What Is a Business Phone Number?
Put simply, a business phone number is a telephone number used for business purposes. There are many uses for a business phone line, including:
- Customer service support line
- Technical support
- Appointment scheduling
- Order taking
How to Get a Business Phone Number
Getting a business phone number is as simple as selecting a business phone service provider and placing an order with them.
To get a business phone, follow these steps:
- Decide why you need a business phone line
- Decide what type of business number (toll-free, local, vanity, etc.)
- Order a business phone line through the chosen provider
Decide Why You Need a Business Phone Line
Figuring out exactly what your business phone goals are can help you determine your needs and, in turn, determine which business phone service will best suit those needs.
Here are some example reasons why your business may need its own phone line.
Customer Service Support Line
Many businesses have a customer support line to assist customers so they can:
- Address customer concerns in a timely manner
- Save the customer time and frustration by receiving assistance over the phone
- Help create a positive customer experience
Telesales Business Phone Line
Some businesses choose to sell products and services directly over the phone. These businesses need a business phone line to do business with customers.
A business phone line for telesales can help your business:
- Make more sales
- Connect with prospective clients faster
- Measure your sales success (i.e., call metrics/analytics)
Technical Support Business Phone Line
Many businesses have a technical support line to assist customers with technical issues. Most businesses with technical support lines use them to:
- Provide help with technical issues
- Teach customers about products and services
- Improve products for future versions of products
- Install software updates more easily
Appointment Scheduling Business Phone Line
Many businesses need a business phone line to assist customers with scheduling time with their company. Some aspects include:
- Reminding customers to schedule appointments
- Providing customers an avenue to place and ask questions about appointments
Order Taking Business Phone Line
Many businesses need a business phone line to take customer orders. A business phone line allows customers to:
- Phone in orders (pizza, parts, etc.)
- Place reservations
- Check on pending requests
- Learn business inventory availability
- Pay in advance
Choose the Type of Number
There are different types of business phone numbers to pick from based on your business’s scope:
- Toll-Free Numbers: Toll-free numbers are those that customers can call without any charge to them, making it a good choice for businesses that operate in more than one location.
- Local Numbers: As the name implies, a local business phone number is location-specific. If your business operates out of one location, you may only need a local number that your customers can easily recognize.
- International Number: If you do business in different countries, you may want an international business number tied to that location. An international location can make it easier to transact business with clients in other markets.
Vanity vs. Non-Vanity Numbers
Vanity phone numbers are a way for companies to make themselves stand out by matching the company's branding and creating an aura of exclusivity. For example, the customer service number for FedEx is 1-800-463-3339, which translates to the more memorable “1-800-GOFEDEX.”
Vanity phone numbers can be local numbers, but they are often toll-free numbers. They can also be pricier than using a regular phone number as well as trickier to obtain. However, the memorability and ease of a vanity phone number can make it well worth the money.
Landline vs. VoIP Numbers
You may also need to decide whether you want your business phone to be on a landline or through the internet.
Landline phones are those phones that are connected through wires. With the advent of cell phones and the internet, landlines seem to have fallen by the wayside for most users. However, businesses may consider installing a landline phone system if they do not have a strong internet connection and need to rely on consistent call quality.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems use your business’s internet connection to make phone calls. Unlike landlines, VoIP phone services are easy to set up, come with many advanced calling features (auto attendants, call recording, etc.), and are typically less expensive to maintain.
Find a Business Phone Service
Once you know what you need from your business phone number, it’s time to find a business phone service that meets your expectations. Some of our favorite services include:
For a closer look at these companies, check out our in-depth guide to the best business phone services.
Do I Need a Business Phone Number?
Not every business needs a business phone number. Smaller, informal businesses (e.g., freelancers) may be able to start off just using their personal phone numbers.
That being said, we recommend that most businesses get a business phone number, especially If they are a larger business, one with multiple employees, or one that plans on expanding soon. A business phone number will help establish your credibility and help you separate your business from your personal life.
More Business Phone Guides
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pros and cons of getting a business phone number?
For some, a business phone number is an absolute must. For others, it may not be necessary.
There are a variety of advantages to having a business phone number, such as increased professionalism, separate personal and business networks, and easier customer interactions.
What is the cost of getting a business phone number?
The cost of getting a business number varies depending on the provider and the package selected. For the best providers and best pricing, see our review of the best business phone services.
Do I need a business phone line to build business credit?
A business phone line can help businesses build business credit, as a dedicated business phone number can help creditors know that a business is a professional operation. Business credibility is important to have when applying for loans.