Offtopic: N8N changed the licence

As of March 17th changed it’s licencing agreement. You are only able to use n8n
inhouse for your own good
hosted by a client (on their own server)
use n8n cloud and charge for consultancy fee

You can’t even host it if you are not asking money for it.
You can’t even connect a customer node to your own if there is a commercial relationship.


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Have not used the platform myself (just read the license file on GH), but a couple of things come to mind:

  • write polite message to the company explaining the situation you are in because of changed license agreement and ask for advice
  • you ask a client to buy the server in their name and you put the n8n platform on the server (since its on client´s server - one can say its in house from client´s perspective)

Anyway, just my humble opinion but I could be totally off here :slight_smile: .

Yeah, I was thinking of the same. We are not hosting n8n, but I know, that many Mautic users are. Just giving heads up - they have to change the business modell.

Thanks for flagging this up @joeyk I know a lot of folks in the community use it. Interesting that they went from Apache 2 with commons to their own license.

I found this blog post to be a bit clearer in explaining what it all means:

Also these FAQs:

The way it reads, you can distribute it free of charge to clients or have them commission n8n on their infrastructure (as was suggested above), and then charge consultancy fees to set it up and maintain/manage it, but you can’t charge them for example £x per month to have access to n8n. So, service agreement to support and maintain it sounds like it’s feasible?

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Thank you for your clarification @rcheesley .
Basically you can’t commercially host for third party, but you can host on the client’s servers.
You can’t make a saas product from it in any way (besides the workarounds mentioned above).
I think VC investors needs them to ramp up the cloud subscriber numbers :smiley:

Yeah, it should come with the caveat that I am no legal eagle, but that’s what I extrapolated from their blog / FAQ. Interesting to see how it shakes out!

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Very interesting, and thanks for sharing @joeyk - always got your finger on the pulse!

For clients who want the “done for me” approach, would this setup be allowed?

  • server set up in client’s name
  • n8n (and Mautic, etc) hosted there
  • totally managed by us

If so, which payment structures would be allowed? I’m assuming pricing based on volume of n8n usage is out.

You can charge for consultation, not hosting.
If your consultation fee is based on number of events, then why not.

Definitely a peculiar concept. It sounds more like an billing detail than actual business process…

Thanks for sharing Joey.