We have just setup a new 365 environment and are moving data from existing file server shares to sharepoint / onedrive. We are a parent company that manages 5 subcompanies - with 5 to 10 users at each. On the previous server we had a data share, with folders for each company and appropriate security, and a shared folder for logos, graphics, and templates that were common across the group. Before we start moving data up to sharepoint I want to be sure what would be the best way to structure both from the users perspective and a management perspective. The choices I can see 1 - create separate sites for each company. 2 - Have the parent company and subsites 3 - Have the parent company and subfolders.

I was thinking of using onedrive for business to store graphics, logos and data that might be better outside of sharepoint - although I can see an overhead of maintenance if I want to give any specific permissions.

This is an opportunity to get things better organized, and I don't want to just dump the existing data into sharepoint, and I don't want to make things harder for staff.


Separate site versus subsite decision is really about permission management. By default subsites assume permissions from their parent site. So if you are likely to have some common permission settings (such as some group executives accessing all subsites) this is a better solution. Subsites also has number of added benefits such as visibility of site columns and inheritance of site design.

Actually reading your question once again, I think you wanted to ask whether to use separate site collections vs seperate sites. Otherwise, three different sites would already be under a common parent site in any case.

I'd recommend one site collection with subsites under root site for the reasons mentioned on the first paragraph.

  • Thanks - that makes sense and will suit us as the parent company staff will want full access so the management will be easier. Cheers.
    – Frank Clay
    Feb 19 '16 at 13:41

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