Should I import my contacts or companies first into HubSpot CRM?

HubSpot Product Team

I’m a Customer Experience Manager at HubSpot focused on the CRM tools. Over the past 8 months, I’ve delivered over 120 webinars to new users and customers of the HubSpot Sales products.


This one comes up often and it’s a very important question – after all, we want you to have a CRM of clean data and clarity during imports is key! Generally, the best practice is to import just your contacts into HubSpot. However, you should ask yourself the following questions first:


1. Does your sales team do account-based selling?
2. Do you prospect into companies instead of prospecting into specific people at those companies?
3. Do you only have company information when first determining who to reach out instead of contact information?
4. Do you have unique company data that you’ll wish to store in HubSpot?

OK, so if you’ve answered YES to any of the above, I’d recommend starting by importing a CSV list of companies. If not, let’s have you start by importing contacts. WHY?

For every contact (with an domain-based email address) that is added to CRM, HubSpot will automatically create a company for you and associate contacts to that company based on email domain. Let’s take an example:

1. I import a list of contacts and one of those contacts is John Smith from Coca Cola Company (email:
2. HubSpot will add the contact and create a company called Coca Cola automatically because the contact’s email domain is
3. Any other contacts that I may import or add later with a address will automatically be associated to the company called Coca Cola (no duplicates will be created) because of the domain:

NOTE: Make sure to head to Settings > Companies and turn on the “Automatically Create and Associate Contacts and Companies” before importing so that HubSpot auto-creates these companies for you upon import!


Post your comments and follow up questions below! Smiley Happy

4 Replies 4
HubSpot Product Team

Thanks for sharing @sjudson!


I'm cleaning up my CSV to prepare to upload my Contacts. What is the Status field for?  I've watched a bunch of tutorials and it is never mentioned?

HubSpot Product Team

Hi @BobM - Status usually refers to "Lead Status", which is a way to indicate where you are in the process of qualifying a lead (before they become an opportunity). Here is some documentation on Lead Status and how it differs from Lifecycle Stage:




What about when you have a mixture of both.


I have a list of company names I want to target without email addresses or domains (!) and some contacts with email addresses. Some of these will link up I understand but my problem is actually about categorising by status. (Is it recommended I go through and add domain names first?)


Then, assuming I will have to input a status on both companies and contacts to filter or report on in future on all e.g. "new" targets?


And which should I upload first?


Wish there was someone I could to talk to for advice on preparing data for upload!