Billing Overview

How to successfully integrate Stripe Billing into your business, to enable invoicing and collection for subscription-based and other recurring charges.

This guide covers the following phases for integrating Stripe Billing:

  1. Scoping (1 week)
  2. Integration (3–4 weeks or more)
  3. Testing (1 week)
  4. Training (1 week)


Stripe has seen subscription businesses get up and running in as little as a few days. The longer timeline estimates above are for existing subscription businesses that have more complexity, given their known use cases. With this in mind, we estimate a total integration to take around 4–6 weeks, depending on how consistently your engineering team is working on the integration.

You might find these additional resources useful as you integrate Stripe Billing:

Stripe Billing nomenclature

A “customer” refers to a Customer object in Stripe: an object that’s useful for storing card details for later use.

A “product” represents the service you intend to offer to your customers. There are two kinds of products: goods and services. Goods are intended for use with Stripe Checkout and the Orders API, while services are for subscriptions.

A “plan” refers to a recurring billing plan. A Plan object represents per-item cost, currency, and billing cycle. Every plan is attached to a product. For example, the “gold” plan might bill customers $20 per month.

A “subscription” refers to the relationship between a plan and a customer. For example, a customer has a subscription to the “gold” plan.

Subscriptions on Stripe are charged through “invoices”. Stripe generates an Invoice object that represents the amount the customer owes, and then attempts to charge the customer that amount. Note that this kind of invoice isn’t actually sent to the customer, but is instead paid automatically within Stripe. A successful payment of the invoice results in an active subscription. If desired, you have the option to trigger an email, to prompt customers for manual payment, when an invoice is created. For details, see Stripe’s Sending Invoices documentation.

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