Business vs regular mobile plan: what's the difference?

If you're shopping for a mobile plan, you may have noticed that a number of the big providers offer business options. But what's the difference between a business plan and a regular mobile plan? And more importantly, what's the benefit? 

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are the three main providers that offer business mobile plans. The plans are postpaid only. Here's a sample of what they have on offer:

Pricing and data inclusions vary from provider to provider. However, when you compare these postpaid business plans against regular postpaid plans offered by the same provider, they're almost identical. Whether you choose a regular or business plan from Optus, Telstra or Vodafone, your plan will come with the same: 

  • Price
  • Data allowance
  • Talk and text allowance
  • Handset choices
  • International call inclusions
  • Roaming inclusions 

Basically, they're the same plans. But there are some benefits to choosing a business mobile plan over a plan for a regular Joe:

Better customer support

Business mobile plans often come with superior customer service. Optus, for example, gives all business customers access to fast-tracked support. Vodafone offers a dedicated sales and support team for business customers, which again allows you to access to a shorter queue for support. 

All of this can be pretty handy if you're about to leave for a business trip and having problems with your mobile.

ALSO READ: Best broadband plans for solopreneurs

Tax benefit 

If you're a sole trader, you can use a personal mobile plan and claim work-related mobile use as a tax deduction. But if your business is registered as a company, trust or partnership, you'll probably need to get a business mobile plan if you want to claim deductions for your mobile use.

Check with your accountant to make sure which option is best for you. But if you do need a business plan to make deductions, this alone should be enough reason for you to sign up for one.

Perks 

Although there are none running at the moment, telcos sometimes include special offers with business mobile plans, such as Telstra's recent offer of a free subscription to Microsoft Office 365 with certain plans. If you're a small business or a sole trader, free software is not to be sniffed at, so it's worth checking out what's on offer in the business mobile sphere next time you need to buy a plan.

At the end of the day, unless you're a bargain hunter and like to shop for plans among the smaller providers, you've got nothing to lose by choosing a mobile business plan. They cost the same, offer the same benefits with a couple of perks and all you need to get one is provide your ABN.

On the other hand, if you're happy with the mobile plan you have now, get good support, are a sole trader and already have all the software you need, there's no great reason to switch either.

About the author:

Jacqui Dent is associate editor at Whistleout.com.au and spends all day, every day, living and breathing phone and internet plans. So far she has suffered no adverse effects

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