How to Get Started with HubSpot Business Units [With Checklist Template]

Patrick Dodge


Are you wondering how you could grow multiple brands inside one HubSpot portal? Business Units might be the answer you are looking for.

HubSpot Business Units is a powerful tool for companies with a diverse portfolio of brands and a desire to mange their growth without investing in separate portals. 

Getting started is not hard if you do it right.

Success comes down to understanding the capabilities and limitations of the tools, organizing user permissions and assets, and documenting everything.

Let’s start by reviewing what Business Units is and how it works.

What Are HubSpot Business Units? 

Companies that subscribe to Marketing Hub Enterprise can add HubSpot business units to their subscription, enabling them to add and manage multiple brands with separate domains, audiences, and teams to a single HubSpot instance. 

With all brands under one “roof,” your teams can manage each brand using the same tools without jumping from one portal to another. This approach also eliminates the need to buy a separate HubSpot Marketing Hub subscription for each brand, which gets expensive.

How Do HubSpot Business Units Work?

Business units is a good fit for companies with two more or more distinct brands they want to manage within the HubSpot ecosystem. 

The key word is “distinct.”

If you have multiple website domains that share the same audience and CRM and want to use those subdomains to expand your reach, you can add domains to your subscription.

Business units, on the other hand, allows you to manage multiple brands and partition them off from one another – separate teams, CRM objects, marketing assets, and email subscriptions.

Don't miss critical steps in your HubSpot Business Units implementation. Use  our checklist. >>

How Hard is It to Implement HubSpot Business Units?

Keep in mind you will need a subscription to Marketing Hub Enterprise to add business units. You will also pay for each business unit you include in your plan.

An enterprise subscription will give you the most comprehensive marketing tools HubSpot offers, which is exciting but it can also increase the complexity of your HubSpot instance.  

The difficulty of the work ahead will depend on whether your portal is brand new with all brands onboarding at once or if you are adding business units to a portal that has existed for some time.

In the latter case, you will dedicate time to identifying and labeling existing assets that need separating from those created for the “new” brands.

In either case, planning your implementation before getting started is important. Neglecting to plan can result in confusion, or worse, sending brand communications to the wrong audience.

This is every marketer’s worst nightmare, so let’s take a minute to map things out. Agreed? Shake on it.

Document Your Assets in HubSpot

First, you need to organize and document a checklist that shows how your implementation should look once it’s complete. Start with an audit of your existing portal if you have one. 

Here is a list of assets you can define and associate with business units:

Brand domains – what are they and which units will they belong to?

Campaigns - existing campaigns will be assigned to your account’s default or “parent” business unit. You can assign any new campaigns to the appropriate business unit. Once a campaign is created, you cannot change the business unit designation.

Cookie policy – you can create separate cookie policies for each brand domain and even use custom styling on the cookie consent banners.

Custom properties - when you create a custom property it will be available for all business units, but you can associate them with a business unit. If you want to limit the visibility of certain properties you can do so by enabling properties to appear only when there is a defined value.

Forms - can be linked to a business unit. Once assigned they cannot be changed. Like campaigns, any existing forms will pair with your account’s default business unit. 

Marketing Emails – are assigned a business unit when they are created, and you can filter them for viewing and exporting analytics.

Pages and Blog Articles - are assigned a business unit when they are created, however, you can switch which unit it is assigned to by changing the domain in settings.

Subscription Types – you can set up separate subscription types and allow people to cancel one while staying subscribed to others. Certain subscriptions cannot be linked to business units though, like one-to-one and transactional emails.

Not every tool in HubSpot requires a business unit designation. Lists and workflows are two examples where you can create a new asset and not have to choose which business unit it applies to. 

This is where the potential for confusion and mistakes get real, and the only way to solve it is with a naming convention.

Related Topic: What Does HubSpot Business Units Cost?

Create a Naming Convention & Ensure Everyone Sticks to It

The simplest way to prevent errors when various teams create and manage HubSpot assets is by ensuring they understand and comply with a standardized naming convention. 

For example, one business unit might be Boston Medical Equipment and another might be Founders Diagnostic Labs. If users append every asset title with BME for the Boston brand and FDL for the Founders one, users will instantly know whether the 

Plan Your Roles & Teams

One of the many perks of Enterprise Hub is the ability to create team hierarchies and define roles. 

When setting up teams, you can create parent/child relationships that define the hierarchy of permissions. Parent teams can view anything managed by child teams, but not vice versa. Users can also belong to more than one team, but they will be primary members of one team only.

As you plan team assignments, it’s useful to document:

  • Everyone who will use HubSpot, along with their department and role
  • Tools they need access to 
  • Information they need access to (it’s better to grant access incrementally rather than giving full access and then taking parts away)
  • Processes each user is involved in, like qualifying leads or working on service requests


When organizing teams, think about processes and responsibilities shared by users instead of lumping people together by department. 

Consider areas of HubSpot where the user will need access, along with the level of access they need (like viewing and editing). If the same needs apply to more than one user, creating a team makes sense.  

Tip: Maintain a master document to keep an active record of the roles in HubSpot Business Units, as well as the hierarchy of teams. It’s easier to review and make adjustments when everything is properly documented.

Giving Super Admin access to users gives them full access and abilities within HubSpot. Give this level of access to as few users as possible. Just because someone is in a leadership role does not mean they should have Super Admin access. 

Only users who truly need this level and understand the capabilities, responsibilities, and consequences associated with it should be Super Admins.

HubSpot Business Units is a great option for organizations that are expanding their family of brands and don’t want to toggle between separate portals to work on them. It can also help you save money, depending on the number of brands you add and the size of their contact databases. 

This setup can also turn into a giant mess if you aren’t careful. The key is to document, document, and document again. Get the entire plan written on a living document and create a HubSpot User Protocol Guide that all users must abide by.  

Like any collaboration toolset, HubSpot is amazing when it’s used correctly. When people stray from the playbook and do things their own way, you will run into problems.

Good luck, and Happy Implementing!

HubSpot Business Units Checklist

Mar 11, 2024 3:18:10 PM