Yes, you do need a license to use cPanel. cPanel and WHM servers require a paid license from cPanel, L.L.C., for each server you wish to run. The pricing details can be found on cPanel’s official website.
For new installations, cPanel also offers a free 15-day trial license during the initial configuration.
cPanel offers different types of licenses such as Cloud Licenses for VPS, and Metal Licenses for dedicated servers, where 100% of the hardware is allocated for the server operations.
In addition to official licenses from cPanel, there are also other providers like Tremhost which offer cPanel licenses at competitive prices, often bundled with additional features like automatic software installation, customer support, and add-ons like JetBackup and Auto Script Installer. Their licenses come with support for unlimited cPanel accounts, and they also offer free installation and setup.