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What’s this about?

GitHub wants to help developers choose an open source license for their source code.

If you already know what you’re doing and have a license you prefer to use, that’s great! We’re not here to change your mind. But if you are bewildered by the large number of choices, maybe we can help.

Not comprehensive

This site is not a comprehensive directory of open source licenses. The vast majority of projects will likely be well served by one of the three options highlighted on the homepage — choosing the license preferred by projects similar to yours, or the most popular permissive license (MIT), or the most popular copyleft license (GNU GPLv3). Just in case you have specific needs not covered by these, we also highlight a few other licenses to consider and have a page about licenses for non-software projects.

See our appendix for a table of every license cataloged in the choosealicense.com repository and the links below for even more licenses that you do not need to learn about to still choose a great license for your project.

Additional resources

Help us improve it

Choosealicense.com isn’t just about open source; the site itself is open source as well. See something you think could be done better? Feel free to fork the project on GitHub and submit a pull request. We welcome your improvements.


We are not lawyers. Well, most of us anyway. It is not the goal of this site to provide legal advice. The goal of this site is to provide a starting point to help you make an informed choice by providing information on popular open source licenses in a simplified fashion. If you have any questions regarding the best license for your code or any other legal issues relating to it, it’s your responsibility to do further research or consult with a professional.