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Managing billing

This handbook section is sort of the operation manual for the billing engine. If you're looking for the technical details or need to troubleshoot something check out the relevant tech docs


For customers with special pricing (i.e. very large volumes or Enterprise & Supported plans), we need to manually set up the billing information on the system. This page contains instructions for setting up billing. Please note this page covers the process after an official PostHog quote has been approved by the customer. For information before this stage, please refer to the Sales section of the handbook. Contrary to cloud plans, all self-hosted paid plans must be manually prepared today (i.e. there's no self-serve option yet). To set up billing for self-hosted, please follow these instructions:


This process only needs to happen once.

  1. Download the Postman collection from license.
  2. Open the collection & set up the required environment variables (per the instructions on the repo).
  3. To test that everything is working as expected go to the "List licenses" request and make sure you get a 200 status code.

Setting up a subscription

  1. Log in to the Stripe dashboard and go to customers.
  2. Tap on New and fill out the form. At minimum please provide the customer's email address. However, it's recommended to add as much information as possible to make ongoing maintenance easier. It is particularly recommended to add the customer's Hubspot ID in the metadata section with a hubspot_record key (you need to save the customer record first).
  3. Copy the customer ID from the Stripe dashboard (it starts with cus_).
  4. Open the Postman collection and go to the "Create license [all options]" request.
  5. If you don't have the price ID of the plan you can obtain it from the products page. Be sure to copy the price ID, not the plan ID (it should start with price_).
  6. On the body section, adjust the appropriate parameters (for details on the parameters check out the license repo),
    "valid_until": "2021-06-01T00:00:00.000000Z", // Timestamp (UTC) of when the license should expire (this won't affect the ongoing subscription agreement)
    "plan": "enterprise",
    "client_name": "Company, Inc.",
    "client_contact": "John Doe",
    "billing_email": "",
    "stripe_customer_id": "cus_iwdnHIV5",
    "stripe_price_id": "price_1HIbh9QhdPP",
    "coupon_id": "qthElB", // Optional (ID coupon for special pricing)
    "trial_end": "2021-01-22T00:00:00.000000Z" // Timestamp (UTC) of when the trial should end
  7. After sending the request, make sure that Test Results show (1/1) (see below) and open the visualize tab. You should see a message like the one below with a link to set up billing. Send that link to the customer who can use it to enter their card details on their own.

success license

  1. Finally, go to the pretty tab and you will see the license key for the user. You may share that key with the customer once they have activated their subscription. After #10 when the activation process happens automatically, you may share the license key with the customer immediately.

#### Activate subscription

As a customer, to redeem a license key:

  1. Go to the license page in your PostHog instance. <your url>/instance/licenses.
  2. Enter the received license key in the input.
  3. Tap on activate license key and you are good to go.

Cloud billing

Cloud billing may be set up using self-serve. For this, the new user just needs to go to the organization billing page and select one of the available plans (internally please note these plans must have both is_active and self_serve set to True). Billing can also be set up from account creation, by adding the plan_key as a query string parameter (e.g., this is helpful for redirections from landing sites where a plan has already been selected.

For PostHog Team: to set up a billing agreement, please follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Django admin and open the Organization billing objects.
  2. Search for the relevant user (either by name, company name, email or Stripe IDs).
  3. Once you have the appropriate user, select the plan you want to assign to the organization.
  4. In addition to the plan, be sure to check the "Should setup billing" checkbox and click save.

After this the user will be prompted in their app to enter their card details to initiate the billing agreement.

If you need to activate a plan bypassing actual billing on Stripe (this should be extremely rare!), just set up a billing_period_ends that is after today's date (and be sure that "Should setup billing" is not checked).

Non-profit organizations

We offer 50% discount to non-profit companies (see pricing). The activation process is as follows:

  1. Non-profit company reaches out to PostHog, likely via email.
  2. On our end we validate the company is eligible for the discount.
  3. Validate the customer has signed up for the standard plan and completed the billing process. Easiest done in Stripe dashboard, look up the customer using the owner's email address. The Standard Plan subscription must be active and the customer must have a valid payment source on file.
  4. On the customer page click on Actions, and then Apply coupon. Select coupon "Non-profit organization discount" (ID: NxipELS0)
  5. Let the customer know via email.

Startup & YC plans

We offer a deal for certain YC companies & other startups, while the details of this deal change periodically (and are documented in the main website and/or ops repo), here are the details on how to apply the plan for a company. Internally, these plans have special logic handling in the posthog-cloud repo. If our deal terms changes (current details detailed below), a new plan needs to be added. This custom logic is handled in multi_tenancy/ Currently we only have one plan (plan_key = startup) which provides free billing for 1 year and a 20M monthly event allocation.

How to apply it

  • Follow the steps above (Go to Django admin, find the relevant customer, ...).
  • For the plan, you'll choose the custom startup plan, plan_key = startup. Be sure to check the should_setup_billing checkbox!
  • Let the customer know they need to enter their card information at the prompt (shown on every page of the app).
  • After they enter their card information successfully, the plan will be activated and the prompt will disappear. The plan will last for 365 days from the moment they confirm their card details.

General structure & notes

  • The way this plan works internally is that it creates a checkout session with mode = setup and with a card pre-authorization charge instead of a subscription agreement. This way, we validate the card is active and it gets saved on Stripe for future use. When we receive confirmation the charge has been processed and the card saved (via the payment_intent.amount_capturable_updated webhook), we do the custom logic handling to enable the plan for 365 days.
  • There's an issue, posthog-cloud#92, with some details on tech debt / improvements to this flow.

Updating subscriptions

This section provides instructions for a PostHog team member to change subscriptions for a existing customer (e.g. if they want to upgrade/downgrade, move from legacy plans to standard plans, etc.)

  1. Look up the customer on Stripe dashboard using their email address or Stripe ID (this ID can be obtained from Django Admin too, under OrganizationBilling object).
  2. Click on the customer's current subscription.
  3. Click on Update subscription.
  4. Remove the old item from the pricing table and add the new item.
  5. Click on Update subscription. Do not schedule the update for a later time. There will be unintended side effects if the changes are not applied immediately.
  6. Find the corresponding OrganizationBilling on Django Admin. You can look up by the same email address.
  7. Update the new billing plan and the new Stripe subscription item ID. The subscription item ID starts with si_ (not to be confused with a Subscription ID). This ID will have changed, the Subscription ID remains the same.