Last Updated: May 20, 2024, 1:55 pm by TRUiC Team

How to Get a Business Phone Number

Getting a business phone number is critical. If done correctly, it can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate. 

A business phone service can also ensure that you do not run into any complications down the line as a result of being unable to answer more than one call simultaneously.

This guide goes over the benefits of getting a professional phone number for your business, the types of business numbers that exist, and the differences between them.

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Do I Need a Business Phone Number?

Ultimately, whether you need a business phone number or not will depend on your business’s size. If you are just starting out with a relatively tight budget and have very few to no clients, you may be able to delay setting up a business phone line until you grow. 

If you can afford it, however, you should get a business phone number. Aside from separating your personal and business life, getting a professional phone number for your business is important because it can increase your external financing opportunities. 

Most “conventional” banks or lenders tend to inadvertently see businesses without a designated phone line as less: trustworthy, credible, and safe. 

This means that a business phone number works in a similar way to your business name, business website, or business structure, and consequently, you will need to follow the necessary steps so that your business seems holistically legitimate.

Benefits of Business Phone Numbers

Getting a professional business phone number can provide you with several benefits, such as:

  • Improved work-life balance
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased practicality
  • Improved credibility

Improved Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential from a productivity standpoint, as it can ensure that you and your employees do not experience “burnout.” 

It can also help you tackle chronic stress — one of the most common health issues that arise in the workplace. 

This means that you need to find the perfect “balance” between working hard and overworking at the cost of your own personal health. 

A professional phone number can help you with this in the following ways:

  • It keeps your personal phone number private
  • It allows you to distinguish between work and home-related calls

Depending on the specificities of your business, you can choose to “take” work calls on certain days (e.g., Monday through Friday) or only during certain times (e.g., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.). 

Any calls or messages that arrive after your designated business hours will be forwarded to a professional business voicemail (instead of your personal one).

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Having a designating business phone number can mean that your aspiring clients have easy access to your business. 

You want to avoid any situation where your customers cannot contact your business (e.g., if you lose your personal phone), as this can damage your brand’s credibility. 

When you obtain a business phone number, you are indirectly letting your customers know that you value their comfort and are actively taking steps to ensure that you can maintain an effective line of communication with them and tackle any problems or queries that they may have.

Increased Practicality

If you are not the only person answering your business’s phone calls, then obtaining a business phone number can be practically beneficial because it means that you will not need to give out more than one cell phone number — either on your advertisements or on your website. 

Your customers will have a business phone number that they can consistently rely on, and you will be able to easily configure your professional phone line so that it connects to several different phone devices if need be.

Improved Credibility

A business phone number ultimately improves your business’s credibility and makes you seem more trustworthy. 

This is done through the following ways:

  • Presumed national presence through a non-localized phone number
  • Improved brand image through a professional voicemail service
  • Improved brand image through consistent branding

All in all, your brand’s credibility is pivotal, especially if you are a small business owner selling the majority of your products or services remotely. Getting a professional business number is very easy and affordable, and it can go a long way in making you look like a legitimate business to potential customers.

Setting Up a Business Phone Number

The process of setting up a business phone number can vary depending on what you choose to do.

Generally, you can:

  • Add a business phone line to your cell phone through an app
  • Add a separate business line for you and your employees through a business phone service (e.g., RingCentral, Talkroute, Nextiva, etc.)
  • Purchase a separate cell phone and use a private line as a business phone number

Keep in mind that no matter what approach you choose to adopt, the benefits can vary significantly depending on the provider of your choice. 

You should consider your personal and business needs, as well as your budget, and determine what package deal is best suited for you.

Types of Business Phone Numbers

There are several different types of business phone numbers that you can choose from. The “best” one for you will depend on what you are trying to achieve, whether you are selling your products and/or services locally or nationally, and on your budget. 

Vanity Phone Numbers

Vanity numbers are phone numbers that contain certain phrases or words. These usually relate to:

  • Your business’s customers
  • Your business’s brand image
  • Your business name

For example, the vanity phone number of a flower shop may be “1-800-356-9377” (i.e., “1-800-FLOWERS”). There are several types of vanity phone numbers: toll-free, share use toll-free, and local vanity. 


Toll-free numbers are telephone numbers with distinct three-digit prefixes (800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833) that can be dialed at no cost to the caller. Instead, the owner of the toll-free number pays for the call. For small businesses, toll-free numbers ensure that customers can always reach out without worrying about fees, particularly for long-distance calls. 

When deciding whether to get a toll-free number for your small business, consider factors such as the expected call volume, the value of additional features offered by toll-free service providers, pricing, setup speed, unlimited calling options, and security measures. Toll-free numbers can be beneficial for businesses that heavily rely on phone communication and want to provide a seamless customer experience.

Share Use Toll-Free

Alternatively, you can get a share use toll-free number for your business. This will allow you to obtain some of the benefits of a vanity phone number (e.g., increased memorability, etc.) at a much more affordable price.

This is done by:

  • Choosing a number that makes sense for your specific business model
  • Choosing the geographic area that you would like to license exclusively: This could be a metro area, a part of a state, or even an entire state.
  • Promoting your new number on all of your advertisements, social media accounts, and website(s)

This way, more than one business can rely on the same memorable phone number. Any calls carried out within your exclusive geographic location will be routed directly to you. 

Local Vanity

Local vanity numbers can be desirable if you are exclusively operating in one state or location. This is because it can make your customers feel like your business is directly connected with their community, which can make you stand out from other nationwide competitors.

After you purchase a local vanity number, you can have it routed to a phone company of your choice.

Easy Dial Phone Numbers

If you do not want to rely on a word or phrase through a vanity business phone number — or cannot find an available one that is suitable to your business’s brand — there are a few other options that you can use to make your phone number memorable.

For example, you can choose a specific numerical pattern. This can be very appealing if you advertise your products through videos, TV advertising, or the radio — where verbal communication measures are used.

Easy dial phone numbers can be both local or toll-free. While these numbers are often affordable, pricing can depend on the rarity and demand of the numerical pattern in question. 

These may have repeating digits (e.g., 555-4444, etc.) or a certain series of numbers that is memorable (e.g., 555-4321).

Landline vs. VoIP Systems

There are two key phone systems used by businesses: VoIP and landline. Below we’ve outlined the details of each as well as the potential benefits for your small business.

VoIP Phone System

A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system handles all of your phone calls through your IP address rather than through a traditional phone line.

Simply put, this means that your business’s calls are made exclusively through the internet. 

This is usually much cheaper for businesses because a VoIP phone system allows them to avoid several of the more “conventional” business communications costs. Businesses are also not required to pay for multiple phone lines or for any expensive hardware. 

Other benefits of a VoIP system include:

  • Call forwarding to all of your devices: This is very convenient, especially because it allows you to receive calls on more than one device at once. You are also able to set rules that relate to when calls will be forwarded to your devices (e.g., during certain business hours).
  • Call recording on all inbound and outbound calls: This can be very helpful when settling customer disputes and can also be used to train new employees.
  • Phone extensions: These mean that your customers or employees will be able to use a single phone number to reach everyone within your business. At the same time, each person will be able to keep their direct line.
  • Internet faxing and voicemail services: This can be handy if you ever need to communicate with a government agency directly or if you find yourself in a legal dispute. Voicemails can be sent to your personal email in verbal or written form.

The only real downside of relying on a VoIP phone system is that your business will be less flexible. This is because it will solely rely on its internet connection in order to communicate with its clients.

For instance, if your internet connection goes down, you will be unable to send or receive emails and make or accept phone calls.

Landline Phone System

A landline phone system is the more “traditional” phone system that transmits calls through wires. This means that landline systems can be limited because they can only exist where the wires have been installed. What’s more, the value of the calls can consequently vary significantly depending on:

  • The weather
  • The distance of the calls
  • The phone provider in question

Plus, even though landlines have been in use for many years, their pricing plans are typically more expensive than their internet counterparts — especially if you need to add more special features specific to your business.

That all being said, landline connections provide more consistent, stable call quality compared to VoIP systems (even if the sound quality is not as good), as they are not dictated by the strength of your internet connection. For businesses with less reliable connections, landlines may prove superior.

How to Buy a Specific Phone Number for a Business 

If you’ve chosen to buy a custom phone number for your business, the next step is to secure it. Buying a specific phone number, also known as a vanity number, can be a great way to promote your business or brand.

To find an available vanity number, you can either open an account with a business phone service provider or ask your current provider for a list of available numbers. Vanity numbers can be rented or purchased, and purchasing is recommended if you plan to use the number long-term.

When choosing a custom phone number, consider the following:

  • Local or 800 number: A local number connects you to the community, while a toll-free number is better for expansion and provides safety features.
  • Easy to remember: Choose a number that is memorable to make it easier for customers to call you.
  • Represents your business: Incorporate a keyword related to your company, brand, or products/services.
  • Multiple numbers: Purchase more than one number to track which advertising channels generate the most sales leads, but maintain one main number for branding and SEO purposes.

More Business Phone Resources

The Best Advice to Follow When Placing a Business Phone Call?
How do I Get my Business Phone Number Listed on Google?
How to Add a Business Line to Your Cell Phone
How to Get a US Phone Number
What Is A Vanity Phone Number?
What Is VoIP?
Ring Central Review
Best Vanity Phone Number Provider 2024
Best VoIP Phone Service in 2024
Best Small Business Phone Systems in 2024
Google Voice for Business
Get a VOIP Number for Your Business Review
Ooma Phone Review

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a business phone service?

A business phone service provides business owners with several different features, such as:

  • Call queuing
  • Hold music
  • Call routing
  • Caller ID
  • Unlimited teleconference calls
  • Video conferencing
  • Integration with popular apps

Working with a business phone service provider can allow you to automate a very large part of your calls with your clients and improve your customer satisfaction.

What is the best business phone service for small businesses?

Determining what the best phone service is for your business depends on:

  • Your business’s industry and specificities
  • The needs of your business
  • The additional features and services that you may desire for your business

For a list of the best options, check out our Best Small Business Phone Services review.

How can I make my business seem credible?

There are several ways that you can make your business more credible. These include:

  • Choosing a marketing-friendly business name
  • Choosing a “trustworthy” business structure (e.g., LLC, corporation, etc.)
  • Getting a designated business address
  • Getting a business phone number or service
  • Opening a business bank account

To learn more about making your business credible, read our How to Make Your Business Legitimate guide.

Is my business considered ‘small’?

Generally, small businesses are defined based on two factors. These include:

  • The number of persons employed over the last 12 months
  • The average profits generated over the last 12 months

According to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) “size standards,” small businesses are defined differently based on their category. These categories include:

  • Agricultural production
  • Communications
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Wholesale

This means that whether your business is considered small or not will depend on its industry. For contextual purposes, a mining firm will stop being small when it has more than 500 employees. 

Alternatively, a business selling computer software under NAICS code 541511 (custom computer programming services) would need to have generated a profit that is less than $21 million over the last three years in order for it to be considered “small.” You can do a NAICS Code Lookup and find the NAICS Code for LLC that matches your industry.

Can I use a second cell phone as my business’s phone line?

Yes, but this is unlikely to be a good choice. Using a second cell phone is generally much more expensive than purchasing a designated phone line when considering the limited value that you get out of it. This is because you will need to purchase an additional phone and a presumably unlimited phone plan. 

Relying on a second cell phone can also be problematic if you are not the only person that your customers will be trying to contact in your business.

How do I forward a call with call forwarding? 

Call forwarding is a useful feature that allows you to send inbound calls to another phone number. You can forward all calls or only calls from certain numbers, which can be helpful if you're going to be away from your phone or want to send calls to a different number, such as your business number.

To set up call forwarding on your cell phone, you can use the following methods:

  • Direct dialing codes: Enter a code (e.g., *72 for unconditional call forwarding), followed by the 10-digit number you wish to forward your calls to, and then the pound symbol (#) if applicable.
  • iPhone: Go to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding, turn on Call Forwarding, and enter the forwarding number. You can also set up conditional call forwarding for unanswered calls or when your line is busy.
  • Android: Open the Phone app, tap the three dots > Call Settings > More > Additional Settings > Call Forwarding. Select "Enable" and enter the forwarding number. You can also set up conditional call forwarding for busy, unanswered, or unreachable situations.
  • RingCentral app: Open the app, tap the menu icon > Call Forwarding, toggle Call Forwarding on, and enter the forwarding number. To route calls to voicemail, go to Menu > Call Forwarding Settings under Advanced Settings & Controls, toggle Voicemail on, and tap Save Changes.

If you don't have your phone with you, you can still forward calls by visiting your phone carrier's website, logging into your account, and looking for the "call forwarding" or "forwarding calls" option. Enter the number you want your calls routed to and select "save." For toll-free number forwarding, log into your account, find the call forwarding option, enter the number you wish to transfer your toll-free number to, and you'll receive calls on this number until you stop forwarding.

If you experience any issues with call forwarding, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Check that call forwarding is turned on in your phone's settings
  • Restart your phone
  • Turn off call forwarding and then turn it back on
  • Contact your phone service provider for further assistance

Why aren’t my text messages sending? 

If you're having trouble sending or receiving text messages, it could be due to various factors. Common reasons include entering the wrong number, the recipient's phone being off or having a poor network connection, disabled SMS settings, enabled airplane mode, blocked numbers, messages flagged as spam, sending too many messages at once, the recipient opting out, illegal content, attempting to text a landline, carrier problems, or outdated phone software.

To troubleshoot these issues, verify the recipient's number, wait and resend later, check signal strength and network connectivity, enable SMS settings, disable airplane mode, unblock numbers if needed, avoid spam triggers like all caps, links, or lengthy messages, and consider using alternative messaging apps. If the problem persists, contact your carrier or ask the recipient to clear their text message app's cache or update their phone software.

Why are my calls failing? 

Calls can fail for various reasons, including weak cell phone signals, recipient's phone being turned off or out of service, carrier issues, blocked numbers, device or network connection problems, and high call volume. To troubleshoot a "Call Failed" error, try quick fixes such as getting to a stronger signal, calling at a different time, power cycling your phone, contacting your carrier, or reaching out to your phone's manufacturer.

If the problem persists, you can try more advanced fixes depending on your device (iOS or Android):

  • Restart your phone and ensure a good signal
  • Reset network settings to original carrier settings
  • Clear cache and data through the call settings app
  • Uninstall and reinstall apps that may be causing issues
  • Disable Bluetooth if using paired devices
  • Turn off Airplane Mode
  • Update your phone's software to fix bugs
  • Check if your number has been blocked by the recipient
  • Verify call forwarding settings
  • Reinsert the SIM card correctly
  • Factory reset your device as a last resort

What are 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, and 800 phone numbers? 

Toll-free numbers, such as those starting with 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, and 800, allow customers to call businesses without incurring phone charges. These numbers are convenient for customers and can be especially useful for businesses looking to expand to other cities or states. Toll-free numbers are universally recognized and provide important safety features, although local numbers may provide a stronger connection to the local community.

A vanity toll-free number is a memorable toll-free number that represents something about the business, its products, services, or value proposition. Examples include 1-800-XFINITY and 1-800-FLOWERS. The various toll-free prefixes were introduced over time to alleviate the shortage of available 800 numbers, with 800 being the most popular and well-recognized. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the assignment and use of toll-free numbers, which are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis through entities called "Responsible Organizations" or "RespOrgs."

How do I add a clickable call link to my website? 

​​Adding a clickable call link or tel link to your website is a simple process that involves adding "tel:" to a link field, followed by the phone number. For international numbers, include the + sign, country code, area code, and number. 

There are three main types of links that allow website visitors to make a phone call:

  • Phone Number Link: Allows visitors to dial a specific phone number
  • Call Out Box: Usually placed near the phone number, containing instructions on how to place a call
  • Contact Page or Call Back Page: A separate page with a form for visitors to submit information and receive a callback

To add a phone number to your website using HTML, use the "href attribute" to create a clickable link. The code should look like this: <a href="tel:+1-555-555-5555">+1 (555) 555-5555</a>

In addition to the traditional "tel:" code, modern web browsers support other click-to-call codes:

  • SMS Click-To-Call Links: Add "sms:" to the HTML anchor text to create a link that pre-populates the user's phone with your number for sending an SMS.
  • MMS Click-To-Call Links: Add "mms:" to the HTML anchor text to create a link that pre-populates the user's phone with your number for sending an MMS, which can include longer text, emojis, images, and files.

To customize the appearance of your clickable phone number links, you can use CSS to:

  • Change link colors: Modify the "color" property for different link states (normal, visited, hover, active)
  • Add or remove underlines: Use the "text-decoration" property to control the presence of underlines
  • Create link buttons: Style links as buttons, often with a phone icon, to make the click-to-call link more visible and improve conversion rates

Example HTML code for a click-to-call button: <a href="tel:+1-555-555-5555"><img src ="IMAGE URL"> </a>