vanity phone number

A vanity phone number is a usually a toll free number that spells a word related to a business’s brand or industry. These custom toll free telephone numbers have been a popular marketing tool since the late 1960’s. In this case “vanity” doesn’t mean pride or self-importance; it means a unique word related to business’s marketing, brand, industry, or service. When someone hears an advertisement on the radio or sees your ad on a billboard, a vanity telephone number makes it easy for the person to remember your business’s toll free phone number. The independent organization called SMS800 is sanctioned by the FCC to house and regulate 1-800 telephone numbers. When telephone companies conduct an 800 phone number lookup and search for available phone numbers they are searching the SMS800 database. This database is used as a vanity phone number generator, generating all available vanity 800 telephone numbers not currently in use by other businesses.

vanity 1-800 number

How can I get a Vanity Telephone Number?

If you are looking for vanity phone numbers for sale you’ll need to find a toll free service provider, such as UniTel Voice, with a custom toll free search tool that allows you to do an instant vanity phone number search. This search should generate all available combinations of 1-800 telephone numbers (vanity toll free numbers) that spell the word or phrase you are looking for. However, vanity numbers don’t have to be 1800 numbers. Vanity telephone numbers can start with other toll free number area codes such as 888 or 855 or 866 or 877 or even the newest toll free area code 844. You should note that the three-digit area code of a toll free number is often referred to as a toll free prefix, not an area code. Using the search tool to look up available numbers is easy. Simply enter the word or phrase you’d like your phone number to spell and the toll free search tool will display all available results. If you find a vanity phone number that you like, you can instantly reserve it and signup for long term toll free service by choosing a usage plan. Some companies charge a one-time “vanity” fee for custom toll free numbers. This fee usually ranges from $15-$50 depending on number; however some vanity 800 number like 1-800-FLOWERS can even cost tens of thousands of dollars!

vanity telephone number

Why should I get a Vanity 1-800 Number?

The obvious reason to use toll free vanity 800 telephone numbers for your business is they’re easy to remember. They’re not only memorable they reinforce your company’s brand. However, the main reason your company should invest in a vanity toll free number is something called toll free number portability. This means you own your business phone number. Before the FCC implemented these telecom regulations to protect against the monopoly power of large phone companies – toll free service providers could hold your number hostage. If they decided to raise your rates, you could either pay the new rates or lose your number. Telephone numbers with local area codes do not have toll free number portability protection in the same way 800 numbers do. If you spend lots of money marketing your business’s phone number you want to make sure you own the number and are free to port or “transfer” that number to any carrier at any time. That is way local vanity phone numbers are not a good idea for business use.

find a toll free number

toll free forwarding

Toll free numbers aren’t just for large call centers or Fortune 500 companies any more. Now you can get a toll free number and forward it to your cell phone. If you’re an on-the-go entrepreneur or a small business owner this technology can help you stay connected and sound more professional. When someone calls your toll free number they’ll first hear a professional greeting like “Thank you for calling ABC Company. For Sales press 1, For Support press 2…etc.” Then your caller is routed to your cell phone or your business partner’s cell phone in another location. You’d see on your caller ID that it’s customer calling you on your 800 number so you would know to answer the call professionally. And if you don’t answer, instead of going to your personal cell phone’s voicemail the caller will be sent to your Company’s unavailable greeting (“We’re sorry all representatives are assisting other customers…”). Your caller can leave a message and that message will be emailed to you. This is type of toll free number forwarding is made possible by Virtual Phone Systems for Small Business. With a Virtual Phone System, you can run your business from your cell phone, yet sound like you have a Fortune 500 company’s phone system.

get toll free forwarding service

What does Toll Free Forwarding mean?

Toll free forwarding refers to the ability to forward a toll free 800 number to a local area code number. For example you can forward an 866 toll free phone number to any local area code number using a phone company’s toll free services. However, there are more toll free area codes than just 866 and they all have toll free forwarding capabilities. Toll free area codes are called prefixes (technically they’re just called toll free area codes, but for some reason they are wildly referred to as toll free prefixes, even though the prefix is actually the first 3 digits after the area code). The FCC has currently approved the following toll free phone number prefixes for use by small business and other organizations: 800, 855, 866, 888, 877, and the newest toll free prefix 844. Any toll free phone number (that includes toll free vanity numbers) with any of these prefixes are eligible for toll free call forwarding to local area codes in the USA or Canada North American Dialing Plan.

call forwarding service

How does Toll Free Forwarding work?

It’s simple. You sign up for toll free number service with a telephone company that is an official RespOrg (i.e., FCC authorized toll free service provider known as a “responsible organization” or “RespOrg” in telecom talk). You select an 800 number (remember the prefix or toll free area code does not have to be 800 – it can be 855 or 866, 888, 877, or 844) and you forward the toll free number to a local area code telephone number. Some toll free call forwarding services allow you to set up advanced call forwarding such as time-of-day routing, multiple greetings, extensions, phone numbers, or virtual voicemail boxes. In fact, some toll free forwarding systems offer virtual phone system features with all the power of a traditional PBX business telephone service. Or you can opt for simple toll free call forwarding and simply ring your 1800 number to your local phone number. Toll free numbers can forward to cell phones, home phones, office phones, VoIP phones or whatever 10-digit (3-digit area code plus 7 digit phone number) telephone number you’d like.

1-800 Number Forwarding service

Why should I get a 1-800 Number Forwarding service?

If you are a small business owner, home-based business owner, or startup company entrepreneur, you may be considering getting 1-800 number forwarding service. In today’s world it is not as important to have a toll free number so customers can call your small business toll free. Most people have cell phones with unlimited calling or use a VoIP solution with free long distance. However, there is a few good reasons to get toll free number forwarding services. You could get a vanity phone number that gives your home-based business a more credible image, like a Fortune 500 company who primarily uses 800 numbers. Another reason relates to number portability. A federal law passed in the 1990s to protect businesses from phone companies holding their business phone number hostage. This law granted toll free number portability, otherwise known as owning your business phone number and being able to easily and quickly port it to any phone company at any time. Local area code telephone numbers are not regulated the same as 800 phone numbers. Only toll free numbers with the toll free area codes 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 have this portability protection. If you phone company raises their rates you can port your number to another carrier virtually overnight and say goodbye to your current telecom provider. This allows you to shop around and find a new carrier that will provide you with the same quality of 1-800 number forwarding service at a better value.

virtual phone system

 Get an 800 Number

What is an 800 number?

Before we talk about how to get an 800 number for your small business, first let’s explain what it is. A 1-800 telephone number is a toll free number with the toll free area code prefix 855, 866, 877, 888, or 800. Business owners often wonder, if they get an 800 number, do they own it? The answer is yes – unless the phone company is “renting” the number. With UniTel Voice, for example you own your number with no strings attached. And in most cases, unless you agree to their special terms and conditions, you own the number and can port it to another provider at any time. Toll free numbers are the only telephone numbers protected by special FCC toll free number portability rules. As long as you are in good standing with your toll free service provider you can port your number to another phone company. Why is this so important? Let’s say you’ve spend time and money marketing your business’s phone number and you move locations, or you change phone systems, or your phone company goes out of business, or your phone company raises your rates. Toll free number portability means you have the right to port your number away from your current phone company without service interruption. Note: Some companies (UniTel Voice excluded) have cancelation fees or “porting” fees. Make sure you read their terms and conditions carefully.

buy an 800 number

Why should I buy an 800 number for my small business?

There are many reasons you should buy an 800 number, even in 2014. First, there’s no question that a toll free 1800 telephone number gives your business instant credibility and a nationwide presence – if you are small startup company or a home-based business that little bit of credibility can go a long way. However, the most important reason to buy 800 number service is the ability to own your business phone number. Toll free numbers are the only phone numbers protected by special FCC number portability rules that protect businesses and ensure the ability to take your number with you wherever you go. You invest in marketing your number – don’t lose that investment by marketing a local area code number that is not protected. Get a toll free number with the area code 800, 888, 877, 866, or 855, and protect your investment, and as a bonus, give your small business a nationwide appeal with a big business image.

Get 1-800 Numbers

How to Get 1-800 Numbers with affordable service

You can get 1-800 numbers from almost every major phone company. However, toll free service providers are not all are created equal. In fact, you can get the same quality of 1800 number service from a smaller company for a fraction of the price of going to one of the huge telecom providers. Not only do the smaller telephone companies have less expensive rates, the smaller phone companies have better customer service and more features (like 800 number voicemail and auto-attendant call routing). You might be wondering: If I get an 800 number from a smaller toll free phone service provider, will the call quality be the same as the large telecom providers? In most cases the answer is yes. Companies like UniTel Voice for example, use the same underlying toll free forwarding network as the major telecommunication giants. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the US government deemed the large telecom companies “monopolies”, forcing them to allow smaller phone companies the opportunity to use their networks as their underlying carriers. Once the monopolies were broken down, free market competition kicked in. As a result, the small phone companies innovated, making 1-800 toll free service more affordable, adding cool phone system features, and providing better customer service. That’s the power of the free market! Breaking up the telecom monopolies increased competition, lowered prices, and increase innovation across the board. See UniTel Voice’s Low Cost Toll Free Number Plans.

Toll Free Numbers with Virtual Phone System Features

Toll free numbers with virtual phone system features

Today, toll free service providers have combined cloud-based technology and with traditional toll free service to offer Virtual Phone Systems that provide small business with all the power of a traditional PBX business phone system without the hassle of equipment or software. Learn more about UniTel Voice’s Virtual Office Phone System.

find a toll free number

 

Get a custom toll free vanity number

What is a Custom Toll Free Number?

A custom toll free number is a vanity 1-800 number that typically spells an easy-to-remember word related to a business’s value proposition, industry, or brand name. Toll free service providers are USA and Canada based phone companies that are authorized to provide small businesses with toll free area codes and other toll free services. Finding the right custom toll free phone number can be a challenge because there are only so many toll free area codes or prefixes available.  To date, there has only been the following toll free area codes released 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 and most recently in 2013, the toll free prefix 844. Because of this limited pool of number combinations it can be difficult to do a vanity toll free number lookup.

Find a custom vanity toll free 800 number

How does a Custom Toll Free Number work?

Custom toll free numbers work the same as regular 1-800 numbers. In fact, they are 800 numbers that simply spell a word. If you get an 800 number that look at your telephone keypad and see what it spells. If you think about it, every phone number spells a word. To discover what your number spells simply look at the keys on a standard phone. Does your telephone number spell anything interesting? Another name for these types telephone numbers are vanity toll free numbers, they’ve been around since the 1960s. Companies have used them in all kinds of marketing promotional activities such as billboards, TV, and radio advertisements.

Order a custom toll free phone number

Why should I get a Custom Vanity 800 Number?

There are several reasons why you should consider getting a custom vanity 800 telephone number for your small business. First, it gives your small business a touch of instant credibility. Toll free prefixes are recognized universally as business numbers and because they use a toll free prefix such as 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, or 844, they give your business a nationwide presence. A local area code gives your business a local presence, which may be what you are going for – depending on your business image. A custom toll free phone number is also easy to remember because it spells a word. If people hear your business’s phone number on the radio they are much more likely to remember if it is 1-800-CAR-LOAN than if it’s 1-800-523-7562. And with toll free forwarding services you to forward a custom 1800 telephone number to any local number.

Pick a custom 800 number

Want your own Custom Toll Free Number?

As an FCC certified RespOrg, UniTel Voice has access to all available toll free numbers in North America via the National Toll Free Number Database. In fact you can search for customer vanity toll free numbers using numbers or letters. Find the perfect custom toll free vanity number here.

 

find a toll free number

The 5 Legal Documents Every Startup Needs

Picking out office space. Ordering business cards. Getting your website up and running. Putting together just the right team of people. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do when you’re starting a new business. But sometimes, in the chaos of launching a startup, it’s easy to overlook important legal aspects of your new business venture — which can have serious ramifications down the road.

When starting a business, there are a few legal documents that you should put at the top of your “to do” list. Let’s take a closer look at the top five legal documents your startup needs now:

Incorporation papers: To protect yourself and your family during the startup process, it’s important that you incorporate your business, setting it up as its own legal entity. By doing so, you’re providing yourself with an additional layer of legal protection between any issues that may arise and your personal assets.

The business structure you select will have an impact on the way you are taxed, so it’s important you are aware of the tax ramifications before you make the decision. Savvy startups seek out the counsel of an experienced small business attorney or accountant to not only help them determine the most advantageous business structure, but also to help them file the appropriate paperwork to make the business official.

Freelance work contracts: Whether you need a logo designed for your company, or want someone to code your new mobile app, it may make sense for you to turn to a freelancer to accomplish the task. When hiring a freelancer, it’s important that you protect your business and your interests with a freelance work contract. Spelling out things like work scope, payment terms and nondisclosure/confidentiality terms in a contract — before you get started — will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and will allow you to answer questions and work out potential issues before billing begins.

Additionally, ensure that your freelance work contract is crystal clear when it comes to outlining your business’ ownership of the intellectual property (IP) the freelancer is creating for you. There’s nothing that makes an investor more leery than less-than-clear IP ownership, so being able to prove you own the IP outright will help quell any concerns.

Client contracts: Just like with freelance contracts, it’s important that you have contracts with your clients that define the terms of your relationship and outline your recourse options if the terms are violated. But what if your clients are old friends and you’d feel comfortable doing business with nothing more than a handshake? Even then, it’s still a good idea to get in the habit of insisting on a contract. Just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean they’re the ones responsible for cutting the checks; nor does it mean they will be at that business forever. And in the event that a client doesn’t pay you for the services you rendered, a contract gives you the option to take legal recourse to collect your money. In many situations, just being able to reference the contract and threaten to pursue legal action is enough to get clients to do the right thing.

Trademark registration certificate: Many startups spend thousands of dollars hiring specialists to help them create a brand — from naming products/services to developing a logo and selecting a tagline — but then foolishly insist on taking a DIY approach when it comes to protecting that brand via trademark. The reality is that performing a trademark search on your own leaves you unnecessarily vulnerable to challenges and infringement accusations in the future.

Instead, make the smart investment and hire a trademark attorney to help guide you through the process. A dedicated trademark attorney has real-world experience with the trademark application process and can help you avoid many common trademark process pitfalls. Think of the money you spend on a competent trademark attorney as an investment in the security and longevity of your brand.

Buy/sell agreement: If you’re starting the business with a partner, it’s important that you outline what will happen in the event the partnership changes. Create a buy/sell agreement as part of your larger operations agreement, and in it address questions like:

      • What happens if one of the partners no longer wants to be involved in the business?
      • What happens if one of the partners is no longer able to fulfill his or her obligations to the business, due to personal issues, legal issues, etc.?
      • What happens if one of the partners dies?

It may seem unnecessary to draw up a legal agreement with the person you’ve been best friends with since eighth grade — but it must be done. Addressing these questions early in your startup life, rather than in the middle of a disagreement or a crisis situation, will give your business a better chance of navigating even the stickiest of situations.

Set Up Your Startup for Success
If you’re starting a new business, it’s important that you procure several legal documents early in the process. By incorporating your business, developing contracts for freelancers and clients, protecting your brand via trademark and including a buy/sell agreement in your operations plan, you’ll be addressing some of the top legal issues that startups often ignore— and you’ll be setting yourself up for success today and in the future.

 

Author Bio:
Josh Gerben is the principal of the Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, a firm that helps small businesses with trademark law and services. If you are looking to register your trademark, check out the many resources available on gerbenlaw.com.

Startup Business Ideas Business Startup Ideas

Entrepreneurs are always coming up with startup business ideas. Some business startup ideas seem genius at first, and later don’t pan out, while others seem crazy right off the bat, and wind up making millions! At UniTel Voice we’re fascinated by Entrepreneurs and their crazy startup ideas. So we did some research and create an infographic describing a whole slew of (real) wacky startup business ideas that are not only ridiculous, but actually mad money. In fact, these outrageous products made millions. Without further ado, here’s an infographic highlighting five startup business ideas that will blow your mind:

Startup Business Ideas Infographic

Start your own business IdeasCool Creative Innovative Business Ideas

Cool, Creative, Innovative, Start Your Own Business Ideas

Every single day people type the phrase “start your own business ideas” into google. This phrase is searched about 880 times per month. The phrases cool business ideas, creative business ideas, and innovative business ideas are searched over 590 times per month. The fact is people all over the country are searching for start your own business ideas. The entrepreneurial spirit is ingrained in Americans’ DNA. For the American entrepreneur, a good idea can provide an immense amount of hope.  Even though the startup success rates are low, cool business ideas give people something to dream about. Dreaming about creative business ideas that can lead to obscene amounts of money is one way to escape the boring cubicle and nagging boss. And it’s the dreamers that create the innovative business ideas that change the world, even if the idea is a bit ridiculous.

Entrepreneurial Ideas Good Small Business IdeasProfitable Business Ideas

Entrepreneurial Ideas that Are Profitable

Good entrepreneurial ideas are profitable business ideas. However we’ve learned that good small business ideas don’t necessarily have to be useful to humanity to make money. If benefiting to humankind were the only qualification of great entrepreneurial ideas, there would be no pet rock or reality TV. If we’ve learned anything from researching the businesses featured in this infographic, it’s that great small business ideas can come from odd-yet-easy business ideas that make you say: Why didn’t I think of that?

Help your startup company sound and look more professional. Get a toll free number & virtual office phone system from UniTel Voice. You can get toll free telephone numbers with quality virtual PBX phone system priced & designed for small businesses and startup companies.

Use This Graphic for FREE on Your Site!

You may use the infographic above on your website, however, the license we grant to you requires that you properly and correctly attribute the work to us with a link back to our website.

…and here’s a nice square thumbnail for facebook:

Start Your Own Business Ideas Thumbnail

7 Stages of Business Development

7 Stages of Business Development & Growth

Every day entrepreneurs all over the country start businesses. Some small business startups succeed and some fail.  Understanding the stages of business development will help you identify the critical success factors it takes to move your small business form a fledgling startup to a sustainable company. The infographic below outlines this “success factor” framework in 7 stages of business growth. As your small business moves through these stages of business development, it’s important to understand what to focus on (and what not to focus on for that matter).

7 Stages of Business Growth [Infographic]

7 stages of business growth infographic.

Source: Infusionsoft

Help your small business startup sound and look more professional. Get a toll free number & virtual office phone system from UniTel Voice. UniTel Voice offers quality 1-800 numbers for business use enhanced with cloud-based virtual PBX phone system quality priced & designed startup companies.

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