Choosing a Business Phone Number? What You Need to Know

Corey McCraw is a staff writer covering VoIP and Unified Communications. Corey has over a decade of know in marketing, technical school write, and corporate communications and has even penned content for the former First Lady Michelle Obama ’ s Let ’ s Move enterprise. The procedure of how to get a business call number is reasonably straightforward. however, the cost varies, as do the types of numbers and services available, so it ’ south essential to understand the differences between the options. We explain the pros and cons of respective types of business earphone numbers so you can determine which type is right for your company, comparison providers, and choose the best choice to get a business earphone number for your organization .

Types of Business Phone Numbers

virtual earphone systems and voice-over-internet-protocol ( VoIP ) services often include a local anesthetic clientele phone number, although some give the choice of choosing a local anesthetic or toll-free number. You may need one company phone act shared between staff using extensions or individual phone numbers for each or some of your employees. If you already have a number, you may be wondering if you can port it into a new business telephone organization .
Below are some of the business phone number options available and the argue to choose each one :

type Reason to Use Pricing* Pros Cons
local Get a fresh business number quickly and connect with your local community using a conversant area code free or starting at $ 4.99 to $ 9.99 per month
  • Least expensive business phone number type
  • VoIP calling plans often include unlimited minutes for local numbers
  • Landline callers may incur fees when calling numbers outside their local area code
  • Unrecognized area codes on caller ID may have lower answer rates
toll-free Establish a national presence and give the impression of a larger business with a toll-free business call number $ 0.99 to $ 15.99 per calendar month
  • Customers across the U.S. can call your business for free
  • A toll-free number is versatile, serving as a main business number or hotline
  • Toll-free minutes are metered and cost more per minute than a local number
  • International callers may not be able to use your toll-free number
dressing table Improve brand recognition by using memorable conceit numbers in ads and marketing materials $ 4.99 to more than $ 50 per calendar month
  • Can be a toll-free or local number, depending on your provider
  • Can be used as a marketing tool
  • May take up to 10 days to set up a custom number
  • Some providers charge activation fees for vanity numbers
International support customers in international locations and build your business in global markets $ 4.99 to $ 15.99 per calendar month
  • It could be cheaper for customers to call an international number versus a U.S.-based one
  • Doesn’t require a physical presence in that region
  • You may incur per-minute rates for international numbers
  • Not all VoIP providers offer international phone numbers

*Pricing varies by provider. The monetary value per number may decrease when purchasing more than one number at once and providers may charge activation fees for extra numbers .

Local Numbers

A local business earphone number includes an area code, call prefix, and a cable number. Companies can get a local commercial enterprise earphone number from the local anesthetic call company or through a VoIP or virtual phone number supplier .
When purchasing telephone service, the seller may offer a excerpt of earphone numbers based on the clientele ’ address, but you can besides request a different area code. For case, businesses in belittled or rural areas may prefer an area code used in a nearby larger city. local customers will recognize the area code and believe you ’ re calling from a location near them .

Toll-free Numbers

toll-free numbers, besides normally called 800 numbers, knead well for modest businesses that want to foster a national mark presence. They besides work well for companies with a customer avail focus on and those wanting to offer a toll-free hotline for sales or patronize .
You can make call calls using your toll-free business earphone count and receive calls on your clientele call, personal cell phone, web-based interface, or another device. Customers within the United States can call an 800 number for complimentary. however, international callers may pay more to call an 800 phone number than other types .
Although a toll-free total is most normally understand to be an 800 number, it besides includes other prefixes, such as :

  • 888
  • 877
  • 866
  • 855
  • 844
  • 833

presently, the north american Numbering Plan ( NANP ) has early toll-free call number prefixes reserved but not open for function so far. These include 822, 880, 887, and 899 .
Unlike with a local anesthetic phone total, a VoIP supplier charges per-minute ( metered ) fees for inbound calls to a toll-free numeral. Some services, such as RingCentral and Nextiva, include toll-free minutes with subscriptions, but calls are placid metered and not inexhaustible. Learn more by exploring our guide on how to get an 800 count for your company .

Vanity Numbers

Vanity call numbers are customizable business telephone numbers and can be local or toll-free. You choose the digits of the number to spell out a parole or just create an easy-to-remember combination. Examples of amour propre numbers include 1-800-FLOWERS and 309-GET-RUGS .
amour propre numbers can be impactful in helping to reinforce your mark or occupation type. Since they are generally more memorable, they besides make it more probable person will remember and call your business when looking for the types of products or services it sells .
You may have one independent conceit telephone number that people dial to reach your business. then your auto-attendant forwards calls to local numbers or to the extensions of diverse staff or departments .
Providers like Grasshopper offer subscriptions with multiple phone numbers, and you can choose between amour propre and standard local numbers. Others only provide conceit phone numbers as an addition in summation to your business telephone organization .

International Numbers

If you want to establish a local presence in a alien area, geography-specific conduct inward dial ( DID ) numbers are a thoroughly choice. In this case, you don ’ t need a physical agency or employee in the region. When a customer calls your line, your supplier routes the call to your domestic call number and earphone extensions, which you can pick up on your mobile or function phone .
Some VoIP vendors, such as 8×8, besides provide toll-free external numbers for certain regions. But 8×8 says that “ sealed countries require you to have a local business address and/or a Letter of Intent that indicates your line of clientele and how you intend to use the count. ”

Types of Business Phone Number Providers

Since a free occupation number typically comes with paid and free VoIP earphone organization subscriptions, many people go this route and use the supplier ’ randomness options to choose a number. however, if you want to buy a commercial enterprise total to transfer to your existing telephone service, you can besides purchase these for a erstwhile fee .
here are the different supplier options to consider :

  • VoIP providers: Cloud-based phone services like 8×8 and RingCentral transmit calls over the internet and can replace your current system. The best VoIP phone systems tend to have far more features and flexibility than other business communications options, allowing you to use the phone service for customer service centers or collaboration with co-workers. VoIP services often support use on personal devices as well as existing desk phones, softphones, and other common business telephony hardware.
  • Virtual number providers: A virtual number service is similar to VoIP, as it uses the internet to send and receive calls and comes with a phone number. However, a virtual service can only forward calls to an existing phone line (usually a cell phone, but in some cases, a landline). Grasshopper and Google Voice offer virtual phone numbers for small teams and rank among the best virtual phone number providers.
  • Free business phone numbers: Services like Google Voice and Skype provide a free business number for solopreneurs. These platforms lack advanced VoIP features such as a virtual receptionist and skills-based call routing, but they’re an excellent alternative for entrepreneurs who just need a second phone number for their business.
  • Standalone business numbers: Several providers sell toll-free and vanity phone numbers online for a one-time fee. You can forward the number to your cell phone or port it into your phone system, but it’s a good idea to check with your carrier first to ensure that the selected number is portable.
  • Business phone number apps: Phone number apps like FreedomPop use cellular data, whereas Callcentric relies on the internet to make and receive calls. You can forward calls to mobile devices and access features through the app. If you’re looking for low-cost or free phone numbers, check out our picks for the best free business phone number apps.

How to Get a Business Phone Number

If you already know what character of number you need and have a provider type or specific service in mind, forefront straight to the seller ’ s web site. Need avail choosing between business telephone number providers ? Take this quiz to learn which type is best for small business owners :

Answer a few questions about your business, and we ‘ll give you a personalize product equal .

Question 1

Do you need a new business phone service?

question 1 of 4

    1 minute approx


    Question 2

    What is your monthly budget for a phone system?

    question 2 of 4

      1 minute approx
      $ – simpleton and circumscribed features

      $ $ – Intermediate-level features

      $ $ $ – Advanced features and capabilities

      Question 3

      Is advanced functionality like visual voicemail and video conferencing important to you?

      question 3 of 4

        1 minute approx


        Question 4

        Do you have access to a fast, reliable internet connection?

        interview 4 of 4

          1 minute approx


          alternatively, if you want a business earphone issue but aren ’ metric ton certain where to start, take the follow steps :

          1. Decide What Type of Number Your Business Needs

          While businesses frequently start with a local telephone number, a toll-free number is better for brands wanting a national presence. Some VoIP providers let you create memorable dressing table call numbers using local or toll-free prefixes. Or if you have customers worldwide, you may want local numbers in other countries .
          Most VoIP providers include a spare business call number with pay subscriptions and steer you through the serve of how to get a business earphone issue using pop fly and on-screen instructions. however, some only include local numbers, whereas others let you choose between local anesthetic, toll-free, and conceit numbers .
          additionally, not all vendors supply external numbers. Those that do often require you to pick a local or toll-free number as your primary number, and then you can add an international phone count after signing up .
          For example, Nextiva subscriptions include one local earphone number with inexhaustible minutes and a toll-free number with 1,500 to 12,500 minutes, depending on your package. But Nextiva doesn ’ metric ton offer external call numbers. On the other hand, Dialpad comes with a dislodge local anesthetic number and you can add toll-free numbers after setting up your subscription. If you sign up for 8×8 or RingCentral, you can choose an external number as an addition .

          2. Select a Provider

          When choosing a provider, the type of phone features included, business earphone act types, and price can vary widely, so it ’ sulfur crucial to understand your budget and needs before picking a call provider. additionally, although most VoIP plans include a local telephone number, early numbers cost extra .
          Unless you purchase through a third-party standalone number supplier, your business ’ phone system will normally be your means of obtaining a occupation call number. Which business telephone system to choose depends on your size of business, the volume of inbound and outbound calls, and the types of commercial enterprise call numbers you want .
          Virtual earphone number providers like Grasshopper and Google Voice offer a virtual business phone number and forward calls to an existing call line. It keeps personal calls separate so far doesn ’ metric ton require another device, and normally comes with basic features like voice mail and do not disturb ( DND ). You can make personal and business calls from your mobile call. virtual business earphone numbers may besides work on a desk earphone, laptop, or desktop computer .
          In comparison, a business VoIP phone serve supplier can replace your current phone organization and provide one or more commercial enterprise call numbers. Like virtual phone act providers, you can besides receive and place calls from your personal cell earphone, desk telephone, or computer. VoIP systems often have many more features, such as an auto-attendant to route incoming calls to employee call numbers or extensions, on-hold music, ring groups, and call queues .
          If you plan on buying multiple numbers, make certain you check out each provider ’ s fee tilt and see how much extra earphone numbers cost per calendar month. For exemplify, RingCentral charges $ 4.99 for extra toll-free, conceit, or local phone numbers, whereas Ooma charges $ 9.99 a calendar month for each extra local or toll-free number. Over fourth dimension, these costs can very add up .

          3. Sign Up for a Business Phone Service

          If you ’ ra buy a standalone call number without VoIP services or want an international issue, you can skip this footstep and move to the future footstep. otherwise, you ’ ll pick your new number as part of the sign-up process for a commercial enterprise telephone system .
          Some vendors, such as Grasshopper, ask you to choose a call number first earlier picking a plan. You may besides have the choice to start a barren trial. In this case, you can sign up for the absolve test and choose your number at the same time. But keep in mind that if you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate continue your subscription after the test ends, you will lose your clientele telephone issue .
          Others, including RingCentral and 8×8, require you to select a design and enter your contact details before choosing a number. Choose the subscription plan that has the features your business needs and sign up. Once you do, your new business phone phone number is typically cook to use. A amour propre or toll-free number may take extra time to set up, but the provider will normally give you a irregular count to use until the newfangled number is processed .

          4. Choose One or More Business Phone Numbers

          A standalone number supplier will let you pick one or more earphone numbers using a count picker tool. You can add these numbers to your handcart and follow the ship’s company ’ s checkout process .
          however, suppose you want an international number along with a VoIP subscription. In that character, you must pay for your subscription and get a local or toll-free number beginning, then log into your service using the administrator portal. The portal site shows a list of your current phone numbers, and you can click the appropriate menu box to add a new one .
          If your service offers international numbers, you can search for your coveted area and view a list of available numbers. once you select a number, you can assign it an extension or decide where to forward it. Some providers require a erstwhile fee for extra commercial enterprise numbers, and this may go on your approaching bill or be required at the time of leverage .
          alternatively, some VoIP providers besides have number pluck tools. This can make it easier to choose a business earphone act that is easily to remember or to find available vanity numbers .

          Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

          Can I keep my landline phone number & use it with a VoIP service?

          Yes. If you want to keep your land line phone phone number but take advantage of VoIP features, such as voicemail-to-email and call read, you can port your current occupation earphone act to your raw supplier. The process varies by service, but, typically, you must complete a imprint and ask your VoIP supplier to port your number. In the meanwhile, you should keep your land line service active until your fresh VoIP provider says the summons is arrant.

          How can I get a free business phone number?

          The best way to get a exempt clientele phone number is through Google Voice. All you need is a Google history to sign up. Once you sign in to your score, you can request a Google Voice number and agree to the terms of service. Google provides a list of telephone numbers to choose from. For more information, check out our bit-by-bit guide to getting a Google Voice numeral .

          Do business phone systems work on a cell phone?

          Yes. You can forward calls to a mobile device by configuring call route rules and installing the supplier ’ south mobile app. Some paid services besides offer a follow-me feature, which can ring respective devices in a designate order. today ’ second leading VoIP and unified communications services are designed with distribute teams in mind and support a BYOD ( bring your own device ) work force .

          Bottom Line

          A business earphone number makes it easy for prospects and customers to reach your business, and makes your caller look more professional and legitimate. many providers offer several number types and subscriptions for different budgets. If you want a basic, bum moment call number to separate business and personal calls, consider Google Voice. On the other bridge player, check out RingCentral if you need a full-featured VoIP system for unlimited occupation calls .

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