Many companies planning to start using GitLab are not sure whether to go for the free Community Edition (CE) or for the paid Enterprise Edition (EE). Some decide to start with CE and consider switching to EE later, if they feel that they need more functionality and/or that they want GitLab’s support.
Now what version to install?
If we decide on using the free edition, then naturally GitLab CE? Our recommendation is no, install GitLab EE.
Anyway until you buy and upload a license, your installation will function as CE and paid features will be hidden.
But the advantage is that once you decide to move to the paid option (or even if you decide to take a trial version of GitLab Enterprise) you will not need to reinstall GitLab. You will just upload your license, and the previously hidden options will start working.