January 18, 2021

Free Business Phone Number

Read more about Business

A business phone number is great for appearing professional, but no one wants to spend more on phone bills. Here's how to get a business number for free.

If you already have a pricey phone bill, it's easy to see why you'd avoid getting another phone number just for business. Who needs another bill to pay?

But there are plenty of ways you can get a business phone number for free. No separate phone required, no paying per call.

With the business phone services listed here (and the magic of call forwarding), you can create a new number that gets directed to your personal cell phone, and you'll know exactly which calls came from your business number. Pretty neat, huh?

Discover which services are best for free (or low-cost) business phone numbers with this roundup. Compare options for SMS messages, international calls, and extra features.

Keep in mind that many free business phone services give you a limited number of minutes and fewer features. And some will charge you a one-time activation fee to get your number set up, which is usually around $20.

Best App: FreedomPop

FreedomPop is one of the most popular business phone number providers, and for good reason: They offer a completely free number and phone plan. However, the data that comes with the free plan is limited. FreedomPop's free plan comes with the following:

  • Unlimited Wi-Fi calling
  • 10 text messages, or unlimited iMessages over Wi-Fi
  • 25MB LTE

With this plan, they'll send you a SIM card that plugs into your phone. You can also download the FreedomPop app to use for Wi-Fi calling or messaging. All in, the FreedomPop "Freemium" plan is a great deal and is perfect for those who like having a separate app for calls and messages.

Best for 1-800 Numbers: eVoice

1-800 numbers always seem so official, don't they? If you have your eyes set on a 1-800 number (also called a toll-free number), eVoice is your best bet.

eVoice lets you choose a 1-800 number that routes incoming calls to your mobile phone. It can also transcribe voicemails directly to your email and comes with a 24/7 "Auto Attendant," which answers your calls with a personalized greeting.

While the phone number is free, the plan does cost $14 per month. However, you can try it out for 30 days at no cost.

Best for Local Calls: Google Voice

Google Voice is one of the simplest phone number services to set up, so if you value simplicity, Google Voice is the way to go.

The only thing is that it has to be a local phone number, which is perfect for businesses that only serve local clients. If that sounds like you, just sign up (with an existing Google account, if you have one), choose your number and - that's it.

Even though it's completely free, Google Voice comes with handy features like voicemail transcription and text messaging, which you can do via their web app or their mobile app.

If you want more than one number or want to be able to use Google Voice for multiple team members, plans start at $10 per month.

Best for International Calls: Freshcaller

Going international? Freshcaller can set you up with a business phone number perfect for receiving international phone calls.

Freshcaller offers international numbers from over 90 countries in addition to local numbers and toll-free numbers with their Sprout plan. It also comes with inbound caller ID, call notes, metrics, and other features. Best of all, it's completely free.

If you choose to upgrade to (or start out on) a paid plan, Freshcaller also offers a 21-day full free trial of their service to try out all the included features.

Best for Extra Features: Phonebooth

Phonebooth may not be free, but for the price you're paying and the features they offer, it's a much better deal than getting a physical, in-office phone service.

For $20 (per user), Phonebooth offers:

  • Unlimited nationwide calling
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Auto-attendant
  • Call routing
  • Conference calling
  • An easy-to-use web interface

Setup is quick and painless, and once you're up and running, you never have to worry about additional charges, fees, or contracts (i.e., all the things people hate about regular phone call providers).

Best for SMS: Callcentric

Sometimes a text message is just better. If you're in the market for business number that you can use for SMS messages, look no further than Callcentric.

Callcentric offers phone numbers that you can only use for SMS messages, if you choose. Although it's not free, the price is pretty reasonable: $0.010 per message and $1.00 per month.

You can also choose to tack on a plan for outbound and/or inbound calls, which are similarly cheap. But if you know you only want to text, this is the plan for you.

The downsides are that international messages are not supported, and that they currently only support SMS (not MMS, meaning pictures or video). But for the price, it's still a good value.

Best for Vanity Numbers: Freedom Voice

Who doesn't love a clever vanity number? Plus, it's definitely more memorable than just a random number. If you have your heart set on a vanity number, Freedom Voice is for you.

Freedom Voice offers a free number, which you can choose to be a local number, a 1-800 (toll free) number, or a vanity number. Plus, you can use their mobile app to make calls from your new number and get access to voicemails, text messages, and even faxes.

You can try out your new vanity number for 30 days free to figure out if you like their service. After that, they have plans starting a $9.95 per month.

What type of phone number is best for your business?

Businesses, much like the people who own them, have their own unique needs and preferences. Not all business phone numbers are well-suited for every business.

To figure out which phone service is best for your business, review the following number types below.

  • 1-800 Number
    You've probably heard the phrase "toll-free number" before, or may have even called one to reach a business or customer service department. Toll-free numbers are telephone numbers that start with specific three-digit codes.

    They're called toll-free because landlines can call these numbers at no charge, even if the number is out of their area. While these numbers are free for landline callers, mobile callers pay for their minutes if they're not on an unlimited calling plan.

    A 1-800 number is just one type of toll-free number that's available. Toll-free numbers also include 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. And some even allow text messages (if they have text enabled).

  • Local Phone Number
    A local phone number is pretty much what it sounds like: a number that is specific to your local area, usually denoted by the specific three-digit area code that precedes the number.

    This is the best option for businesses that only serve clients that are local to the surrounding area (instead of national clients, for example). An example of a local business would be a salon or house-painting business.

  • Vanity Number
    Kind of like a vanity license plate for a car, a vanity phone number is a number that you can request to spell out a specific word. Numbers 2-9 on the phone correspond to three (or four) successive letters of the alphabet. For example, if you dial 2, it corresponds to the letters A, B, and C. If you dial 3, it corresponds to letters D, E, and F.

    A popular vanity number is 1-800-FLOWERS, which is for a flower delivery service. As you might imagine, they use 1-800-FLOWERS because it's extremely memorable. When you key in the "word" on your phone, the actual number is 1-800-356-9377. Pretty neat, huh?

  • Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP)
    This isn't a type of phone number, but instead a method of communication. If a service advertises a VoIP services, this means that the only thing you need to get a phone call is a high-speed internet connection, and all calls are routed to you through your internet.

    VoIP converts your voice to a digital signal that's routed through the internet instead of a telephone line. It's just as clear as a regular telephone call and is usually cheap because it makes use of the internet service you already have.

Bottom Line

Sure, you may already have a personal cell phone number. But it doesn't compare to the credibility and professionalism you get from having a separate business number.

Luckily, with the options listed here, it's easy to get a business phone number for free or for a low monthly cost. Be sure to consider how your business operates (local, national, international) and how you most frequently communicate with clients (call, SMS) to pick the best service for you.

When all is said and done, you'll have a new phone number that's perfect for a full-fledged business, a burgeoning side hustle, and all business ventures in between.

Write to Holly Z at holly.zorbas@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts. And remember that you can listen to CreditDonkey Radio any time.

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