The Top 7 Small Business Phone Systems in Canada

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The best phone system for small business in Canada is RingCentral’s Advanced plan. Our extensive research and product testing revealed that this plan offers everything a small business needs to maintain communication without breaking the bank. For just $35 per month, you’ll get brilliant external connections and a scalable VoIP system that can grow alongside your business.

With hybrid and remote working here to stay, it’s never been more important to find the right VoIP phone system to give your employees flexibility around location. To help you out, we’ll outline seven systems that impressed us during our testing process and explain which type of business they’ll suit best

Short on time? No problem – simply use our free comparison tool to get tailored quotes for your needs, making it quick and easy to switch systems today.

Top 7 Small Business Phone Systems

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our comparison tool to find the best service for your business.

  1. RingCentral Advanced – Best for external connections
  2. 8×8 X2 – Best for scalability
  3. Dialpad Pro – Best for conversational AI
  4. Ooma Office Pro – Best for affordability
  5. Google Voice Standard – Best for Google users
  6. Net2Phone Business Lite – Best for international calling
  7. GoToConnect Standard – Best for value for money

What Is a Small Business Phone System?

Phone systems for small businesses are telecommunications solutions that enable you to make and receive business calls. However, with the rise of remote working, you'll likely need to transfer and forward calls to your employees' cell phones. That's where VoIP systems can help.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems conduct calls using the Internet, while PBX systems (private branch exchange) rely on traditional telephone lines.

This page will focus on VoIP systems, which are more advanced and hands-off than PBX systems. It leverages your internet connection for making calls, allowing flexible pay-as-you-go options with minimal upfront investment and easy setup. These systems often come equipped with ‘softphone’ apps suitable for Android or iOS mobile phones, as well as other devices like iPads.

The Top 7 Small Business Phone Systems

We researched and tested seven different business phone systems, critically evaluating each one in their suitability for small businesses. This allowed us to handpick seven of the best phone systems for small businesses in Canada:

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Expert Rating
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$35 per user, per month


$30 per user, per month


$20 per user, per month


$24.95 per user, per month


$10 per user, per month


$29.99 per user, per month


$42 per user, per month

Domestic Calls

1000 inclusive inbound minutes 2000 outbound minutes per user

Domestic Calls


Domestic Calls


Domestic Calls


Domestic Calls


Domestic Calls


Domestic Calls


International Calls


International Calls

Unlimited to 14 countries

International Calls


International Calls


International Calls

Free calls to the US from any country

International Calls

Unlimited to 40 countries

International Calls

Free international calling to 50+ countries

Key Features
  • Onboarding support
  • 90+ platforms to integrate with
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Web conferencing
  • Internal live chat
Key Features
  • Onboarding support
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Analytics
  • Customizable call routing
  • Call recording
Key Features
  • Onboarding support
  • Call queue
  • Ring groups
  • Call recording
  • Analytics
  • Call transcripts
Key Features
  • Email and Workspace integrations
  • Call recording
  • Customizable call routing
  • Analytics


Key Features
  • Analytics
  • Customisable call routing
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • User permissions
  • Password rules
Key Features
  • Unlimited Calling to Canada, the US, and 40+ other countries
  • Web Phone and Mobile app
  • Complimentary phone rental (On 3 and 5 year contracts)
Key Features
  • Auto Attendant Recorded Greetings
  • Customizable Dial Plans
  • Ring Groups
  • Call Queues
  • Multi-Site Compatible
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Want to find out what makes them so great? Read on for our reviews of each of these small business office phone systems, including prices, features, and more.

Why Can You Trust Expert Market for Phone System Recommendations?

At Expert Market, we are dedicated to helping our readers make informed purchases to make their businesses thrive. Our publishing team is completely separate from our sales team, so our research-backed opinions are independent of financial persuasion.

We conduct an unbiased, user-led testing process to evaluate the best phone systems on the market. Refer to our methodology section for a more detailed breakdown of how we arrived at our top five.

1. RingCentral Advanced – Best for External Connections

RingCentral logo
Pricing $30.00-$45.00
Quick overview

With a Premium or Ultimate subscription, you can integrate RingCentral with 96+ CRM integrations and use all the management and inbound communication features you might possibly need, which is why it's the best phone system for small businesses looking for external connections.


Free 15-day trial available

Businesses with more than 100 users on the system will be offered discounted prices

Integrates with a range of CRM and productivity software


The cheapest plan (‘Essentials’) only includes 100 toll-free minutes - fewer than competitors

The Essentials plan is only available to businesses with fewer than 21 system users

PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Core $30
Advanced $35
Ultra $45

What kind of small business features does RingCentral Advanced offer?

  • Software integrations: in the Advanced and Ultra subscriptions, you can sync your phone system with over 90 CRM platforms, with key helpdesk integrations like Salesforce and Zendesk, analytics, and other platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, and Facebook. This makes your customer service muscle stronger, and allows you to instantly draw on customer-specific data to provide a frustration-free experience.
  • Customer support: RingCentral provides multiple customer support channels, including live chat, a phone line, and email support. It also includes onboarding support to help you set up your system. Plus, it has a 99.9% uptime guarantee to ensure your system won’t experience downtime frequently.
  • Features: Managing growing call volumes is much easier with plenty of inbound communication tools, such as ring groups, voice-to-text, and spam prevention features. You’ll also be equipped with advanced tools like call barge, call whisper, and call monitoring to help you supervise calls and train your team. RingCentral also offers outstanding add-ons, such as RingCentral Webinar, RingCentral Contact Center, and RingCentral Engage Digital to boost your team’s capabilities.
  • Scalability: RingCentral has an impressive offer for scalability, equipping you with all the right tools – call queue, ring groups, web conferencing tools, internal live chat, and pretty much all the management features you could ever need as a small business! It also includes multi-factor authentication, password rules, compliance certifications and encryption, which will help shield your operation as you continue to scale up.

How does RingCentral Advanced compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

In our research, we gave RingCentral a remarkable score of 4.3/5 for External Connections, the highest in this category among all providers. We also gave it an impressive rating of 4.9/5 for scalability, standing shoulder to shoulder with 8×8 (4.9/5) as the top VoIP system for growing your business.

However, we gave RingCentral a lower Pricing score (3.5/5) than Dialpad, Google Voice, GoTo, and Net2Phone.

What do users think of RingCentral?

We know how important users’ experiences and insights are in choosing your VoIP provider. That’s why we’ve scoured the most trusted review sites, including G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, and Trustpilot, to find out what customers have to say about RingCentral. Tallying user ratings, RingCentral got an aggregated customer score of 3.5/5. Here’s a helpful user review:

Customer review

“I like RingCentral's usage the most. You can literally almost do anything. Their staff is super helpful, too. They can make anything you need to happen, happen. No problem! You do get what you pay for! Ring Central MVP has set up so many phones in my office, I can't even count them all. They set up groups so that I can have one log in with multiple offices. I honestly don't know how I made it is far as I did using VOIP phones and didn't even know what RingCentral was.”

Matthew Tyler,
- June 24, 2023
What's new for RingCentral? Fall 2023

  • Call to Video: While in a voice call, you can now switch to a 1-1 or conference video call and share your screen.
  • Cloud Contacts: Sync all of your Microsoft and Google contacts to RingCentral.

2. 8×8 X2 – Best for Scalability

8x8 logo
8x8 X2
Pricing $19- 195 per user, per month
Quick overview

8x8 offers a wide menu of subscription options that'll allow you to gradually – or rapidly – scale up your small business.

With features like ring groups and call queue offered at its X2 subscription plan, your small business will easily be able to deal with large volumes of callers. What’s more, with web conferencing and internal live chat integrations with a wide range of platforms including Telegram and Slack, your team will be able to work remotely, giving you more flexibility and reduced costs.


Boasts some of the most generous customer support in the VoIP-verse

Unlimited inbound and outbound minutes to 48 countries

Offers real-time dashboards and wide range of seamless integrations


Niftiest features not available for X2 subscribers

Free trial only gives you insight into the Express subscription

Unclear if Customer Success Managers (onboarding support) come at an extra cost

PlanPrice (per user, per month billed annually)
X2 C$30
X4 C$55
X6 C$125
X7 C$150
X8 C$195

Since July 2023, 8×8 is no longer transparent with its pricing so you'll need to contact the provider directly for a quote. 

What kind of small business features does 8×8 X2 offer?

  • Features: 8×8 X2 is packed with features, including call queue, voicemail-to-text, call forwarding and flip, team messaging, and document sharing. It also includes an AI-powered virtual assistant to automate the routing of call traffic. Most impressively, its call and video conferences can host up to 500 participants per meeting.
  • Software integrations: integrable with CRM, Helpdesk, Web Conferencing, external and internal live chats, email, and more, starting at the X2 subscription. This makes 8×8 a powerful tool your team can leverage to personalise customer experience and work quickly by avoiding having to hop back and forth between different communication channels.
  • Customer support: 8×8 provides 24/7 live chat and phone line support, so you can reach its team any time you experience a problem. It also issues a 99.9% uptime service-level agreement to guarantee minimal downtime for your system. Plus, you can ask for onboarding support through 8×8’s Customer Success Managers – but it’s unclear whether this comes at an additional cost.
  • Scalability: 8×8 X2 allows you to sync your internal communications, as it’s compatible with platforms like Slack, Telegram, and Teams, so you and your team can work remotely. It’s also equipped with call queue, ring groups, analytics, customisable call routing, and call recording, all of which allows you to handle large numbers of callers, and gather data to optimise your small business mojo.

How does 8×8 X2 compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

We highly rate 8×8, giving it 4.7/5 overall in our research: slightly ahead of RingCentral.

Although we’ve given 8×8 a 2.5/5 for its pricing, placing it far behind Google Voice and GoTo's 5/5 rating in this category, you can consider the extra couple of dollars you’re putting down on the table a worthy investment, thanks to 8×8’s broad range of features. Nevertheless, we have awarded 8×8 a stellar 5/5 rating for its generous customer support and security, which is unrivalled by all other providers featured here.

What do users think of 8×8?

Rounding up user reviews, 8×8 received an aggregated customer score of 3.5/5 across G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, and Trustpilot. Here’s what one user in Canada had to say:

Customer review

“8×8 Contact Center gave us access to more robust reporting and better control of our support data and we gain insights into how customers feel about our brand. The insights from all the customer interactions are available for all our agents and 8×8 Contact Center helps us provide the right answers.”

8x8 customer via,
- April 24, 2023
What's new for 8x8? Fall 2023

8×8 no longer offers it's previous lowest plan, X1. Its entry-level plan is now X2.

3. Dialpad – Best Conversational AI

Dialpad Pro
Pricing $20 - bespoke
Quick overview

Dialpad is known for its innovative use of conversational AI. Known as Dialpad AI, this function accurately transcribes your phone calls in real-time, flags whether or not the conversation features happy or frustrated customers, automates post-call summaries, and enables you to create notes with tips and advice that appear on screen when certain keywords or phrases are spoken on call. You can also choose to turn off this feature for more confidential conversations.


Great customer support, including a user forum, knowledge base, and live chat

Superb customer reputation, with an aggregated review score of 4.4

Offers the best range of features, right after 8x8


Not very easy to scale, scoring 3.3 in our scalability analysis

Doesn’t have an uptime guarantee at the Pro subscription level

PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Standard C$20
Pro C$30
Enterprise Tailored

What kind of small business features does Dialpad Pro offer?

  • Features: Dialpad’s Pro plan comes with an impressive list of inbound communication features, including spam prevention, call queue, and ring groups. Best of all, it has a unique conversational AI that provides your support and sales agents with real-time customized suggestions to improve customer interaction.
  • Customer support: Dialpad Pro also offers 24/7 live chat and phone lines so you can contact its customer support team anytime, on any day. You can also request onboarding support to help you set up your system, but this comes at an additional cost.
  • Scalability: with access to call queue, ring groups, and a variety of management features like call recording, analytics, and call transcripts, Dialpad Pro offers a good range of tools you can rely on to build up your business. You can also use internal live chat and web conferencing to slash costs, as you can keep your operation remote. However, its security measures do miss out on multi-factor authentication and password rules, making it less secure than other providers like Google Voice and 8×8.

How does Dialpad Pro compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

In our product testing, we awarded Dialpad an overall 4.6/5 rating.

However, it only supports three CRM integrations compared to RingCentral's 96+. On the flipside, we loved its customer support options, including 24/7 live chat support on its Pro and Enterprise plan, awarding it a great 4/5 rating for customer support, ranking above other providers like GoToConnect, Net2Phone, and Google Voice in this category.

What do users think of Dialpad?

Our researchers analyzed Dialpad’s user reviews, and found it earnt an excellent 4.4/5 average customer score across G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, and TrustRadius. Let’s hear one of these reviews:

Customer review

“We came from an old-fashioned in-house PBX system and considered a number of vendors before trying Dialpad. Support is excellent and very thorough and fast. Documentation is ridiculously extensive, yet well laid out and clear. Call quality is excellent and the built-in auto-attendant, transcription, follow-me, desktop and phone apps are all stable and excellent. No downtime or network problems. The cost per seat is competitive and it works well. We're a small user, but that doesn't seem to make a difference since the customer service is first-rate. And, it just works. What more could you want?”

- July 12, 2023
Did You Know?

In a survey published in April 2023, 31% of Canadian hybrid and home workers said they'd consider switching jobs and 21% said they'd likely hand in their notice shortly after being ordered to come back to the office full-time. Added up, these means that over half (52%) of respondents are opposed to giving up home working entirely.

What's new for Dialpad? Fall 2023

  • Custom AI Playbooks: You can now keep track of sales reps' adherence to scripts while on client calls with customized playbooks based on sales and recruiting scenarios. While also helping management maintain an overview of reps, it also helps reps remember the script by offering helpful, real-time tips during calls. Following a call, it can also provide a summary plus valuable analytics to help improve calls over time.

4. Ooma Office Pro – Best for Affordability

Ooma logo
Ooma Office Pro
Pricing $24.95 - 34.95 per user, per month
Quick overview

For the affordable price of $29.95 per user, per month, you get access to Ooma's scalable features and generous customer support. This is why we've awarded it a 5/5 for price in our research. Focusing on its customer support, we also like Ooma because you're offered a user forum, a knowledge base, live chat, phoneline, 24/7 live support, and 99.999% uptime guarantee. This gives you peace of mind as a small business owner as outage time will not translate into a massive money loss since Ooma will be there to speedily support you.

Although its price point is very alluring, the downside is that you are compromising on external connections. With Ooma Office Pro, you miss out on CRM, Helpdesk, Web Conferencing, External and Internal live chat, analytics, API, and SSO software integrations. Therefore, if you're looking for a Swiss army knife for external connections, we'd recommend looking at RingCentral instead.


Generous offering of customer support features

Affordable price point


Very limited offering of external connections

Poor security features

PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Essentials C$24.95
Pro C$29.99
Pro Plus C$34.95

What kind of small business features does Ooma Office Pro offer?

  • Customer support: Ooma Office Pro offers 24/7 live chat and a phone line, so help is available whenever you need it. Moreover, it provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee to ensure your system is always working with minimal downtime.
  • Scalability: Ooma Office Pro enables you to add an unlimited number of users to the system, and comes with a solid list of inbound communication features to handle growing call numbers, including ring groups, a virtual receptionist, and customisable greetings and hold music. However, it doesn’t come with a call queue feature.

How does Ooma Office Pro compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

In our testing, we gave Ooma an overall 4.4/5 and a perfect 5/5 for price.

Although Ooma's price score is very impressive, keep in mind this stellar 5/5 score is equalled by Dialpad Pro, Google Voice, and Net2Phone. Scoring a very poor 1/5 for security in our research, Ooma Office Pro doesn't offer multi-factor authentication, password rules, and user permission. If security is your main concern as a small business, we'd recommend looking at Google Voice standard or 8×8 X2.

Get quotes from the best phone systems for your small business

What do users think of Ooma?

Ooma garnered an outstanding 4.4/5 average customer score from G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, and TrustRadius. Check out what one user had to say:

Customer review

“We have used Ooma for our small business for over 15 years. Overview: the service is good for small businesses with limited phone budgets. It is not suited for call center-type businesses where many lines are needed and with “auto-assignment” of inbound calls. Now the details: The reasons we stuck with its service are many: low price, ease of adding extensions, phone functionalities like forwarding, and digital reception, and it is painless to move the lines to new offices.”

Chris Miller,
- February 23, 2023

5. Google Voice Standard – Best for Google Users

Google Voice Standard
Pricing $10 - 30
Quick overview

Google Voice is a top player for clients who are already big fans of Google in their workspace. Using Google AI within multiple aspects of its operation, from blocking spam to transcribing voicemails, Google Voice is known for its robust security features and its seamless integration with all other things Google.

Although we gave Google Voice just 2.8/5 for external connections, and 2.6/5 for features, which does put it far behind other providers like 8x8 and RingCentral, if you’re already happy with all the Google products that businesses use, the setup will be fairly straightforward and painless.


Fantastic for Google users

Top-rated security features


Difficult to integrate with other non-Google systems

Customer support is quite restricted compared to other providers

Limited range of available features

PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Starter C$10
Standard C$20
Premier C$30

What kind of small business features does Google Voice Standard offer?

  • Security: Google Voice has an unmatched security system, with complete and updated compliance certificates for various information security and data privacy laws. Besides, its system is reinforced with multi-factor authentication, strict password rules, and user permissions to protect against hacks and phishing.
  • Customer support: Google Voice Standard comes with 24/7 phone line support, so you can call any time you encounter a system issue. Plus, it has a 99.9% uptime guarantee to ensure that there’ll be minimal downtime while your system is operating.

How does Google Voice Standard compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

We gave Google Voice an overall score of 3.2/4 in our testing, the lowest score of any system we tested.

While it’s a great option for Google users, its limited offer of features gives it a 2.6/5 rating in this category. In terms of features, it lags far behind others like RingCentral (4.2/5) and 8×8 (4.8/5). However, we found that Google Voice excels in its security offerings, including encryption and multi-factor authentication. No other provider equals Google Voice in security, except for 8×8.

What do users think of Google Voice?

Combining user ratings from G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, and Trustpilot, Google Voice received a high overall customer score of 4.4 /5. Take a look at this user review:

Customer review

“The most likeable part of Google Voice is the ease of use and a wide variety of area codes and phone number selections. The service is also excellent as it has never disappointed. I do not dislike anything about Google Voice, but to get the best results, we must have a high-speed internet connection, or the voice quality decreases slightly.”

Steve M.,
- June 22, 2023

6. Net2Phone Office – Best for International Calling

Net2Phone Canada
Pricing $29.99 - 49.99
Quick overview

Most systems charge extra fees for international calls, but Net2Phone stands out because it comes with unlimited calling to more than 40 countries. This means speaking to clients and teams across the world is completely free, allowing you to maintain and expand your international reach.

Net2Phone can also give you virtual phone numbers and dial tones in over 50 countries. So, if you’d like to establish a presence in places like Europe or Asia, your contact options are easily taken care of. We’re also quite impressed by Net2Phone’s international presence as its offices and data centres around the globe hosts more than 33 billion international minutes every year – so we’d say it’s a pretty safe bet if you’ve got plans to expand internationally in the coming years!


Net2Phone will supply you with free upgraded desk phones when you switch to the system

The company provides free, 24/7 customer support via phone or email

The system is very user friendly, and includes a simple management console that makes it easy to make changes to your system


Doesn’t come with audio conferencing or team messaging

Very limited software integrations compared to competitors

Doesn’t offer call flip, barge, or whisper and is limited in management features

PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Business Lite $29.99 /user/month
Business Select $39.99 /user/month
Business Premier $49.99 /user/month

What kind of small business features does Net2Phone Office offer?

  • Customer support: On the Office plan, you can reach Net2Phone through various customer support channels, such as email, live chat, and phone lines (but note that these aren’t open 24/7). It even offers free onboarding support to help you set up your system. Plus, it has an uptime guarantee wherein Net2Phone can provide reimbursements if you experience service interruptions lasting 30 minutes or more.
  • Scalability: our researchers gave Net2Phone a 4.1/5 for scalability thanks to a rich offer of customer support (only misses out on 24/7 live support), call queue, ring groups, and a low user limit of 6 users. Keep in mind it doesn't score higher because it misses out on important management features like call monitoring, call-flow designer, and analytics and reporting.

How does Net2Phone compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

We scored Net2Phone a stellar 5/5 for price in our research. However, 8×8, Ooma, and Google Voice also occupy the top spot for pricing.

On the other hand, we gave Net2Phone a measly 1.5/5 for external connections because of the limited menu of systems you can sync it with. It also scores a 2.9/5 for features and security, placing it behind others like Dialpad Pro, RingCentral Premium, and 8×8 X2.

What do users think of Net2Phone?

Averaging user reviews from G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, and TrustRadius, Net2Phone got an outstanding total score of 4.7/5. Read one of the reviews below:

Customer review

“Net2Phone is a robust replacement for our old phone system. It is fully customisable. Once, I was about to have a bad experience, filled out a survey, and within minutes had my answer and both an email and another tech called me with the confirmation and clarification. I was more than satisfied, and time and time again the support team has delivered – Excellent customer service!”

Ronald F.,
- July 11, 2023

7. GoToConnect Standard – Best for Value for Money

GoTo logo
GoToConnect Standard
Pricing $42 - $56
Quick overview

GoToConnect is a safe option if you’re looking to get value for your money, promising a seamless onboarding process using which you can get your cloud phone system working within a day.

Featuring a streamlined admin portal, you can easily configure call flows with a drag-and-drop dial plan editor, and comb through call analytics to identify which team or agent needs improvement.

On top of this, for just $35 per user, per month, you’ll be able to wield all the inbound communication features you might need as a small business, including call queue and ring groups – an offer that no other provider offers at a more competitive price point.


Access to all the inbound communication features your small business might need

Free international calling to 50+ countries and unlimited domestic inbound and outbound minutes

Video conferencing and internal live chat included


Analytics and workspace integrations unavailable

Limited number of compatible external platforms compared to other providers

Not the most comprehensive customer support

PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Basic C$42
Standard C$56

What kind of small business features does GoToConnect Standard offer?

  • Scalability: with an unlimited user limit, ring group, call queue, analytics, call recording, and customisable call routing, GoToConnect Standard gives you the features that will help you piece together the bricks of your scaling small business. What’s more, GoToConnect also gives you access to internal live chat and web conferencing, which can help keep your business working remotely and cost-effectively.
  • Security: GoToConnect also provides robust security features, including TLS/SRTP encryption and user permissions, so you can protect sensitive information. Moreover, it has compliance certificates for various information security and data privacy laws.

How does GoToConnect Standard compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?

After testing different VoIP systems, we gave GoToConnect a 4.2/5 overall rating.

Although its customer support score of 3.4/5 lags a bit behind that of RingCentral, the features you can access for what you pay for your Standard subscription give you greater value for your money than those systems would. For example, GoToConnect also gives you free international calling to 50+ countries, making it a great softphone option for businesses who need this sort of offering.

What do users think of GoTo Connect?

GoToConnect got a high average customer score of 4.4/5 across G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, and TrustRadius. Hear what one user had to say:

Customer review

“GoToConnect is a robust, consolidated solution for voice, video and chat. The cost of Voice and Collaboration tools was getting out of control. We wanted a singular phone, virtual meeting, and chat provider which would be highly robust and cost-effective. GoToConnect met our needs at a very advantageous price point versus our other providers. Management is straightforward and the products perform very well.”

Matt Speare,
- September 13, 2023
Did You Know?

Customers want a connected experience. 72% of customers expect all agents to have the same information about them. This is why having a unified communications system that allows you to quickly retrieve client information is crucial!

Can a Cell Phone Be Used as a Business Phone?

Today’s technology allows your cell phone to work as a business desk phone – the majority of VoIP systems come with an app you can download to use your cell phone as a business phone. With a VoIP software app installed, your cell phone can perform like a desk phone at full capacity, with inbound and outbound communication tools including call queues and ring groups, a set caller ID, and an autodialer.

Moreover, VoIP apps boast management and conversation features, as well as various integrations with other apps which is especially handy for remote teams or solo-entrepreneurs who need to stay connected on the go.

How Much Does a Small Business Phone System Cost?

A small business phone system doesn’t need to cost you a fortune! Depending on what you’re looking for and the anatomy of your small business, a VoIP phone system can cost anywhere from $10 per user, per month up to $39.95 per user, per month.

There are a few extra considerations that you should keep in mind about cost:

  1. Monthly vs. Annual contract: Often, signing up for a longer contract lowers the monthly price of your telephone system. If you're after a more flexible arrangement, you could find that your monthly rate is a few dollars higher.
  2. Number of lines and users: Another consideration is the size of your business, as some providers will base your fees on the number of lines or users you require.
  3. Scalability: If you anticipate that your business will expand or reduce in size in the next few months or years, you should consider costs beyond just the monthly/annual fees. Ensure that the provider you choose is scalable so that you don't incur fees for switching providers as well as indirect costs like downtime and staff training when switching providers.

How To Choose the Right Phone System for Your Small Business

Our researchers surveyed real small businesses and found out that money, scalability, and compatibility with their existing software infrastructure are the most important factors they'd consider when choosing a business phone system. Let's explore these factors in more detail:

  • Money: as is the case for a lot of things in small business, money can be an inevitable pain point. Therefore, it’s important to prioritise options that charge low up-front monthly fees, offer inclusive domestic minutes, provide multiple communication channels (so you don’t have to pay extra to get these from other providers), and provide solid customer support, so you can avoid losing money during a potential phone downtime.
  • Compatibility with your software infrastructure: when you’re entering the VoIP-verse, the last thing you want to do is spend aeons switching back and forth between all the software platforms you use to run your small business. Therefore, choosing a provider that’s like a Swiss army knife when it comes to integrations is key. Look out for ready-made integrations with things like CRM, workspace software, email, web conferencing, internal messaging, and external messaging platforms.
  • Scalability: as a small business, you can be burdened by extra costs in the long term if you outgrow an important software system and are forced to upgrade to a different provider. Therefore, you’ll need a VoIP system that can grow as fast as your small business can. Key indicators for this will be providers that let you onboard an unlimited number of users, and come with call queues, ring groups, a good array of management features, and things that allow you to run your operation remotely, like internal messaging and video conferencing. Security will also be key here as this shields your business from risks as you expand.

What Are the Features of a Small Business Phone?

These are the five most important features that can help your small business scale, run smoothly, and communicate easily:

1. Effortless call transfer and routing

Running a small business often means juggling multiple tasks. A user-friendly call transfer option is invaluable, enabling you or your office manager to transfer calls with a simple click. Make sure your chosen phone system offers this feature without the need for an IT team's assistance.

2. Cloud-based flexibility and mobile compatibility

Go for a cloud-based phone system for small businesses that offers flexibility and compatibility with mobile devices. With such a system, you can make and receive calls from anywhere, thanks to mobile and desktop apps. Also, automatic software updates make management a breeze, empowering you to add new users or hires without external help.

3. Seamless mobile call forwarding

For those on the move, a reliable call-forwarding service is essential. Look for VoIP providers that allow easy setup of forwarding to cell phone numbers or colleagues' lines. Missed calls can be automatically directed to other team members or departments, ensuring crucial calls are never missed, even when someone is out of the office.

3. Keep your existing business number

Maintaining continuity is vital for establishing a reputable brand image. Choose a phone system that allows smooth porting of your existing business number, so your customers and suppliers won't need to update their contact lists, saving them time and reducing hassle for your business.

5. Customisable caller ID

With this feature, you can display the specific caller ID you prefer when reaching out to prospects or customers. Customising your appearance when making calls boosts utility and flexibility, setting the right tone from the outset of each interaction.

What Are the Different Types of Phone Systems?

A traditional PBX system uses the landline to make and receive calls, while a VoIP system uses the internet.

VoIP phone systems

VoIP phone systems work by transmitting phone audio over the internet, which means they can be accessed from anywhere. Most come with an app that your team can download onto a device of their choice, and use to make calls and access the system features – meaning you don't even need to buy desk phones if you're on a budget. If you do choose to, though, you should look for IP phones: these are VoIP-compatible desk phones.

PBX phone systems

A PBX phone system turns your traditional phone system into a multi-line system by giving you the option of adding extensions that lead to each phone. Once a call comes in, the PBX auto attendant directs the caller to the right extension number, freeing up the phone line for another call to come in.
The features of a landline PBX phone system are basic compared to those available with VoIP – which is one of the reasons why we recommend VoIP instead.

Can I Integrate a Small Business Phone System With My Existing CRM or Help Desk Software?

Yes, most small business phone systems offer seamless integration with existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms and help desk software.
For example, RingCentral supports 96+ CRM integrations. This integration streamlines the workflow and enables automatic logging of call data, customer information, and support ticket details. By connecting the phone system with your CRM or help desk, you can improve efficiency, provide better customer service, and gain valuable insights into communication patterns.

The best phone systems for small businesses are RingCentral Advanced ($35/user/mo) and 8×8 X2 ($30/user/mo). They both offer lots of internal features and external connects, and make it easy to scale up with your growing business. However, RingCentral is slightly better value overall for money than 8×8, offering more affordable price plans.

Ready to make a choice? Or simply searching? No problem, use our free comparison tool to compare free quotes, quickly and easily. Simply answer a few questions about your needs, and we’ll match you up with the phone system providers you should know about. They’ll be in touch with free, tailored, no-obligation quotes and answers to your questions.

How We Test VoIP Phone Systems and Services for Businesses

We tested 10 market-leading VoIP products and services to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, cost, security options, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to Canadian businesses.

Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in seven main categories of investigation and 16 subcategories – in fact, we covered 78 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!

Our main testing categories for VoIP products and services are:

Customer Score: external customer opinion; the feedback and ratings given by customers who have used a particular VoIP product – the market position and reputation a VoIP software holds.

Cost: the pricing structure associated with the VoIP service, such as monthly subscription fees, call rates, setup fees, hardware costs, and any additional charges for add-on features or services.

Features: the functionalities and capabilities offered by the VoIP service, including basic features such as call forwarding and voicemail, as well as advanced features like auto-attendant and conference calling.

External Connections: the VoIP service's ability to connect and integrate with external systems or devices, such as compatibility with existing phone systems or integration with mobile devices.

Customer Support: the assistance and resources provided by the VoIP service provider to customers, including technical support, online resources, and access to customer support representatives.

Security Options: the measures and features implemented by the VoIP service to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and protection of voice communications and data.

Scalability: the ability of the VoIP service to accommodate the growth and changing needs of an organization, e.g. capacity to handle a growing number of users or support multiple locations.



What is the best phone system for a small business?
Based on our in-depth research, we’ve found that the best options out there for small businesses are RingCentral Premium and 8×8 X2. They’re relatively affordable, come with unified communications features, and they’re more flexible and easy to use both remotely and in the office – all points to consider if you’re a small business! If you want to learn more, scroll up and read our reviews of Vonage and 8×8.
What is the best phone system for an office?
When choosing what type of phone system to adopt, you have a bunch of different providers to explore.

  1. The first hurdle you need to clear is whether your phone system will be VoIP or PBX. We recommend hopping onboard a VoIP phone as it allows you to easily keep your operation remote, flexible, adaptable, and most importantly, cheap. If you want to think about it in another way, VoIP systems provide your business with the key functionality offered by PBX systems anyway, so you wouldn’t be missing out on anything by making a transition to VoIP.
  2. Then, which provider you choose should depend on the size of your business and what your specific needs are!
  3. You can read our reviews above for specific recommendations for small businesses.
How do I set up a small business phone system?
Setting up a small business phone system isn’t meant to be hard. Overall, there are four steps that you need to follow to have a fully operational VoIP phone system:

  1. Choose a provider that works for you and suits your small business needs, and activate your account based on the specific instructions you’re given.
  2. Set up IP phones: if you choose to use IP desk phones, you’ll next need to set these up. It’s as easy as attaching your handset to the base of your IP phone using the cord provided. Plug your ethernet cable into your phone’s WAN port, and the other end into your router. As a side note, keep in mind you don’t need a desk phone if you are installing a VoIP system – you can still access and use on devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers.
  3. Transfer your existing toll-free number: if you have an existing toll-free phone number, you can port this into your new business phone system.
  4. Customise your phone system: every business is different, so there’ll naturally be features that you’ll prioritise above others. As an administrator, you can change and set up business phone system settings and assign users and extensions based on their job description.
How do phone systems specifically designed for small businesses differ from traditional phone systems?
Firstly, they're designed with scalability in mind, allowing your small business to easily add or remove lines as your needs change. Also, they're usually more cost-effective, offering affordable plans tailored to the needs of smaller organisations, while they also come equipped with advanced features such as call forwarding and easy call transfer, which facilitate smooth communication and improve productivity.
How reliable is the call quality with phone systems for small businesses?
Call quality is generally reliable with phone systems designed for small businesses, especially if you're using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Unlike landlines, the call quality largely depends on the stability of your internet connection. However, with a robust and consistent internet connection, your small business phone systems should consistently deliver clear and crisp audio, ensuring effective communication with clients, customers, and team members.
Can I set up a remote or virtual office using a small business phone system?
Yes, small business phone systems are well-suited for setting up remote or virtual offices, ideal for hybrid working or employees working from home. With features like mobile apps and softphones, your employees can make and receive calls from their smartphones, tablets, or laptops, regardless of their physical location.
Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Expert Market writer, specialising in providing in-depth insights about business software to help businesses of all shapes and sizes thrive. From VoIP systems to project management software, she’s passionate about helping businesses find the tools and methods that will help give them an edge over their competitors. Fernanda has ample journalistic experience, having written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to cryptocurrency.
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.