Back to Blog

How to get an 800 number for your business in 3 easy steps

Grace Lau

Director of Growth Content

How to get an 800 number Header

Need to get an 800 number for your business?

Whether you’re running a marketing campaign or just want a vanity number, 800 numbers can be helpful for brand awareness and also give your potential customers a way to contact your company for free, from different countries like Canada, Australia, and so on (since 800 numbers are also toll-free numbers).

And getting a 1-800 number for a business is actually pretty easy! You can buy them separately, of course, but many virtual phone systems and business phone system actually give you the option of adding an 800 number too.

Keep reading to find out how to get an 800 number in a few simple steps.

What is an 800 number for business?

An 800 number is also known as a toll-free number, and when you see this 800 prefix, it means that phone number is free for the caller (e.g. your customer) and paid for by the company (e.g. your company, maybe!) receiving that call. The 800 digit code replaces the usual three-digit area code that you’d enter before the seven-digit phone number itself.

Today, businesses typically use toll free numbers for things like customer support and to run marketing campaigns.

Some other common prefixes for this toll-free service include 888, 877, 855, 866 and 844. (The 800 prefix just happens to be the most well-known toll-free prefix.)

Fun fact: Toll-free numbers are assigned by an entity known as “The Responsible Organization” (RespOrg). The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is the American organization that regulates communication methods throughout the US.

How does an 800 number work?

A toll-free number service is pretty straightforward. If you’re a business owner, you’d typically buy or pay for an 800 number from a business communications or VoIP phone service provider (usually it’s a monthly fee).

If you’re the caller, you’d just dial the 800 or toll-free number as usual to call the business you want to reach, and you won’t be charged. That’s it!

The benefits of getting an 800 number for your business

It’s more memorable than regular business phone number

One type of toll-free number is the vanity number. These phone numbers are typically combinations of numbers and letters that describe your business name or industry. Classic examples: 1-800-GO-FEDEX and 1-800-FLOWERS. These memorable numbers are a great way to give you instant brand recognition and help customers remember you.

If you’ve seen TV or YouTube commercials, you’ve probably seen these vanity numbers and toll-free numbers used in direct response marketing campaigns. This makes it very easy to track too—any prospects or customers who call into a particular number can be attributed to that specific campaign (unless you’re using the same phone number across different marketing campaigns).

👉 Dialpad tip:

If you’re running a marketing campaign, make sure your contact center or call center is staffed to take the inbound calls that you’re expecting. (If potential customers call your toll-free number outside business hours, would they still reach an agent or auto attendant, or go straight to voicemail?)

It’s free for your callers

And of course, one of the biggest benefits here is that toll-free calls are, well, free for your customers. If you’re running a campaign or trying to get people in different regions to call, you could just use one toll-free number instead of setting up separate local numbers for all those regions.

It makes your business look bigger than it is

Historically, vanity numbers became popular because they were used by big companies like Pizza Hut and Fedex.

But they’re not actually that expensive and today, even small business owners and startups can easily (and cheaply) set up a new toll-free 800 number and look like a big player.

How to get an 800 number for your business in 3 simple steps

1. Find a service provider and compare pricing

The first thing to know is that you have two main options: buy a toll-free number by itself, or get it as part of a unified communications or VoIP phone system platform.

Usually, business phone service providers will offer different pricing plans with minimum monthly payments and a maximum numbers of minutes. Other pricing models might charge you per minute for 800 number phone services.

Dialpad, for example, is a unified communications (UCaaS) platform that’s like a supercharged business phone system. You can make phone calls, do video conferencing, send SMS/MMS and instant messages, and more—all from the beautiful desktop or mobile app:

Sending an SMS from Dialpad app blog size

(Or you can just use the web browser, no downloads needed.)

Pricing starts at only $15 per month, and comes with a local number, unlimited calling in your country, the US, and Canada, unlimited SMS/MMS text messaging in the US and Canada, and also advanced phone features.

Those include call recordings—at no extra charge—voicemail transcription (powered by Dialpad’s built-in AI), and more:

Visual voicemail in dialpad blog size

2. Choose the prefix for your number

Once you’ve got a service provider, it’s time to choose a prefix for your business phone number. Toll-free numbers are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis, so hopefully another business in your industry hasn’t already snagged the phone number you had in mind.

Some tips for choosing the best prefix for your business:

  • 800 numbers are the most popular, so if you’re out of luck, check out alternatives like the 888 or 833 prefixes

  • Test alternative spellings if the vanity number you wanted is already claimed

👉 Fun fact:

Dialpad can help you port over your existing toll-free numbers.

3. Set up an account and assign the number!

Once you’ve decided on your service provider and toll-free number prefix, just choose a pricing plan based on your business needs and sign up for an account. After this, it’s just a case of assigning the toll-free number to an agent or call group.

Other functionality you get when you go with Dialpad as your 800 number provider

Dialpad isn’t just a business phone system or VoIP service provider—it’s a unified communications platform. Here’s what that means.

All your communications channels in one place

As a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) provider, Dialpad lets you handle all your business communications in one place. Make VoIP calls, send SMS/MMS or instant messages, and do video conferencing—all from the desktop or mobile app, which works across Android, iPhone, Mac, and PC:

Video on desktop and mobile blog size

That means you can work from anywhere and use Dialpad on your computer or cell phone.

Easy setup

Add a phone line or long-distance number, manage your phone numbers, add new users, and more, right from your online dashboard with just a few clicks.

Voicemail

Record or upload your voicemail greeting, check your messages, and more, right from the app. And not only that, Dialpad also has voicemail transcriptions, thanks to its built-in AI.

Call forwarding

Never miss a phone call again. Dialpad’s call forwarding feature lets you set up a maximum of five call forwarding numbers so you can forward calls to teammates, your mobile phone, or even a landline:

Adding a call forwarding phone number in dialpad blog size

DIY call routing

Route incoming calls however you like. With Dialpad, you can set up and make changes to your call routing in minutes on your own—no IT help needed.

Even the most basic $15 plan comes with a multi-level auto attendant and you can even check to see how frequently your call routing menu options are being used, and continuously optimize that experience for your callers.

A wide range of integrations

From everyday tools like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 to CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, Dialpad integrates with many of the most popular business tools.

Many of them can embed Dialpad’s dialer right inside those tools so that you can, for example, make a phone call from right inside Salesforce:

Salesforce integration blog size

(This is a big difference between Dialpad and more basic business phone services like Grasshopper, which aren’t quite as robust in terms of this kind of functionality.)

Customizable caller ID

Want to make business calls from your cell phone—without exposing your personal phone number?

When you’re making a phone call or sending a text message with Dialpad’s app, you can choose which phone number to display on the caller ID and protect your personal number:

Change Caller ID

2 questions to help you figure out if your business really needs an 800 number

Wondering if your business needs a toll-free number? Here are two simple questions to ask to figure that out.

What’s the reach of your business?

If, for instance, your business receives mostly inbound business calls from local phone numbers rather than international calls, then you’re probably fine using a regular telephone number with a local area code. If, on the other hand, you’re running a business that’s scaling up quickly and needs to reach new audiences, then having a toll-free phone number can help give the perception that you’re more than just a small startup.

Are you running a direct response marketing campaign?

This is the other common use case—if you’re running a marketing campaign in a few regions and want to promote just one phone number, then it’s probably best to use a toll-free number here (and make sure to have a well-staffed call center).

Looking for an 800 number provider?

Toll-free numbers can be an effective tool to market your business and drive awareness to a bigger audience, establish credibility with potential customers across different regions, and help your business scale growth more quickly.

If you need to upgrade your business phone system and also need an 800 phone number, try Dialpad for free with a 14-day trial!

Need to get an 800 number for your business?

With Dialpad's unified communications platform, you can add an 800 number to your account easily! See how it works with a 14-day free trial—signup takes just a few minutes, and you'll be set up with a virtual phone number too.

How to get an 800 number for business: FAQs

What plan level do I need in order to have an 800 number?

All Dialpad plans offer toll-free number support.

Can I purchase more than one 800 number?

How much does it cost to add an 800 number?

Can I keep my existing 800 number?

What happens when a customer calls an 800 number, but no one is available to answer the call?

Can I change my 800 number?