Novel boron(III) subphthalocyanines (SubPcs) soluble in organic solvents containing a variety of donor and acceptor substituent groups have been synthesized by boron trihalide-induced cyclotrimerization of adequately substituted derivatives of phthalonitrile in 1-chloronaphthalene. The choice of the substituents on the 1,2-dicyanobenzene derivatives has been made taking into account the high reactivity of the Lewis acid BCl3 toward many functional groups. Considering this limitation, we set out to synthesize phthalodinitriles equipped with iodo, nitro, alkyl- or arylthio, alkyl- or arylsulfonyl groups that are sufficiently stable under the required reaction conditions and also provide an easily accessible set of acceptor/donor substituents. The quadratic and cubic hyperpolarizabilities of these compounds as well as their linear optical and electrochemical properties have been measured by several techniques, including EFISH (at two wavelengths), HRS, and THG, steadystate and time-resolved absorption and fluorescence, laser-induced optoacoustic calorimetry, time-resolved near-infrared emission spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. β(HRS) has been measured at 1.46 μm, where the contamination from the multiphoton-induced fluorescence can be ruled out. β(HRS) reachs high values that markedly depend on substitution. It shows a clear enhancement with the acceptor character of the substituents, the highest values being obtained for the compounds bearing the strongest acceptor groups. They are comparable or even superior to many efficient second-order compounds. A main outcome of these results is that an adequate choice of the substituents offers a promising route for optimization of the quadratic response of the SubPcs. This kind of compounds is less prone to aggregation than their expanded analogues, the phthalocyanines, fluoresces with quantum yields ca. 0.25, lower than those typical for phthalocyanines, and has larger triplet quantum yields. The triplet-state lifetime is in the 100-μs time range, long enough for efficient oxygen quenching. Indeed, subphthalocyanines sensitize singlet molecular oxygen, O2(1Δ(g)), with quantum yields ranging from 0.23 to 0.75. The ground-state oxidation potentials are similar to those of phthalocyanines, while the reduction potentials are clearly more negative; i.e., they are more difficult to reduce. In contrast, electronically excited subphthalocyanines are more easily oxidized than the corresponding phthalocyanines by ca. 500 mV which results in lower photostability, especially in polar solvents.