Future subscription with unknown start date


After I signup a customer, there is a variable (but finite) period of time during which a number of setup operations occur. This period is limited to 2 months. 

This variable period of time is not a trial, but really a setup time during which the system is not 100% usable. During this period, the customer will be asked to provide payment information to be used on activation. 

When the setup completes, the subscription is activated and the first payment is processed.

Is this flow supported?

Can the payment information be obtained upon creation of the future subscription?

Can the start date be changed to current time, causing order creation, payment to be processed, billing?


Hi Jacques,

Yes, this flow is supported in Chargebee. 

You can create a plan for the service you offer and every plan will have its own hosted page URL. You can pass the subscription [start_date] parameter to the plan specific hosted page URL so that the subscription does not start immediately after the customer checks out. This parameter subscription [start_date] is passed if you want to start the subscription at a future date instead of starting it immediately.

Here's the sample URL: 


The date should be given in the Unix Timestamp format.


Here's a sample URL for one of your plans:


Once the subscription is created, it will go into "Future" status. 

As you aren't very sure of when the setup process will be complete, you have an option to push the subscription's start date further to a future date using Change Start Date option by going to Subscriptions > Change Start Date.

When your setup process is complete and you are ready to activate the subscription, you could Change Start Date and by clicking "Now" in the calendar option, the subscription will move to activated state and invoice will be generated.


Hope this helps! 


Just want to follow up or confirm...

Want to be able to set up a subscription, take client credit card details but be able to manually enter the start date later on.. i.e we put that in later once we know the date that it will start.

Will it be possible?

Best Regards,


Hey John,

Since subscription would become activated immediately if the Subscription start date is not given, you would have to set the subscription in a future date so that the subscription becomes active only in the future.

Once you know when the subscription should start, you can use the Change Start Date option on the specific Subscription's details page and change the start date.

Hope this clarifies. 

1 person likes this

Could you set the subscription with an unknown start date - say 30 days.

And then once payment has been received during said 30 days - could CB auto-activate the subscription and start date passed on when moneys received?

Hi Mark,

Greetings from Chargebee Solutions team.

I can understand that you are looking forward to setup a subscription with an unknown start date. Based on your requirements we feel that Quotes function is more suitable to you.

Here, You can set an expiry date to the quote  and auto-activate the subscription when your customer makes payment via the quotation link that is sent through email.

The following steps will help you configure this,

  1. Create a Customer
  2. Click on Create Quote
  3. Create a quote For a new subscription
  4. Fill in the fields for Create quote for new subscription
  5. Mention a tentative Expiry date as stated say 30 days
  6. Click Create New Subscription Quote
  7. From the Quotes tab you can email the customer the quotation link
  8. You can  include the “{{quote.accept_quote_link}}” where your customer can accept the quote by completing the checkout. Click Here to know more.
  9. Click Send Email

Your customer now receives an email with a copy of the quote, and a link to complete the checkout (accept the quote) where they will be charged for the specified amount and the subscription gets activated.

Hope this helps!


Kirthiga A

Chargebee Solutions Team

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