March 5, 2024

How to Get A Free Business Phone Number

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Getting a business phone number is one of the first steps when setting up a new business or preparing for an expansion. A dedicated business line provides a way for customers to contact you and helps your company appear more professional and established.

Finding the right phone number provider can be challenging, especially if you’re looking for free or low-cost options. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a provider with a variety of number types, useful call features, and an easy setup process.

We evaluated dozens of voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) systems and selected six of the market’s best free business phone number providers. Here are our top recommendations:

Best Free Business Phone Number Providers Key Features
Google Voice logo.
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Spam call filtering
  • Ring groups
Try Google Voice
Grasshopper logo.
  • Instant response
  • Unlimited users at no extra cost
  • Simultaneous call handling
Try Grasshopper
CallHippo logo.
  • Shared inbox
  • Interactive voice response (IVR)
  • Phone numbers for 70+ countries
Try CallHippo
Sideline logo.
  • Auto-reply
  • Custom caller ID
  • Voicemail-to-text
Try Sideline
Phone.com logo.
  • Metered and unmetered calls
  • Up to 50 standard call features
  • Video conferencing
Try Phone.com
Callcentric logo.
  • Call return
  • Conference room
  • Anonymous call rejection
Try Callcentric

Google Voice: Best for individual users


Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Free-forever personal plan
  • Google Workspace integration
  • Unlimited texts in the U.S.
  • Robust security policies

Cons

  • Very limited phone features
  • Google Voice number can’t be used for account verification
Google Voice logo.

Our Rating: 4.42/5

Voicemail transcription: Have your voicemails automatically transcribed into text format and send the transcripts to your email. 

Spam call filtering: Every time Google Voice suspects a call might be spam, a warning message will display on your screen.  

Multi-level auto-attendant: Set up an automated menu that plays messages and lets callers choose options to reach a specific department or person.

Ring groups: Setting up ring groups allows multiple users to take turns answering calls from the same Google Voice number.

Usage and activity reporting: Access voice activity across your organization and review the details, costs, and duration of calls and texts.

Personal: Free for one user, one U.S. phone number, call forwarding, and voicemail transcripts

Business

Starter: $10/user/month for unlimited local calls, unlimited SMS, voicemail transcripts, Google Workspace integration, call forwarding, and usage and activity reporting

Standard: $20/user/month for multi-level auto-attendant, ring groups, desk phone support, and call recording

Premier: $30/user/month for advanced reporting

Google Voice is our overall best free business phone number provider, particularly for individual users on a budget. Google account owners can get a free business phone number upon signing up. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, you can use your existing number to verify and claim your free Google Voice number. This is why Google Voice lands a spot on our list of the best free VoIP phone services.

With its user-friendly interface, solopreneurs and freelancers will find Google Voice a lightweight VoIP service for their entry-level communication needs, such as sending calls and texts to clients. Both desktop and mobile apps are relatively easy to use and don’t require technical knowledge, so you can easily integrate them into your workflows.

If the Google Voice personal plan is too limited for your requirements, you can upgrade to the business package for only $10 per user. This unlocks expanded features, such as a multi-level auto-attendant, ring groups, and desk phone support. Google Voice seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace apps, such as Google Meet and Calendar, giving you a unified platform for business communication. 

However, Google Voice may not be ideal for businesses with complex call management needs or those needing toll-free or vanity numbers. Providers like Phone.com or CallHippo are potential alternatives if you need a comprehensive set of call features for managing high call volumes.

Google Voice offers a local phone number for calling, voicemail, and text messaging. The service is available to Google account users in the U.S. and a few select countries, including France, Germany, and Italy. 

There are two options when signing up for a Google Voice account: personal and business. Signing up with your personal Google account gives you free access to Google Voice. However, purchasing a Google Workspace account includes professional call features and the ability to support an unlimited number of users.

Grasshopper: Best for phone number sharing


Pros

  • Doesn’t charge per user
  • No extra fee for vanity numbers
  • All-inclusive plans
  • Intuitive mobile app
  • Bundled toll-free numbers

Cons

  • Lacks integrations
  • Limited call features
Grasshopper logo.

Our Rating: 4.28/5

Instant response: Automatically sends a text message to new callers when you miss their call. 

Simultaneous call handling: This feature lets you accept multiple calls at the same time and directs callers to the next forwarding number when they reach a busy or unavailable line. 

Live receptionist: Add Ruby’s live receptionist services to your Grasshopper account for a minimal fee and have a professional team answer your business calls. 

Call forwarding: Redirect incoming calls to another phone number or send them directly to voicemail.

VoIP plus Wi-Fi calling: If you want to save your minutes or have poor call reception, activating this feature lets you make calls over the internet.

True Solo: $17/user/month for one user and one extension

Solo Plus: $34/month for unlimited users, one phone number, and three extensions

Partner: $56/month for unlimited users, three phone numbers, and six extensions

Small Business: $92/month for unlimited users, three phone numbers, and six extensions

Traditionally, VoIP providers charge virtual phone numbers based on a monthly per-user basis. However, Grasshopper stands out with its unique approach by offering multiple phone numbers in a single plan for unlimited users. An entire team can share local or toll-free vanity numbers and extensions for a fixed monthly fee. As you move up Grasshopper plans, each tier includes more virtual phone numbers. The maximum allocation is three to five numbers in one plan. Depending on the size of your business, upgrading is only needed if you need more extensions or phone lines. This benefits teams wanting to share call responsibility and phone numbers among extensions.

Unlike its competitors, Grasshopper doesn’t charge extra for vanity numbers when you sign up for a plan. With its flat-rate pricing, you can add unlimited users without incurring additional fees on your monthly bill. 

On the downside, Grasshopper lacks advanced call management capabilities, such as interactive voice response (IVR) and call queues. Companies dealing with high call volumes are better off with Phone.com, which offers unlimited call minutes and a wide range of call features for managing call traffic.

Grasshopper is a VoIP phone service offering local, toll-free, and vanity numbers within the U.S. Once you sign up, you can choose from its selection of local, toll-free, and vanity numbers without extra charges. All plans are all-inclusive, meaning you get the same number of features regardless of your purchase plan. 

A provider like Grasshopper works best for businesses wanting to take advantage of professional features, such as automated greetings, voice studio, and live receptionist services. This helps small businesses project an image of a larger company while efficiently managing incoming calls and improving the overall caller experience.

CallHippo: Best for globally expanding businesses


Pros

  • Free-forever plan
  • Over 70 countries available for phone numbers
  • Up to 100 integrations
  • Feature-rich monthly plans
  • No user limit for the free plan

Cons

  • Extra fees for call forwarding
  • No unlimited SMS
CallHippo logo.

Our Rating: 4.24/5

Shared inbox: This feature allows teams to use a single inbox to collectively access and manage all customer communications.

Global Connect: Whenever you want to call an international number, this feature will inform you about the recipient’s country, time zone, and validity. 

Smart Switch: Allow agents to switch between multiple telephony providers or choose an alternative network for better call connectivity. 

Gamification: Enhance agent engagement and motivation using game-like elements, such as rewards, leaderboards, and challenges.

Outboard dialer: Use this feature to automate your outbound dialing process and minimize idle time.

Basic: Free for SMS/MMS, call mute, voicemail, and click-to-dial

Starter: $25/user/month for one free business number, 1,000 local minutes, business hours, analytics, and shared inbox

Professional: $40/user/month for unlimited minutes, IVR, custom greetings, and after-call work

Ultimate: $55/user/month for call blocking, integrations, call barging, and conference calling

CallHippo provides a large pool of local and toll-free phone numbers in more than 70 countries, making it a perfect choice for companies wanting to expand their market overseas. With an international number, you can establish a local presence in another country without the cost of having a physical office. 

If you’re looking for a cheap phone number for business, CallHippo charges as low as $6 per month without setup fees. You can choose a specific area code based on the location of your target customers. You can get your number in less than three minutes, allowing you to get set up quickly and start making calls. Additional costs apply if you want to purchase multiple numbers. 

Despite CallHippo’s feature-rich offerings, budget-conscious businesses may find its monthly plans expensive, ranging from $25 to $55 per user. If you’re looking to cut costs for your phone needs, consider Google Voice, which has a free version for solo users, as well as a low-cost business plan starting at just $10 per user, monthly.

CallHippo is a virtual phone system equipped with basic call center features for improving agent productivity and tracking team performance. Like Google Voice, CallHippo is one of the few VoIP solutions offering a free plan for low-level VoIP users on a budget. 

A free business number is included on all paid CallHippo plans, along with a wealth of call features, such as call recording, intelligent reports, and custom greetings. Besides its business phone system, CallHippo offers additional services, such as a predictive dialer and WhatsApp Business, perfect for outbound sales campaigns.

Sideline: Best for text marketing


Pros

  • Make calls to over 165 countries
  • No charge for vanity numbers
  • Supports bulk SMS
  • Connects to your carrier network for greater call quality
  • Wide variety of text marketing tools

Cons

  • VoIP numbers can’t be used for Sideline account registration
  • No call recording
Sideline logo.

Our Rating: 3.91/5

Custom caller ID: Personalize your caller ID to differentiate your second number. 

Group messaging: Start a group conversation with up to 10 participants.

Branded messages: This lets you add an image, link, or company logo to your text messages.

Auto-reply: This feature will automatically respond with a text message to the number you missed a call from.

Custom voicemail: Record up to three voicemail greetings or use the text-to-speech feature to generate a personalized greeting.

Standard: $14.49/user/month for unlimited calls and SMS, one phone number, group messaging, and voicemail

Enterprise: $14.49/line/month for all Standard features, international calling, and auto-attendant

Sideline is an excellent choice for businesses that primarily use text messaging to connect with their clients and partners. There are no messaging caps, so you can send unlimited SMS, MMS, and group messages from your desktop or mobile phone. 

Sideline takes advantage of VoIP and cellular service to help you make calls and send text messages. Texting over Wi-Fi is free, while data is consumed if you use your carrier’s plan. 

Features include a wide variety of text marketing tools, such as branded messages, auto-reply, MMS, and custom signature. Companies running bulk SMS campaigns will find this particularly useful for sending alerts, coupons, promotions, and product announcements. The Sideline app is exceptionally user-friendly for mobile users, making it easy to customize SMS settings.

One major drawback of Sideline is it can be restrictive for businesses seeking broader communication capabilities aside from calling and text messaging. If you’re looking for a phone number provider that supports faxing and video conferencing, choose Phone.com. At almost the same monthly fee, you get access to voice calls, conversational text messaging, video meetings, and online fax.

Sideline is a business communications app that lets you set up a second phone number to separate your work calls and texts from your personal number. It works with your existing carrier network instead of VoIP to deliver excellent call quality and reliability. On top of your second phone number, Sideline delivers a wealth of features, such as group messaging, SMS/MMS, custom voicemail, and call announcement. 

There are only two types of Sideline plans to choose from, and both are priced similarly at $14.49 per month. The Standard plan is for individual users who simply need a second phone number, while the Enterprise plan is for companies managing multiple numbers. Subscriptions can be billed monthly, quarterly, and annually.

Phone.com: Best for call management features


Pros

  • Mix and match metered and unmetered plans
  • Custom local and toll-free numbers
  • Up to 50 call features
  • Volume discounts available
  • Rich a la carte features

Cons

  • Poor integrations
  • Vanity numbers have a one-time fee and monthly charges
Phone.com logo.

Our Rating: 3.85/5

Scheduled routing: Route incoming calls to certain numbers, menus, greetings, or people based on the time and day they are received. 

Hold music: Choose from a large section of professional music tracks you can play while callers are on hold or in a queue. 

Dial-by-name directory: Allow callers to be automatically transferred to an employee by entering the first or last name of the person they want to reach. 

Queues: Route incoming calls to a specific group of users or phone numbers in order.

Greetings: Upload audio files to play as your greetings, menus, and hold music.

Basic: $14.99/user/month for 500 pooled minutes, one phone number, and 50 standard voice features

Plus: $21.99/user/month for unlimited minutes, voicemail transcription, and desk phone support

Pro: $31.99/user/month for call recording, call analytics, and video conferencing features

Phone.com delivers all of the modern features of an enterprise-grade phone system but at a fraction of the cost, making it an ideal, budget-friendly option for growing businesses. Starting at only $14.99 per user, monthly, you get up to 50 standard call features, including call handling rules, click-to-call, greetings, hold music, and auto-attendant. As you move up to higher-tier plans, you gain access to a wide array of VoIP features like call analytics and call recording. 

There are three user types available, which you can mix and match to pay for only exactly what you need. Each type offers different levels of features and call plans to accommodate different communication needs and usage patterns. The Basic plan is a metered subscription with 500 minutes, while Plus and Pro plans support unlimited calling. 

The disadvantage of using Phone.com is that it relies on a third-party service called Zapier to expand its app integrations. If you’re looking for a business phone that readily integrates with popular customer relationship management (CRM) systems, we recommend CallHippo. This provider connects with over 100 third-party apps, including Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Freshdesk.

Phone.com is a hosted private branch exchange (PBX) system that allows businesses to combine metered and unmetered call plans based on their call volume requirements. All plans include a variety of VoIP features and video conferencing functionalities. Upgrading to higher tiers includes video meeting tools and a larger participant capacity. Besides its bundled plans, Phone.com’s a la carte services let you add premium features, such as live receptionist and international dialing. Another notable feature is the variety of phone number types offered—local, toll-free, vanity, and international numbers. Discounts are available if you buy numbers in bulk.

Callcentric: Best for custom call plans


Pros

  • Budget-friendly call and text rates
  • Flexible call plans
  • Unlimited calls to over 35 countries
  • Rich standard call features
  • Supports bring your own device (BYOD)

Cons

  • Difficult to set up
  • Outdated interface
CallCentric logo.

Our Rating: 2.63/5

Call treatments: Set up rules for handling incoming calls, including forwarding calls to another Callcentric number and forcing anonymous calls to voicemails. 

Anonymous call rejection: If you receive a call with an “Anonymous” caller ID, Callcentric gives you the option to direct the call to voicemail or play an error message. 

Call return: Dialing the *69 feature code lets you call back the last person who called you. 

External caller ID: When making an outbound call, you can use a different number that is not on your Callcentric account.

Call hunting: Have incoming calls ring up to eight numbers to avoid callers getting busy signals.

Inbound Calling 

Dollar Unlimited: $1/month for unlimited minutes within select U.S. regions 

Pay per Minute: $1.95/month within the U.S. and Canada (with an additional $0.015/minute for incoming minutes and a $3.95 setup fee)

Toll-Free: $3.95/month for unlimited call minutes within the U.S. and Canada (with a $3.95 setup fee)

Personal Unlimited: $5.95/month for unlimited call minutes within the U.S. and Canada (with a $5.95 setup fee)

Office Unlimited: $8.95/month for unlimited minutes within the U.S. and Canada (with $8.95 setup fee)

Service Provider Unlimited: $19.95/month for unlimited minutes within the U.S. and Canada (with a $19.95 setup fee)

International Unlimited: Rate varies by country

Callcentric is a strong contender for the best provider of free phone numbers for businesses due to its relatively cheap call rates and customization options. While most providers force users to pay for bundled plans, Callcentric provides the freedom to choose which inbound and outbound call service suits your calling patterns.

This provider offers diverse independent packages for incoming and outgoing call plans. Outbound plans include eight distinct services, each varying in minute allowances. Options include unlimited in-network calling, pay-per-minute, unlimited calls, and metered rates ranging from 120 to 2,500 minutes. On the other hand, inbound plans provide metered calls and unlimited incoming minutes but differ in phone number types.

Businesses dealing with fluctuating call volumes will appreciate Callcentric’s customizable VoIP calling services. However, its extensive flexibility can be overwhelming for those new to internet calling. If you prefer a bare-bones phone number provider, Sideline is the best option for you. The pricing structure only comprises two options—Standard and Enterprise—making it easy to choose the plan that fits your needs.

Callcentric is an internet phone service offering low-cost plans for both domestic and international calling. Its unique selling point is it sells inbound and outbound services separately to give customers the flexibility to configure their phone service based on their specific requirements.

Monthly fees start as low as $1, making it one of the cheapest VoIP solutions on the market. Phone numbers for business and personal use are available in the U.S. and Canada. Despite its cheap rates, Callcentric intends to make its service useful by providing over 50 basic call features, including auto-attendant, call forwarding, and four-way calling. 

While Callcentric has a noticeably dated website, it contains an extensive library of user guides tailored for various devices. So if you’re wondering how to get a free business phone number, Callcentric offers a step-by-step process to help you set everything up quickly.

Types of business phone numbers 

There are different options available for setting up a business phone number catering to specific needs and preferences. The type of phone number you choose will determine the level of service you offer and how customers will perceive your brand. To help you find the right option, we shared the five common types of business phone numbers below:

Local number

Local phone numbers start with a three-digit area code representing a specific region or city. These numbers are tied to a specific geographic location, making it easy for customers to recognize and trust the number. Setting up local numbers is quick, easy, and more affordable than other options. 

Businesses use local numbers to establish a sense of familiarity among their target market. Local numbers create an impression that a business operates within the local community. Larger companies even purchase multiple local phone numbers for every country they serve.   

Toll-free number

Toll-free numbers are commonly identified by one of the following three-digit codes: 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888. Dialing these numbers allows customers to call a company at no cost, which helps in boosting sales inquiries over the phone. Since they’re easy to remember, toll-free numbers are often used in marketing campaigns. 

Another highlight benefit of toll-free numbers is that they help businesses project an image of a trustworthy national brand or a larger organization. This is partly due to the assumption that only big businesses can afford toll-free numbers. This is no longer the case since many VoIP providers now offer affordable toll-free number options.  

Vanity number

A vanity number is a customizable phone number that uses a memorable sequence of letters and numbers. An example is a plumbing service’s vanity number—877-PLUMBER—which translates to 877-758-6237.

Vanity numbers should be easy to recall so customers can quickly associate the numbers with your product or service. Personalized numbers leave a lasting impression and strengthen your brand visibility. 

Virtual phone number 

Virtual phone numbers are referred to as direct inward dialing (DID) numbers, available in both local and toll-free options. Since they operate entirely online, virtual numbers are not tied to a specific phone line. Users can route calls to any device, whether via landline or an internet-connected smartphone.

The mobility of virtual numbers benefits remote employees needing constant communication access from anywhere. For solopreneurs and business owners, virtual phone numbers serve as a secondary number to separate business and personal communications. 

International number

International numbers allow businesses to build a local presence in global markets by providing customers with a local number to call. This is ideal for companies that don’t have a physical office or a team operating in their target region. With an international number, customers can directly contact your business without paying for long-distance charges. 

While international numbers are typically priced higher, they offer invaluable benefits to companies seeking to establish credibility and improve client accessibility across borders.

Why do you need a business phone number? 

Having a dedicated business phone number is standard practice for setting up a new business or expanding to a new location. Aside from providing customers with a way to reach you, it offers a wealth of benefits to companies wanting to build credibility and streamline call management.

If you’re an employee or a business owner, a business phone number serves as a second phone number to keep your work and personal communications separate. This lets you easily recognize calls intended for work, so you know which calls to answer during business hours and which ones to leave after hours. 

Providers of business phone numbers include additional voice features on top of the second phone number. For example, VoIP platforms provide call management tools like greetings, auto-attendant, and hold music. When a customer calls, they will be greeted with a custom message instead of hearing a normal dial tone. This projects professionalism to your business, which helps in instilling trust among customers. 

Choosing the best free business phone number provider 

Having a free phone number provides budget-conscious businesses with a dedicated phone line without incurring additional costs. With so many options available, taking a closer look at each provider will help you make a more informed decision that meets your requirements. 

Google Voice stands out for its free-forever version and low-cost plans—a perfect choice for individual business users with no plans of scaling soon. Small teams wanting to share phone line responsibility will realize greater cost-savings with Grasshopper since it offers multiple phone numbers at a fixed monthly rate.

If you want to expand your global reach, CallHippo provides phone numbers in up to 70 countries. But if you simply need a phone number for your SMS campaigns, Sideline is an excellent choice. Phone.com can also be a great option if you prioritize call management features, while Callcentric might be a better fit for small businesses with seasonal call volumes.

For those willing to invest in a robust business phone system, check out our top recommendations for the best VoIP for small businesses.

Featured Partners: VoIP Software

1 RingCentral Office

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RingCentral is a business VoIP provider that offers cloud-based communications including message, video, phone, and collaboration features. It offers a number of different tools that you can buy as standalone products or as part of a unified communications platform. Some features include call screening, internet fax, call forwarding, visual voicemail, multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR), video conferencing, and team collaboration.

Learn more about RingCentral Office

2 Ooma

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Ooma is a business communication product that features voice over IP services, messaging via chat and SMS functions, and video conferencing. This VoIP product works over a multitude of devices for seamless access while working on-premises, remotely or on-the-go. Find out more about the features of Ooma to help you choose the right VoIP solution for your business.

Learn more about Ooma

3 Zoho Meeting

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Join meetings and webinars from anywhere you want using the VoIP service from Zoho Meeting. If you're away from work, you can still join meetings by dialling a regional number from your phone. Zoho Meeting offers more than 55 local dial-in numbers for different regions around the globe. Organization admins can also get the toll-free add-on to enable members to join meetings from phones at zero cost. Zoho Meeting also offers recording, screen sharing, and video conferencing.

Learn more about Zoho Meeting

FAQs

Definitely. VoIP providers offer a number porting feature either for free or at a minimal cost. Number porting involves transferring your existing number to a new VoIP platform, allowing you to access the features offered by the new service provider.

Free business phone numbers often lack the advanced call functionalities found in paid plans. These include call analytics, reporting, call recording, and sophisticated call management tools.


Marianne De Guzman Avatar

About the author


TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
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