Updated September 19, 2022

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.

Already have a pricey phone bill? You might be reluctant to get another number for just your business.

But there are plenty of ways you can get a business phone number for free.

No separate phone required, no paying per call.

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.

Are free business phone numbers completely free? 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.

Why Use A Free Business Phone Number?

Adding a dedicated business phone number could be a large expense.

Wired phones, operators, and advanced capabilities may exceed your new business's budget. Fortunately, some providers offer free business phone numbers, which are often low-cost Voice over Internet Protocol Free (VoIP) numbers.

You wouldn't need any physical equipment to set this up. You could get a 1-800, toll-free, or vanity number, and you might even be able to answer or manage the service from your mobile device.

Keep in mind most vanity numbers require a one-time activation fee.

Many new business owners want a custom business phone number to offer a more professional service. You may be able to handle the calls from your personal mobile phone, but you could lose credibility.

Adding free business phone numbers can also help you save money as you figure out how your customers want to communicate with you. Many providers let you start for free or for lower costs, then you can add users and features as you grow.

But which features are best for your business? Let's dive into the features now.

Best Mobile App: FreedomPop

  • Completely free
  • Uses AT&T network
  • Free 25MB of LTE data
  • May be easy to exceed data limits
  • Requires watching some ads

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.

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.

Key Features:

  • 10 minutes & 10 text messages
  • 25MB high-speed data
  • Unlimited iMessages and RCS over WiFi
  • 3-in-1 SIM cards (standard, micro, nano)
  • Network: GSMA (AT&T compatible)
  • Free Unlimited WiFi Calling with all plans
  • Can use your GSM Phone (AT&T and T-Mobile)
  • Keep your number or get a new one
  • SIM card fits any phone

Pricing:[1]

  • $10 one-time SIM kit
  • $0 monthly renewal plan (taxes and regulatory fees may apply)
  • Add minutes and data plans for between $15 and $55 per month

Best for 1-800 Numbers: eVoice

  • Free trial
  • Easy to set up
  • Number is free (plan is paid)
  • Voicemail transcription can be buggy
  • Customer service is lacking

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 charge a small fee.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited voice calls
  • Add-on a toll-free or vanity number
  • Auto attendant
  • Afterhours call forwarding
  • Transcribe up to 40 voicemails per month
  • Host conference calls with up to 94 participants
  • Custom greeting by professional voice artists
  • Call queuing
  • Port an existing number or choose a new local or national number

Pricing:[2]

  • $14 per user/month (paid monthly)
  • $12 per user/month (paid annually) + 2 months free
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Best for Local Calls: Google Voice

  • Easy to set up
  • Reputable company
  • Good suite of features
  • Only local numbers
  • Can't negotiate cost

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 must 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.

Key Features:

  • Free calls, texts, and voicemails
  • Easy-to-use
  • Automatic call forwarding
  • Custom voicemail greetings
  • Spam call protection
  • Automatically transcribes voicemails to text
  • Block any callers
  • Use across multiple mobile devices and laptops
  • Works with Google Suite, including Meet and Calendar
  • Works with Google Workspace
  • Can upgrade as you grow

Pricing:[3]

  • Free for 1 user
  • $10 per month for up to 10 users
  • $20-$30 per month for unlimited users

Best for International Calls: Freshdesk

  • Completely free
  • Good suite of features
  • Easy set up
  • Doesn't include all countries
  • Dated interface

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

Freshdesk 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, Freshdesk also offers a 21-day full free trial of their service to try out all the included features.

Key Features:

  • Buy local numbers across 50+ countries
  • Buy toll-free or vanity numbers
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Bring your own carrier
  • Number porting
  • Auto-attendant
  • Call routing & masking
  • Conference calling
  • Call recording
  • An easy-to-use web interface
  • 24/7 email support
  • 24/5 chat and phone support

Pricing:[4]

  • $15 per agent/month + pay/min, billed annually
  • $18 per agent/month + pay/min, billed monthly
  • Can upgrade as you grow

Best for Extra Features: Phonebooth

  • No additional fees, charges or contracts
  • Advanced features
  • No mobile app
  • More expensive than other options

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 in-office phone service.

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).

Key Features:

  • Voicemail transcription
  • Auto-attendant
  • Professional HD quality voice
  • Automatically route your calls to your location
  • Conference calling
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Redundant and reliable data centers
  • Nationwide all-IP networks
  • 24/7 support
  • No contract
  • No setup fees

Pricing:[5]

  • $20 per user for unlimited local and long-distance calling
  • No upcharges
  • No add-ons
  • No overages

Best for SMS Messages: Callcentric

  • Very affordable
  • More than 50 different features
  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn't support international messages
  • Doesn't support pictures or video

Sometimes a text message is just better. If you're in the market for a 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, you pay a tiny fee for each message which you can review below.

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 your plan.

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.

Key features:

  • Inexpensive SMS messages
  • Direct Inward Dialing (DID) in USA & Canada
  • Short code support ($0.03 per message)
  • Send and receive from iPhone apps
  • Email forwarding
  • Mobile forwarding

Pricing:[6]

  • $0.010 per message cost
  • $1 monthly fees
  • $0 setup fee
  • Can reduce per message costs to $0.008 by paying $2 in monthly fees

Best for Vanity Numbers: Freedom Voice

  • Free trial
  • No contracts
  • User-friendly
  • Only basic features
  • No texting or video conferencing

Who doesn't love a clever vanity number? After all, 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 as 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 access voicemails, text messages, and even faxes.

You can try out your new vanity number for 30 days to determine if you like their service. After that, they have low-cost monthly plans.

Key features:

  • Inexpensive vanity numbers
  • Manage from your smart device
  • Virtual auto attendant
  • Call forwarding
  • Unlimited voicemail boxes
  • Unlimited texting from their mobile app
  • Online console and reporting
  • Send and receive online faxes
  • And many more additional features

Pricing:[7]

  • $9.95 for 400 minutes/month
  • $19.95 for 1200 minutes/month
  • $29.95 for unlimited minutes/month
  • $30 one-time activation fee for vanity numbers
  • $0.039 per additional minutes
  • $0.10 each for adding name & address
  • $5 per month to record calls
  • $5 per month to randomly hold music

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. With a VoIP service, 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.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Business Number

Sure, your business phone number is free. But it should still be worth your while. Here are four simple ways to get maximize your business phone number.

  1. Choose the right type of number. If your business serves customers from all over the country, it's best to get a toll number (some are paid, but some toll numbers are free.)

  2. Decide between mobile or desk phones. For the most affordable option, a cell phone is the way to go. But if you need advanced features, consider a desk phone.

  3. Don't get more minutes than necessary. Some business numbers cap your minutes at around 300 per month. If you heavily rely on phone calls, VoIP apps are best for unlimited minutes.

  4. Look for the features you need. Figure out if you need additional features like a "live" receptionist, auto-attendant, conference calls, or multiple extensions.

How We Chose These Services

To research this list of the best free business phone numbers, we compared different providers based on the following criteria:

  • Features: Even free phone numbers need to have great features to be helpful. We researched each service's features to help you pick and choose the right mix for your business.

  • Fees: Many providers let you upgrade your free business phone number. Look for a service that can grow with your business. For example, if you're considering hiring employees to manage the phones in the future, look at how much each user would cost.

  • User-friendliness: As a business owner, you're busy and don't want to spend your time having to learn a complex phone system. We looked for the easiest-to-use low-cost business phone numbers to make this process go as smoothly as possible.

  • Support: You can save money by choosing a company without any customer support. But you may find yourself spending hours having to troubleshoot or figure out each new feature. Above, you can see which services provide 24/7 customer support.

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.

References

  1. ^ FreedomPop. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022
  2. ^ eVoice. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022
  3. ^ Google Voice. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022
  4. ^ Freshdesk. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022
  5. ^ Phonebooth. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022
  6. ^ Callcentric. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022
  7. ^ Freedom Voice. Pricing, Retrieved 7/26/2022

Holly Zorbas is a assistant editor at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Holly Zorbas at holly.zorbas@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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