How to Get a Toll-Free Number
To get a toll-free number for your business find a toll-free phone number service provider that meets your needs. There are many different providers out there, so it's important to compare offerings and prices before making a decision.
Our How to Get a Toll-Free Number for Your Business guide makes it easy to get an 800 number. This guide shines a light on every consideration, plus gives you the best recommendations for toll-free number providers.
Want an 800 number? Use our Vanity Phone Number Generator for free.
Why Your Business Needs a Toll-Free Number
As your business grows, you’ll want to start thinking about how to better serve your customers. One way is by getting a toll-free number. Toll-free numbers are easier to remember, brandable, and help to legitimize your business. Here are some more reasons your business needs a toll-free number.
- Brings in more customers. Customers are 30% more likely to call a toll-free number vs calling a local number. Toll-free numbers work.
- Improves customer service. Set automated messaging and routing for incoming calls through your toll-free numbers.
- Makes it easier for customers to reach you. They won’t have to worry about long-distance charges or remembering a complex phone number.
- Gives your business a professional appearance. It will make you look more established and credible.
- Helps track marketing campaigns. You can use different numbers for different ads and see which ones are most effective.
Recommended: RingCentral.com is our top-rated business phone service.
How To Get an 800 Number
An 800 number is a great way to get more business. It shows customers that you're a professional operation and makes it easy for them to remember how to reach you. Follow these steps to get an 800 number for your business.
1. Pick A Toll-Free Service Provider
Pick the right toll-free service provider when choosing your toll-free number. This will save you money and ensures you are happy with the customer service experience.
Things to consider when choosing a toll-free service provider:
- Decide what features you need. Some providers offer more than just toll-free numbers, such as call forwarding and voicemail.
- Consider the toll-free number cost. Prices can vary significantly, so it's important to find a provider that fits your budget.
- Make sure the provider has excellent customer service. You want a toll-free service provider with a positive attitude.
2. Choose Your Toll-Free Number
Choose the right toll-free number, because there are different types of toll-free numbers that you can purchase. Two popular types are vanity numbers and repeating digits. These cost more but are brandable. Standard toll-free numbers are fine for unbranded purposes, like for different departments within your organization.
Vanity toll-free numbers are easy to remember because they spell out a word or phrase. For example, 1-800-FLOWERS is a vanity number. A vanity toll-free number can win you a lot of business. The best vanity numbers say what the business does. For example, 1-800-MATTRESS is who you call when you need a new mattress.
Repeating digits are also easy to remember, like 888-888-8888. Pizza restaurants tend to use repeater numbers. This is because they want their regular customers to be able to call them on a whim, without thinking about their competition. Repeating numbers win them a lot more business.
A regular toll-free number can be any number. Businesses purchase these numbers to save money or because they desire another phone number for routing to a separate department.
Some businesses choose vanity toll-free numbers because they want their phone number to be memorable. Others choose repeating digits because they want their number to be easy to dial.
3. Set Up Your Account and Routing
Set up call routing and call forwarding for inbound calls to your toll-free numbers. This will guarantee all calls made to your 800 number are forwarded to your main business line.
You can route your toll-free number to a business number or personal phone number. You can even route your 800 toll-free number to some mobile apps like Skype and Zoom, giving meeting participants direct access to meetings.
4. Promote Your New Toll-Free Number
Promote your new toll-free number. Be sure to include it in all of your marketing materials, such as print ads, website, and social media profiles so you receive calls.
If you use QR codes to market your business, be sure to sync them with your toll-free telephone number.
Best Toll-Free Number Service
You can get a 1-800 number through our free vanity phone number generator. Or you can get toll-free numbers through a toll-free number service.
These are our top toll-free number services for small businesses in 2023.
RingCentral — Best Business Phone and Toll-Free Number Provider
RingCentral is one of the best phone services for small businesses looking for toll-free numbers.
RingCentral is extremely easy and affordable to use, which makes it great for startups and small businesses. Moreover, it offers a very high number of hardware device options, which makes it a highly-scalable business phone system.
- Provide toll-free service for existing phone numbers
- High number of cordless, conference, and desktop office phone options offered
- Unlimited calls in “basic” plan
- Phone rental opportunities
- Provide local numbers
- Cancel anytime
- Office phone renting is only available on a multi-year contract
- Not the most affordable
- Some features may be irrelevant for small businesses
- Video calling and conferencing
- SMS texting
- Forward to a mobile phones
- Unlimited calling
- Mobile and Desktop Apps
- Live receptionists
- Vanity phone numbers
- Voicemail transcription
- Business texting
- Call recording
- Caller ID
- Much more
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. You'll instantly acquire a national presence for your business.
- 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)
- $200 prepayment is required in order for international calling to be enabled
- No no-contract option
- No hardware renting option
Talkroute — Best Toll-Free Virtual Phone System
Talkroute is a great choice for businesses operating virtually and needing toll-free numbers.
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.
- High number of features on basic package
- 24/7customer support
- Extremely secure: BAA contracts available on Pro package
- Premium packages can be very expensive
- Some features may be unnecessary for small business use
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 that are generally only seen in competitors' more premium ones.
- Low cost toll free line
- Call blocking and unlimited minutes in the “basic” package
- Highly scalable
- No-contract option
- All three digit codes available
- 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.
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 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.
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.
Can I port my existing toll-free numbers to a new service provider?
Yes, you can port your existing toll-free numbers to a new service provider. Check with your provider to make sure they allow transfers. If they don't you can always order more toll-free numbers through a new provider.
How does my toll-free number provider determine if the number I want is available?
Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs) have access to a toll-free database that contains information regarding the status of all toll-free numbers. Somos, Inc., administrator of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), manages the toll-free number database and updates it regularly with data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other sources.
How does a toll-free number work?
A toll-free number starts with a toll-free code.
Toll-free codes comprise these three-digit codes: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833.
These are also known as toll-free prefixes or toll-free codes. A toll-free prefix indicates to the caller that the call is free to place.
Most toll-free numbers start with 1-800.
Small business owners can contact businesses, place business calls, do call recording, set business hours, and when out of the country route calls for international call forwarding.
Toll-free numbers are a free and convenient way for customers to reach out to your business.
Toll-free numbers are tracked from an 800 toll-free number database. This FCC database is monitored by a Responsible Organization (RespOrg.).
Can a small business owner be the person placing calls from their toll-free number?
Small business owners can place and receive calls using their toll-free numbers.
The same number for your business calls can ring into your personal phone.
You can forward 800 toll free number to any landline or mobile phone and even some mobile apps.
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