KICAD is free for everyone? Even including corporations?

In the past,I often used Altium and cadence to design the sch and PCB,but those software must be paid.So i need to find free software to replace the Altium recently,is KICAD available?

i need a official answer,who can help me.thanks

Go to the KiCAD home page at

On the menu bar at the top of the page, click “ABOUT” > “LICENSES”. This will take you to

From there, you will need to consult a lawyer.


thanks for your help,
the content of LICENSES is so much, i can’t find what i want.
i just want to know,if this software is used by corporation,must it be paid ?it’s hard to consult a lawyer for me.

KiCad uses the AGPL-3.0 license. The software is free for anyone (including corporations) to use, with limitations. The license provides details on the limitations.

The basic one is this: If you modify the software and make that available to others (whether directly or via an interface), you must also provide them with the source code under the same conditions. If you feel like this might apply to you, you should consult with a lawyer as @dchisholm mentioned. If you are unsure, you can write the the Free Software Foundation at and they can help you further.

thank you for your information.

No company owns KiCad so there is no one to be paid, but as said, its license must be respected.
Regarding other companies using KiCad, you can follow this thread:

If one wants to pay for the software there is the option of donating to CERN to help with KiCad V6 development.

Donate to KiCad

I have been using KiCad at work in my professional capacity for three years. My boss would have bought whatever CAD tool I deemed necessary, but I felt comfortable choosing KiCad. While there are features present in expensive CAD tools that KiCad doesn’t have yet, KiCad was above the viability threshold in the 4.x version series, and it has only gotten better in the 5.x series. In retrospect, I feel like I made the right choice when I committed to using KiCad both for my hobby use and in my day job. Consider KiCad and all of its alternatives carefully when you make your own decision, but I would say that it is definitely worth considering for professional use. I probably would pick an expensive CAD tool if I was designing something like a modern smartphone or a modern desktop computer motherboard right now, but KiCad is just fine for the sorts of products I design in my current day job. And as KiCad continues to improve, it is only a matter of time before I would pick KiCad even for projects of high complexity.

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I have my own business, and I was previously using a commercial software. As many other software editors, they have changed their licensing some time ago, so you pay a few 10s of dollars every month depending on the version. The result is that over time you end up paying 1000s of dollars. That’s for the financial point of view.

Now for the daily use, there is of course a learning curve. It depends whether you can invest some time, working 100% of your time with it, or if you have other tasks. But it’s quite fast to learn, I think. Beside this, the technical support is even better than in commercial software. Concerning the expensive software I was using, there is no support whatsoever. You write, they don’t bother replying. And that’s precisely because they didn’t reply to my last mails that I decided to switch. With Kicad, if you ask one question on this site, you have a reply within a few hours when not within minutes.
Beside this, I like the way it works. With the CAD I was using previously, I had to draw the same pattern over and over again. I made maybe 50 MSOP8 circuits. With Kicad, you don’t. You draw the logical part (the symbol), and you use existing footprints, which is a great time saver. In some rare case, the footprint doesn’t exist. Usually it does. I made a few footprints before I noticed that they were already existing. Filtering by pin count would be a plus.

By the way, I got my first panel of boards manufactured, and there is absolutely no difference, the board will look exactly as they looked with your previous software. The panelization is easier I think. In my previous CAD software, I had to open individual file, copy the whole circuit, close it, open the panel, paste, move. In Kicad, it’s just a matter of adding a board, you don’t have to constantly open and close files. and to generate Gerber files, you don’t have to load a cam processor or whatever, you just have to select “plot” and Kicad files everything in a folder for you instead of having files everywhere. The only possible improvement here would be that the folder name fits the project name by default.

To summarize, my overall quotation on a 5 points scale would be close to 5. I would say that the soft quality is excellent and the support outstanding. There are of course minor issues to be solved, I also suppose that any engineer would have a different wish list, but it’s perfectly usable for professional work. I also know a few companies here in Japan who use it.

That’s it!



Monthly plants are for blood sucker animals…

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