How to Get a Toll-Free Number

A toll-free number gives your business a professional image and allows customers to call your business for free.

Businesses use a 1800 number to provide customer service, collect donations, or sell products.

With our How to Get a Toll-Free Number guide, you'll learn how to obtain an 800 number for your business.

Need to get an 800 number? Use our Vanity Phone Number Generator for free.


The Best Way to Get a 1800 Number

You can get a 1-800 number through our free vanity phone number generator

Alternatively, you may want to use a premium, toll-free number service. After reviewing countless providers, these are our top four picks for small businesses in 2022.

Best Toll-Free Number Service

Phone.com — Best Overall Toll-Free Service Provider

Phone.com is the best overall service provider for toll-free numbers.

This is because it offers a “one-stop-shop” for all businesses — regardless of whether they are simply looking for a single 1-800 number or an entire business phone system.  

Pros:

  • Very secure: HIPAA and HITECH compliant
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans 
  • Very affordable, starting as low as $8.99 per month per user (depending on number of users and length of phone system contract) 

Cons:

  • $200 prepayment is required in order for international calling to be enabled
  • No no-contract option
  • No hardware renting option 

Besides its low cost, Phone.com offers several features that are specifically tailored towards small businesses, including:

  • Video calling and conferencing
  • SMS texting
  • Unlimited calling
  • Mobile and Desktop Apps
  • Live receptionists
  • Vanity phone numbers
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Talkroute — Best Toll-Free Virtual Phone System

Talkroute is a great choice for businesses operating virtually. 

It offers toll-free numbers that can be forwarded anywhere, which can go a long way in improving your brand image and ensuring that you look like a legitimate business

Pros:

  • High number of features on basic package
  • 24/7customer support
  • Extremely secure: BAA contracts available on Pro package

Cons:

  • Premium packages can be very expensive
  • Some features may be unnecessary for small business use
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Ooma — Best Small Business Toll-Free Provider

Ooma is an ideal choice for small businesses — both as a toll-free number service and as a dedicated business phone system. 

One of the largest advantages of choosing Ooma is that the provider operates on a no-contract basis. This means that you will be able to swap services whenever you choose to — retaining a very high level of flexibility. 

Moreover, Ooma stands out in the sense that its most “basic” package offers features which are generally only seen in competitors’ more premium ones. 

Pros:

  • Call blocking and unlimited minutes in the “basic” package
  • Highly scalable
  • No-contract option

Cons:

  • Not HIPAA compliant
  • One-time account activation fee of $50. 
  • Limited features on the basic package compared to other providers: Having said that, Ooma’s premium plan is cheaper than the basic package of most competitors. 
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RingCentral — Best Business Phone and Toll-Free Number Provider

RingCentral is one of the best phone services for small businesses looking for and toll-free numbers.

RingCentral is extremely easy and affordable to use, which makes it great for startup and small businesses. Moreover, it offers a very high number of hardware device options, which makes it a highly-scalable business phone system. 

Pros:

  • High number of cordless, conference, and desktop office phone options offered
  • Unlimited calls in “basic” plan
  • Phone rental opportunities

Cons:

  • Office phone renting is only available on a multi-year contract
  • Not the most affordable
  • Some features may be irrelevant for small businesses
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What Do You Need to Get a Toll-Free Number?

If you're looking to purchase a toll-free telephone number for your business, there are a few things you need to take into account. 

The first is what type of number you want. There are three types of toll-free phone numbers: national, local, and vanity. 

  • National numbers are the most common and can be used by businesses located anywhere in the country. 
  • Local numbers are tied to a specific area code, so they can only be used by businesses located in that particular area. 
  • Vanity numbers are customized phone numbers that spell out a word or phrase.

The second thing you need to consider is which provider you want to use. There are several providers that offer toll-free services, and each one has different plans and pricing structures.

Toll-Free Number Rules and Requirements

When you're looking to set up a toll-free phone number for your business, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rules and regulations in place governing the use of toll-free numbers. Here are some of the most important things to know:

  • Toll-free numbers must be associated with a single business entity. You cannot share a toll-free number between multiple businesses.
  • Toll-free numbers cannot be transferred or assigned to another party without written permission from the FCC.
  • Toll-free numbers are portable and must be able to move from one responsible organization (RespOrg) to another when changing toll-free service providers.
  • The FCC prohibits warehousing toll-free numbers. A RespOrg can’t reserve a number without having a subscriber for that number.
  • Subscribers may not purchase numbers with the intent to resell them to another subscriber.

1800 Numbers for Sale

There are many 1800 numbers for sale on the internet. If you are looking for a specific number, you can find it very easily through most "RespOrgs" (toll-free number vendors).

Follow these steps to learn how to get a toll-free number for your business:

  1. Use our Toll-Free Number Generator to contact a 1800 service provider and learn about available features and costs. This will give you an idea of what your business needs.
  2. Compare rates and features with other toll-free service providers and find out which ones offer the best value for your budget.
  3. Choose your prefix — an 800 extension is not the only toll-free codes small business owners can choose from. Other toll-free codes include: 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. (Note that 800 is the most common toll-free prefix.)
  4. Purchase your toll-free number and make sure it is active before adding it to your advertising and marketing stack and brand assets. (You don't want missed business opportunities or to look unprofessional.)
  5. Configure your toll-free number prompts to make sure calls get routed to the right departments and that callers are instructed on what to do.
  6. Start accepting calls on your toll-free number — once your number is live, you will be able to receive incoming calls and use your new number as your business phone number.
  7. Start listing and advertising your number by adding your toll-free number to your website, business cards, social media accounts, advertisements, and online citations to make your business phone number more visible.

Toll-Free Number Benefits

Some of the main benefits of toll-free numbers include:

  • Toll-free numbers are easy to remember and are often the first number customers try when looking for a business
  • Toll-free numbers are often used for customer service or to provide information about the business
  • Toll-free numbers offer customers a free call to use your company's services
  • Toll-free numbers offer a sense of security for customers, who might be hesitant to give out their personal information
  • Toll-free numbers increase the number of calls to your business
  • Provides a better customer service experience

Who Needs a Toll-Free Number?

There are many reasons why a business might need a toll-free number, such as to: 

  • Make it easy for customers to call them without worrying about long-distance charges
  • Establish a national presence
  • Reduce customer service costs

In any case, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing a toll-free number provider. 

  • Ask about pricing. Different providers charge different rates for their services. 
  • Ask about features and functionality. Different providers offer different levels of service.
  • Ask about toll-free vanity numbers. These are numbers that spell out words and are more brandable and easier to remember.
  • Ask about repeater numbers. These are numbers that have repeating digits and are also easy to remember.

What Is a Toll-Free Number?

When you hear the term "toll-free number," the first thing that comes to mind is probably 800 numbers. But there are other types of toll-free numbers as well. 

A toll-free number is a telephone number that allows callers to contact a business or individual without being charged for the call. 

Toll-free numbers can be used for customer service, sales, and marketing purposes.

Toll-Free Number Features

There are several types of toll-free numbers. The most common type is an 800 number, which is usually assigned to businesses. 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888 numbers are typically used for customer service lines. 

Vanity numbers, which include any number with special digits, such as 1-800-FLOWERS, or repeating digits, such as 1-833-222-2323, can also be toll-free. These numbers are usually priced at a premium because they’re easier to remember and more marketable.

Other toll-free telephone number features include:

  • Business voicemail
  • Business texting
  • Caller ID
  • Voice calls
  • Routing to your local number
  • Mobile apps to track calls and toll-free minutes
  • Business hours
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Increased marketing reach (especially if using a vanity number)
  • Call recording
  • Call blocking
  • Easy-to-remember prefixes
  • Listing in the toll-free number database
  • Inbound calls from anywhere and any calling party
  • Outbound calls from your own business number
  • Same number regardless of physical address

How Much Is a Toll-Free Number?

The cost of setting up and maintaining a toll-free telephone number varies depending on the provider but typically starts at around $10 per month. 

Most providers charge anywhere from $5 to $50 per month. There are also various fees associated with toll-free numbers, including an activation fee, a monthly service fee, and sometimes a per-minute charge.

Types of Toll-Free Numbers

There are a few different types of toll-free numbers that businesses can choose from when looking to purchase a toll-free number for their company. 

Domestic Toll-Free Numbers

A domestic toll-free number is a telephone number that allows callers in the United States to contact a business or individual without being charged for the call. These numbers are also known as 800 numbers, and they can be used for both business and personal calls. 

International Toll-Free Numbers

International toll-free numbers are a great way to stay connected with friends and family who live in other countries. By dialing an international toll-free number, you can avoid costly long-distance charges and keep your conversations short and sweet. Here are some tips for using international toll-free numbers: 

  1. Check the rates before you dial. Not all international toll-free numbers are created equal – some are more expensive than others. Make sure you know how much each call will cost before you make it.
  2. Keep your calls short and sweet. The longer you talk, the more expensive your call will be. Try to stick to quick conversations when using an international toll-free number.
  3. Check the time difference before you call. You don’t want to miss talking to someone who may be sleeping or working.

Universal International Toll-Free Numbers

In countries worldwide, you can call toll-free by dialing "800". This ubiquitous number is issued by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and it's free to call from anywhere in the world. 

So whether you're on vacation in Europe or just across town, you can always reach somebody with an 800 number. And because the number is standardized, you don't have to worry about which country you're calling from — just dial 800 and the rest of the digits, and you’re good to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 1800 vanity numbers?

A 1800 vanity number is a custom toll-free number that spells out words or has repeatable digits. A vanity number is good for business calls because they're easily remembered by customers. As such, a vanity number tends to cost more.

Can I forward toll-free calls to a cell phone?

Yes, you can forward an existing toll-free number to any number you choose, including cell phones.

How are toll-free numbers assigned?

Toll-free numbers are assigned by your own toll-free number service. This service provider collects the number from the public switched telephone network and then rents it to you based on their rate. 

Can I use my mobile phone to call a toll-free number?

You have free access to call any toll-free number using your cell phone. Note that when placing an international call, you may incur additional per-minute fees.

Can I make international calls using a toll-free phone number?

Yes, you can make international calls using a toll-free phone number; however, you'll need to check with your provider to determine what telephone numbers you can call internationally.

Is it free to call a toll-free number?

Yes, it is free to call toll-free numbers. The entity that incurs the charge is the owner of the toll-free number. For example, you can call the Chase toll free number and you won't be charged for placing the call. 

What is a US toll-free number?

A toll-free US number is a telephone number that is free to call in the United States that exists in a toll-free database. The caller doesn’t pay for the call. It is free to call from a landline or mobile phone.

Can I call 1800 numbers from my cell phone?

Yes, you can call a 1800 number on a mobile phone. It will ring through like any other number.

Is a 1800 number free internationally?

Toll-free calls are free for the caller. However, placing calls from another country to the United States or Canada may not work unless you use a VoIP service like Skype or happen to be calling a universal international toll-free number with an 800 prefix. 

Does toll-free mean no charge?

Toll-free means you won’t incur a charge when making long-distance calls, just like calling a local number. Businesses get toll-free business numbers so customers won’t be charged when calling. Having toll-free calling capabilities for your business provides a better customer service experience for your customers.

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