How to Apply for an 800 Number

Toll free numbers are for businesses and individuals.
Toll free numbers are for businesses and individuals. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

An 800 number is a three-digit code at the beginning of a telephone number that allows callers to reach businesses or individuals for free. Numbers that begin with this code are known as toll free numbers. Toll free calls are paid by the subscriber instead of the caller. Toll free numbers are more commonly used by businesses as a service to their customers, however they are becoming increasingly common for personal use as well. Consumers with family members out-of-state use toll free numbers to allow their loved ones to call them without having to call collect or pay for the call. Toll free numbers can be assigned to a business phone, home phone, cell phone, VOIP phone, pager or fax. Other toll free codes are 855, 866, 877 and 888.

Visit websites that provide toll free service. Companies that offer toll free service are plentiful online. Research a few companies and decide which one offers the best service and affordable price. Typically, there is a small flat monthly rate for the number, in addition to a per minute call charge. Most are contract free with no minimum usage requirement.

Reserve a toll free number by selecting a number from a list of available numbers. You may choose from any of the five available toll free three digit codes. Vanity numbers may be reserved for an additional one time charge. Vanity numbers are toll free numbers that spell out catchy words or phrases and uses the corresponding numbers on the telephone keypad to dial the number. Enter the forwarding telephone number that will be used to route the 800 calls to. Pay the reserve fee and submit the application to activate the service. The service will be activated immediately. Toll free vanity numbers may take up to 12 hours for activation.

Wait to receive a phone call from the toll free service company to confirm the activation. You are the owner of your toll free number and may take the number to a new carrier at any time at no charge. Transfers can take up to 21 days to process. Toll free forwarding numbers may be changed at anytime, online or by phone for free. Numbers with a negative balance over $5.00 or that remain inactive for more than 45 consecutive days, will be recycled.

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