Why you should not whitelabel ERPNext

Customers will ultimately find out!

Something we got on our email today:

My other post on the topic:



How about an official white label program from the foundation? We can decide the co-branding parameters that are required and the value that the white labeler needs to bring to the table.

Shoot this down mercilessly in case you guys think its a rotten idea.



Congratulations sir!

It feels like OEM. I dont think this will work.

ERPNext is an opensource product. Even ERPNext Foundation is not selling it as a service.
White label program will eventually flood with the same sort of emails mentioned in thread by @rmehta.

I tend to agree with Nick. In my mind, the value that consultants and developers add is through customization, and to a lesser extent, maintenance. The ERPNext team has led by example in this respect. I think that if somebody wants to white label open source solutions they probably don’t understand (and thus probably aren’t communicating) the added value of open source to the customer. As a consultant, it’s tempting to try to get a client committed to a solution only you can provide, but I don’t think that’s really an ethical way to do business. That’s something customers figure out pretty quickly, even if they’re not very tech savvy.

If somebody thinks that they’ve made substantial enough changes to call it a fork, maybe that’s different.


To me white labeling doesn’t matter. With an open source project you cant charge licensing fess only added services. To me I think it comes from people that want to have there own saas version of the software and they want to have there own branding.

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Though my ego would like something such as “myproductname” powered by ERPNext. I think it is much more business savvy to be connected to a global brand that people know and trust rather than rebranding it something nobody has even heard of. It offers more credibility to your offering. The guys are excellent at promoting partners even though they could easily take on the work themselves. If customers can see the value in what you are doing they will come to you regardless of what other partners are doing. Most of my leads have come from people specifically looking for an ERPNext partner.

Also, opensource software such as WordPress which are huge have never been rebranded and people are making a lot of money from them


One cannot stop whitelabel of open source program. However one could encourage people openly white label. And guide them through it. That’s the spirit what Linux adopted. Not shaming people when they repurpose software. I feel there is plenty of shaming going on specially about proprietary software and integrations. Not exactly an open spirit. I fully believe people will share thier code. Atleast a majority of them.

@JayRam thanks for openly discussing. Very brave step and post.

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@Deepak_Pai we are in very different position than Linux. What you get are “distributions” of Linux. The Linux Kernel is still Linux. Also Linux is a package of thousands of other libraries.

Actually Linus was very apprehensive about white-labeling but ultimately he realised that the team that runs fastest wins. Yes we cannot stop white labeling but I strongly feel that we should actively discourage people who don’t contribute back.

I know it feels bad and some people will walk away, but its short term pain for long term gain. I believe a strong culture will stand us apart in the long run and I prefer we remain opinionated on this. At least we plan to be consistent about it. People are always welcome to fork and start their own communities if they don’t agree.


Hahaha. We openly say ERPNext is open source to all our clients. And we charge for our time, efforts, knowledge and training. Some think of us as lunatic to say it out. Actually customers are very appreciative of this transparency and trust is quickly built. Definitely that trust needs to be enhanced upon by delivering service of top quality.

We have seen many open source software white labeled and pushed as properioty product like Chromis in restaurant point of sale. But truth always prevail.