounts. Users have 65 GB (equal to 500,000 emails) in storage space. Additional features include the Mail Check browser extension that sends alerts about incoming messages and the Mail Collector, which merges multiple email accounts into a single location.
Like other business email address platforms, GMX offers a cloud-based office suite that includes document, spreadsheet and presentation programs.
If your business uses Microsoft 365, you likely already have access to Outlook email. Any pricing plan starting with Microsoft 365 Apps (for $8.25 per user, per month annually) and higher can use the Outlook app.
This cloud-based platform can be accessed across desktop and mobile devices and includes several features in addition to a business email account. Outlook offers a calendar, built-in Skype and easy access to information about people in your contacts list. All plan levels also provide 1 TB of space on the OneDrive for file storage and sharing.
Yahoo Business Mail has pricing options for several kinds of small businesses — from solopreneurs to companies with more than 20 employees. With a Yahoo business email account, each user has 1 TB of storage, as well as a calendar, stored contact information and instant messaging. The features don’t increase or decrease with pricing tiers, which are organized according to how many “mailboxes” need to be created for each user.
- 1 Mailbox: Starts at $3.19 per month
- 5 Mailboxes: Starts at $1.59 per mailbox, per month
- 10 Mailboxes: Starts at $1.19 per mailbox, per month
- 20+ Mailboxes: Contact for pricing
Zoho offers one of the most comprehensive email and office suites along with a free custom email domain. The “Forever Free Plan” allows up to 5 users 5 GB per user with a maximum 25 MB attachment.
A Zoho account also offers a calendar, notes and tasks modules.
If you’ll need more options or more storage when you create business email accounts, Zoho has other plans available at a cost.
A Mail Lite plan includes the following:
- Multiple email domain hosting
- Attachments up to 250 MB
- Offline access
- Email Routing
- 5 GB per user at $1 per user, per month (billed annually)
- 10 GB per user at $1.25 per user, per month (billed annually)
A Mail Premium plan includes all of Mail Lite’s features in addition to the following:
- Email backup and restoration
- Up to 1GB attachments
- 50 GB per user at $4 per user, per month (billed annually)
This free business email account offers limited options compared to other hosting services but significantly more privacy. ProtonMail messages are encrypted and can’t be read even by ProtonMail employees. The company is incorporated in Switzerland and its servers are operated there, which means ProtonMail adheres to the country’s strict privacy laws, according to the ProtonMail website. You can access ProtonMail via desktops and laptops as well as Android or iOS mobile phones. ProtonMail doesn’t have an explicit free business email option; it’s only for an individual account. This could work best for a solopreneur with a business that shares its owner’s name or is closely tied to their identity (e.g., motivational speaker). The personal free option can send 150 messages per day and access 500 MB of storage, but customer support is limited. Business options have tiered pricing plans.
ProtonMail Professional Plan includes the following:
- 5 GB of storage
- 5 business email addresses per user
- Send up 1,000 messages per day
- Unlimited labels, customized folders and filters
- Priority customer support
- Encryption for messages sent to external addresses
- Price adjusts according to the number of users; it’s about $9.77 per user, per month, if billed monthly. It’s $7.63 per user, per month with annual billing.
ProtonMail Enterprise Plan includes
- Additional storage and email addresses for users
- ProtonVPN added upon request
- White label features
- Contact ProtonMail sales team for pricing
Note that your ProtonMail account can’t send bulk mailings or unsolicited/spam messages. If privacy is crucial to your business, this could be the best email for your business.
How to Create a Business Email Account
When you create a business email account, the platform will walk you through the necessary steps to get your address operational.
1. Choose a Domain Name
In general, you don’t have to have a business website to have a business email address. However, if you want to operate your business email account through a hosting site such as BlueHost or GoDaddy, you must have a live website before you creating a free custom email domain. In that instance, first, choose your domain name, also known as your web address.
When choosing your domain name, make sure it’s:
- Easy to type
- Doesn’t contain numbers or hyphens
Additionally, GoDaddy recommends ending your domain name with “.com” as it’s the most recognized suffix online.
Make sure the domain name you choose isn’t already trademarked, copyrighted, registered or in use.
Register Your Domain Name
Once you have chosen your paid or free custom email domain name, you’ll need to register it. Enter your account information when prompted by the service with which you are registering your domain (e.g., GoDaddy), and select the features and add-ons you’d like included in your package.
Certain services such as Bluehost allow you to select “domain privacy” as a base feature, as your contact information will become public once you register your domain. By selecting the domain privacy feature, Bluehost adds its own information (address, telephone number, etc.) to the registry so you don’t have to worry about being spammed by unwanted mail or calls.
2. Create a New Email Account
Once you have selected and registered your domain, it’s time to create a free email account with a custom domain. After registration, navigate to your service provider’s dashboard to find the email menu.
You can use your hosting service’s tools to enter an email name of your choice and create a password for your new email account. When creating your business’s email accounts with a hosting service, some services will let you add up to dozens (or even hundreds) of email addresses, while others may limit you to a smaller number.
You can create a personal business email address, such as [email protected]. If you want to dedicate an email account to providing customer support to your visitors, you could create a [email protected]. You could also create additional company email addresses for employees and departments.
If you need more guidance for creating business email addresses, check out our article for more information on professional email addresses, formats and examples.