Skip to content
Contacts

Associate records

Last updated: August 17, 2022

Applies to:

All products and plans

In HubSpot, there are standard CRM objects: contacts, companies, deals, and tickets. If your account has an Enterprise subscription, you can also create custom objects. To keep track of the relationships between these objects, you can associate their records together. Associations are always two-way (i.e., if record A is associated to record B, record B is also associated to record A) and can be viewed in each record in the right sidebar.

Examples of when you'd associate records include:

  • When making a sale, you communicate via email to three individuals at the same company. In HubSpot, you associate the deal to the three contact records and their company record.
  • When handling a customer complaint, you communicate via email to two individuals. These individuals are also in the middle of a sale with your company. In HubSpot, you can associate the ticket record to the two contact records and the deal record.
  • A contact is an advisor at one company and an employee at another company. In HubSpot, you can associate the contact with both companies. You can set the employer as their primary company, and if you're in a Professional or Enterprise account, you can label them as an advisor for the other company.

You can also associate the activities in a record's timeline to appear in another record. If the records are already associated together, some activities will automatically be associated to the associated records.

Please note: the number of associations per record depends on the object and your HubSpot subscription.


Add, edit, or remove associations on individual records

To manage a record's associations on your desktop:

  • Navigate to your records:
    • Contacts: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
    • Companies: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Companies.
    • Deals: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Sales > Deals.
    • Tickets: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Service > Tickets.
    • Custom objects: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > [Custom object]. If your account has more than one custom object, hover over Custom Objects, then select the custom object you want to view.
  • Click the name of the record for which you want to edit associations.
  • To add a new association, in the right panel, locate the relevant object section and click Add. For example, if you want to associate a deal with the record you're in, look for the Deals section and click Add. You can either create a new record to associate to the record, or associate an existing record to the record.

    • To create a new record to associate, on the Associate new tab, enter information in the fields, and click Create. You can click Create and add another to create and associate this record, and begin creating and associating another.

      associate-record-redesigned
    • To associate an existing record, click the Associate existing tab, search for the record you want to associate, and select the checkboxes next to the records in the search results. You'll also have recommendations based on common associations and properties like name, email address, and company domain.
associate-existing-records-redesigned
    • If you're associating multiple or any additional companies to a record, you can do one of the following:
      • To set the primary company, select Set as [record]'s primary company under the company you want to be primary. If you're associating a record's first company, it will be primary by default.
      • To replace the existing primary company with a company you're associating, select the Replace [company] as [record]'s current primary checkbox. The previous primary company will still be associated with the record, but will no longer be labeled as primary.

set-primary-company

    • If you want to label this association (Professional and Enterprise only), click Add association label. In the dropdown menu, select an appropriate label. If no existing labels accurately describe the relationship between the record and the company, click Manage association labels to create a new label.
    • Click Save.

Please note: by default, the first company you associate with a record is the primary company. The following scenarios apply to the primary company:

The default Primary label is only available for [Object] > Company relationships. For example, you can set a primary company on a contact record, but you can't set a primary contact on a company record. If you're in a Professional or Enterprise account, you can create a custom primary label for other object relationships.


  • To update an association, hover over the association card, then click More:
    • Set as primary (Companies only): for associated companies, select to make the company association primary. In the dialog box, select the checkbox and click Update. This primary association will be the associated company shown in the records index pages, and be referenced by lists, workflows, cross-object reports, and personalization tokens.
    • Remove as primary (Companies only): for associated companies, select to remove this company association as primary. In the dialog box, use the dropdown menu to select a new primary company, then click Update. The company will still be associated to the record, but will no longer be labeled as primary.
    • Edit association (Professional and Enterprise only): select to update the association label. In the dialog box, click the dropdown menu and select a new label or click x to remove a label. Click Update. You can also set association labels in bulk via import.
    • Remove association: select to remove the association. In the dialog box, click Remove association. If the association you’re removing is a primary company, use the dropdown menu to choose a new primary company.

manage-associations

You can also update record associations in the HubSpot mobile app.

Associate records in bulk

There are multiple ways to associate records in bulk:

View record associations on an index page

You can view associated records in bulk on each object's index page in the Associated [objects] columns. If a record has multiple associated companies, all companies are displayed in the Associated companies column of the record index pages. The primary company will also be displayed as the Primary company in the contacts index page.

  • Navigate to your records:
    • Contacts: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
    • Companies: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Companies.
    • Deals: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Sales > Deals.
    • Tickets: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Service > Tickets.
    • Custom objects: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > [Custom object]. If your account has more than one custom object, hover over Custom Objects, then select the custom object you want to view.
  • To view all records of a specific object associated with your records, navigate to the Associated [objects] column. To view your contacts' primary company association, on the contacts index page, navigate to the Primary company column. If you don’t see these columns:
    • Above the table, click Table actions, then select Edit columns
    • In the dialog box, on the left, select the checkbox next to Associated [objects]. If you're on the contacts index page, you can also select the checkbox next to Primary company.
    • Click Apply. Learn more about customizing the table.
  • In the columns:
    • Associated [objects]: click the [x] records link to view all the record’s associations for that object. In the pop-up box, click the name to view the record.
    • Primary company: on the contacts index page, click the name of the primary company to view the company record.

primary-and-associated-companies-columns

View a record's association history

You can view the history of a contact, company, ticket, and deal record's associations, including all associated records and engagements. You can also view when the records were originally associated and the source of the association.

  • Navigate to your records:
    • Contacts: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
    • Companies: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Companies.
    • Deals: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Sales > Deals.
    • Tickets: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Service > Tickets.
  • Click the name of a record.
  • In the left panel, click Actions, then select View association history.

view-association-history

  • In the Select an object dropdown menu, select an object or engagement to view which records or activities of that type have been associated with the record.
  • In the table, you can view the name of each associated record or activity, its Object ID, how it was updated (either Created or Removed), and the date and time of the update. You can also view the source of the update, which will be one of the following: 
    • User: the association was manually updated by a user. The source will include the user's name, or if unknown, the user ID.
    • Object deletion: the association was updated because the record or activity was deleted.
    • Object merge: the association was updated as a result of merged records.
    • Object restore: the association was updated as a result of a restored record.
    • Import: the association was updated via an import.
    • Auto association by domain: for contacts and companies, the association was updated automatically by HubSpot based on the company domain
    • API: the association was updated via API.
    • Job: the association was updated via internal automation.
    • Migration: the association was updated via a data migration.
    • Unknown: the source of the association could not be determined.

association-history-details

  • To copy a link to a record or engagement in the table, hover over the association, then click the duplicate copy icon.
  • To view the entire history of a specific association, hover over the record or engagement, then click View history. In the right panel, view the details of each update to the association with your record, sorted from most recent to oldest.
Was this article helpful?
This form is used for documentation feedback only. Learn how to get help with HubSpot.