How to get a business phone number

In today’s digital age, establishing a professional image for your business is crucial for success. One essential aspect of this professionalism is having a dedicated business phone number. Whether you’re a small start-up or a large corporation, having a separate phone number for your business can enhance customer communication, streamline operations, and lend credibility to your brand. In this guide, we’ll explore the process of obtaining a business phone number and the different types available to suit your needs.

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Why do you need a business phone number?

Having a dedicated business phone number offers several benefits:

  1. Professionalism: A business phone number separates your personal and professional calls, projecting a more professional image to customers and clients.
  2. Privacy: Keeping personal and business communications separate helps maintain privacy and security for both you and your customers.
  3. Functionality: Business phone numbers often come with additional features such as voicemail, call forwarding, and auto-attendant services, enhancing communication and customer service capabilities.
  4. Scalability: As your business grows, a dedicated phone number provides scalability and flexibility to handle increased call volumes and expansion into new markets.

Types of business phone numbers

When choosing a business phone number, you’ll encounter various options, each with its own advantages and considerations:

Local phone numbers

Local numbers are specific to a particular geographic area and are ideal for businesses targeting customers within a specific locality. They help create a sense of familiarity and trust with local customers.

Toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers, prefixed with codes like 0800 or 0808, allow customers to call your business without incurring any charges. They are commonly used for customer service hotlines and national businesses aiming to attract a broader audience.

Virtual phone numbers

Virtual numbers are not tied to a physical location and can be redirected to any device or number of your choice, making them suitable for remote or mobile businesses. They offer flexibility and mobility, allowing you to maintain constant communication regardless of your location.

International numbers

For businesses with a global presence or targeting international customers, international numbers provide a local presence in multiple countries. This facilitates easier communication and establishes trust with customers in different regions.

How to obtain a business phone number

Obtaining a business phone number is a straightforward process:

How to get a business phone number

  1. Choose a provider

    Research and select a reputable telecommunications provider that offers business phone services. Consider factors such as pricing, features, customer support, and compatibility with your existing systems.

  2. Select a number

    Decide on the type of number you need based on your business requirements and target audience. Choose a memorable and relevant number that aligns with your branding strategy.

  3. Sign up

    Sign up for a business phone plan with your chosen provider. Provide the necessary information, such as your business name, address, and contact details.

  4. Configure features

    Once you’ve obtained your business phone number, configure additional features and services according to your needs. This may include setting up voicemail greetings, call forwarding rules, and auto-attendant menus.

  5. Promote your number

    Promote your business phone number on your website, marketing materials, and social media channels to encourage customers to contact you. Ensure that it’s easily visible and accessible to potential clients.

Where to get a business phone number?

Choosing the right provider is a crucial step in obtaining a business phone number. A good provider offers not only a variety of number types but also reliable service and essential features that cater to your business needs. Here are some of the top providers you might consider for acquiring a business phone number:

1. BT (British Telecom)

BT offers a comprehensive range of business communication solutions, including local, national, and international phone numbers. Known for their reliable service and extensive network, BT can be a great choice for businesses looking for traditional and IP-based phone services.

2. Virgin Media Business

Virgin Media Business provides a variety of services including fixed business phone line phone services that are tailored for businesses of all sizes. Their offerings are robust in features, including VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions and competitive international calling plans.

3. Vonage Business

Vonage is known for its VoIP service and offers a flexible and scalable phone service that is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. They provide features like mobile apps, desktop plugins, and integration with various CRM systems, making it a good option for businesses that rely heavily on technology.

4. RingCentral

RingCentral is a popular choice among businesses that prefer a cloud-based phone system. They offer toll-free numbers, local numbers, and international numbers, along with advanced features such as video conferencing, team messaging, and file sharing.

5. 8×8

8×8 offers VoIP phone services with a focus on providing solutions for international businesses. Their service includes a range of advanced features such as web conferencing, internet faxing, and smartphone integration.

6. O2 Business

O2 Business offers flexible solutions for mobile and fixed business phone systems. They provide tailored packages that include digital office phone systems and mobile plans, which can be customised based on the specific needs of a business.

Choosing the right business phone number provider

When selecting a provider, consider the following factors:

  • Coverage and reliability: Ensure the provider offers excellent coverage and reliable service, especially if your business requires constant connectivity.
  • Features: Look for features that match your business needs, such as call forwarding, voicemail, auto-attendant, and integration capabilities with other business tools.
  • Customer support: Good customer support is crucial. Ensure the provider offers responsive and helpful customer service.
  • Cost: Compare costs between different providers but remember that the cheapest option may not always offer the best value. Consider what is included in the package.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, your phone system needs may change. Choose a provider that offers scalable solutions that can grow with your business.

Selecting the right business phone number provider involves balancing cost, features, and the specific needs of your business. Take the time to research and compare providers to find the best fit for your business’s communication requirements.

How much does it cost to get a business phone number?

The cost of obtaining a business phone number can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of number, the provider, and the range of features included in the service plan. Here’s a breakdown of typical fees and costs you can expect when setting up a number:

Initial setup fees

Many providers charge an initial setup fee for creating your business phone system. This can range from nominal to substantial amounts, depending on the complexity of the system being installed. For virtual and cloud-based systems, setup fees are often lower, as there’s less physical infrastructure needed.

Monthly service charges

The core of the cost comes from monthly service charges, which can vary significantly:

  • Local Numbers: Generally, the cheapest option, monthly fees for local numbers can start from as low as £10 to £20 per month.
  • Toll-Free Numbers: These numbers usually come at a premium because they offer free calling for customers. Monthly charges can range from £20 to £50.
  • Virtual Numbers: Charges for virtual numbers depend largely on the features provided. Basic plans might start around £15 per month, with more comprehensive plans costing £30 or more.
  • International Numbers: Costs for international numbers can be higher due to the complexities involved in maintaining numbers across different countries. Expect to start from about £25 to £50 per month per number.

Call charges

Besides monthly fees, you need to consider call charges:

  • Per-Minute Charges: Many plans include per-minute charges for calls. Rates can be higher for international calls.
  • Included Minutes: Some providers offer plans with included minutes, which can reduce overall costs if you anticipate a high volume of calls.

Additional features

Additional features can also affect the overall cost:

  • Advanced Call Management: Features like auto-attendant, advanced routing, or conference calling might be included in higher-tier plans or available as add-ons.
  • Integration Features: Integration with CRM systems or APIs for customisation can come with additional costs.
  • Voicemail and Texting: Options for enhanced voicemail and business texting services are typically charged extra.

Annual contracts vs. monthly plans

Some providers may offer the choice between annual contracts and month-to-month plans. Annual contracts often come with a discount but require a longer commitment, while monthly plans offer more flexibility at a slightly higher monthly cost.


Consider bundling services (internet, mobile, and phone) as many providers offer discounts for bundled packages, which can be a cost-effective option for businesses needing multiple services.

Conclusion – How to get a phone number for your business

A business phone number is an essential tool for establishing credibility, enhancing customer communication, and driving business growth. By understanding the different types of numbers available and following the simple steps to obtain one, you can equip your business with a professional communication solution that supports your goals and objectives. Choose wisely, promote effectively, and reap the benefits of a dedicated business phone number for your organisation.

FAQ about getting a business phone number

Why should I get a dedicated business phone number?

A dedicated business phone number enhances your company’s professional image, protects personal privacy, offers advanced communication features, and supports your business as it scales.

What types of business phone numbers are available?

Businesses can choose from local numbers, which are ideal for targeting specific geographical areas; toll-free numbers that allow customers to call for free, suitable for customer service; virtual numbers, which can be redirected to any device and are great for remote operations; and international numbers, which help establish a local presence in foreign markets.

How do I choose the right type of phone number for my business?

Consider your target audience and operational needs. Local numbers are best for local services, toll-free for nationwide customer support, virtual numbers for mobile or remote setups, and international numbers for global reach.

What should I look for in a business phone service provider?

Evaluate providers based on their reliability, customer support, range of features, scalability, and pricing. Also, consider reviews and testimonials to gauge customer satisfaction.

How long does it take to set up a business phone number?

Setup times can vary by provider but typically, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days after your initial application is processed.

Can I port my existing phone number to a business number?

Yes, most providers allow you to port your existing number to their service, which can help maintain continuity with your contacts.

What are the costs involved in getting a business phone number?

Costs can vary widely based on the type of number, the features included, and the provider chosen. Basic plans might start from a minimal monthly fee, but costs will increase with additional features and usage rates.

Are there any legal requirements for obtaining a business phone number?

Legal requirements are minimal, but you’ll generally need to provide business identification and contact information to set up a service. Some specific types of business, like telemarketing, may have additional regulations.

Can I use my mobile phone with a business phone number?

Yes, many business phone systems offer apps or forwarding services that allow you to use your business number through your personal mobile phone.

How do I manage multiple business phone numbers?

Many business phone systems offer management tools that allow you to handle multiple numbers, extensions, and features from a single dashboard, making it easy to manage even complex setups.

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