Written by Fernanda Alvarez Piñeiro Reviewed by James Macey Updated on 14 April 2023 On this page The top 7 small business phone systems RingCentral - Best Small Business Phone System for External Connections 8x8 X2 - Best small business phone system for scalability Dialpad - Best small business phone system for conversational AI Ooma - Best small business phone system for affordability Google Voice Standard - Best small business phone system for Google Users Net2Phone Canada - Best for International Calling GoToConnect Standard - Best small business phone system for value for money How did we compare the best phone systems for small businesses? How to choose the right phone system for your small business? Expert Verdict FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. Our research has put the best phone systems for small businesses to the test, and has revealed that RingCentral is the top system that you can currently get your hands on.When you’re setting up the building blocks of your small business, avoiding hidden and hefty costs is vital, as well as investing in a system that integrates seamlessly into your software infrastructure. The golden solution to all these hurdles? Investing in a high-quality cloud-based phone system.To help you navigate through all the options, we review the seven best phone systems, comparing them on the factors that matter most to small businesses so you can be confident you’re investing in the solution for you. For even more personalised help, why not try our free quote-finding tool to get tailored quotes from the top phone systems for small businesses? 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.RingCentral Premium – Best for external connections8×8 – X2 – Best for scalabilityDialpad – Pro – Best for conversational AIOoma – Office Pro – Best for affordabilityGoogle Voice – Standard – Best for Google usersNet2Phone – Business Lite – Best for international callingGoToConnect – Standard – Best for value for money The top 7 small business phone systemsAs a small business looking for a new office phone system, you’re really spoilt for choice. Here are our top picks for the small business phone systems on the market today.The 7 best small business phone systems are: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward RingCentral Premium 8×8 X2 Dialpad Ooma Office Pro Google Voice Standard Net2Phone Business Lite GoTo Connect Standard Expert Rating 4.7 Expert Rating 4.6 Expert Rating 4.6 Expert Rating 4.4 Expert Rating 4.4 Expert Rating 4.3 Expert Rating 4.2 Price $39.99 per user, per month Price $30 per user, per month Price $20 per user, per month Price $24.95 per user, per month Price $10 per user, per month Price $29.99 per user, per month Price $42 per user, per month Domestic Calls 1000 inclusive inbound minutes 2000 outbound minutes per user Domestic Calls Unlimited Domestic Calls Unlimited Domestic Calls Unlimited Domestic Calls Unlimited Domestic Calls Unlimited Domestic Calls Unlimited International Calls N/A International Calls Unlimited to 14 countries International Calls N/A International Calls N/A 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 support90+ platforms to integrate withCall queueRing groupsWeb conferencingInternal live chat Key Features Onboarding supportCall queueRing groupsAnalyticsCustomisable call routingCall recording Key Features Onboarding supportCall queueRing groupsCall recordingAnalyticsCall transcripts Key Features Email and Workspace integrationsCall recordingCustomizable call routingAnalytics Key Features AnalyticsCustomisable call routingMulti-factor authenticationUser permissionsPassword rules Key Features Unlimited Calling to Canada, the US, and 40+ other countriesWeb Phone and Mobile appComplimentary phone rental (On 3 and 5 year contracts) Key Features Auto Attendant Recorded GreetingsCustomizable Dial PlansRing GroupsCall QueuesMulti-Site Compatible Try Now Get Free Quotes Try Now Get Free Quotes Try Now Get Free Quotes Try Now Get Free Quotes Try Now Get Free Quotes Try Now Get Free Quotes Try Now Get Free Quotes 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. RingCentral – Premium – Best Small Business Phone System for External Connections RingCentral 4.6 Pricing $24.99 - $54.99 Compare quotes Read our review Quick overview As your business grows, the last thing you’d want is to outgrow your unified communications system and have to invest more money. RingCentral is great at helping you avoid this issue, scoring a 4.9/5 in our scalability analysis. 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. Read more + Read less - Strengths 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 Weaknesses 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 How much does RingCentral Premium cost?PlanStarting price (per user, per month)Essentials$24.99Standard$29.99 Premium$39.99Ultimate$54.99 What kind of small business features does RingCentral Premium offer?Software integrations: at the Premium and Ultimate 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 Premium compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?Factoring in price, integrability, features, and customer support, our in-depth research has awarded RingCentral a great 4.7/5 rating for its value as a system for small businesses. With access to key features like call queue and ring groups, you can easily take on a large number of callers and glam up your operation. Because of this, we’ve awarded RingCentral a 4.1/5 rating for features – the second highest score in this category out of all the providers we’ve looked at!What’s even more impressive is that, compared to competitors like Vonage and Dialpad, RingCentral races ahead for customer service features in our research, scoring a 5/5 rating in this category. So, you can be confident you’ll have a whole dashboard of nifty features to power your small business.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 have been using RingCentral for the past 6 years and love it. We have offices in Canada and the USA and RingCentral allows us to unify our communications by allowing us to have a local phone number in both countries. Also, when we travel between countries, our team can still send and receive calls with either phone number using the RingCentral mobile app. So it does not matter if we are in the office or on the go, our communications are always streamlined with our clients and our team.” (sic) Gary Shouldis, - September 21, 2019 8×8 – X2 – Best small business phone system for scalability 8x8 X2 4.6 Pricing $19- 195 per user, per month Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview Chosen by over 2.5 million users, 8x8 has a proven track record of success – according to Forrester Consulting, clients that opted for 8x8 reported a 158% growth in ROI! Known for its customisable drag-and-drop dashboards and intelligent coaching and collaboration tools, 8x8 offers a wide menu of subscription options that will allow you to gradually – or rapidly – scale up your small business.The scalable building blocks that 8x8 offers are robust and diverse. 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. Read more + Read less - Strengths 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 Weaknesses 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 How much does 8×8 X2 cost?PlanStarting price (per user, per month)X2$32X4$58X6$125X7$150X8$195What 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?Awarded a 4.6/5 overall rating by our independent researchers, who’ve put 8×8 X2’s features, pricing, and customer support to the test, we believe it stands out due to its flexibility of choice. Whether your small business needs a comprehensive, savvy system or you just want the essentials, 8×8 can tick off the boxes on your small business phone system checklist. Although we’ve given 8×8 a 2.5/5 for its pricing, placing it far behind Google Voicw and GoTo's 5/5 rating in this category, you can consider the extra couple of quid 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. ▶ Read more: The 6 Best VoIP Providers with Prices 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 “As our employees split between multiple locations in 3 countries US (Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX), Canada (Surrey, BC), and India (Pune, MH), we use 8×8 to allow us to communicate internally and externally with our customers. The service is primarily used by all employees in US and Canada, sales, support, service delivery, managers and management alike. It allows us to communicate effectively with our North American customers seamlessly and provides an ability for them to reach any employee alike.” (sic) Ashish Shah, - May 17, 2018 Dialpad – Pro – Best small business phone system for conversational AI Dialpad Pro 4.6 Pricing $20 - bespoke Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview With one foot in the present and another in the future, 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. Read more + Read less - Strengths 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 Weaknesses Not very easy to scale, scoring 3.3 in our scalability analysis Doesn’t have an uptime guarantee at the Pro subscription level How much does Dialpad Pro cost?PlanStarting price (per user, per month)Standard$20Pro$30EnterpriseBespokeWhat 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?Our thorough research has looked closely at how suitable Dialpad Pro is for small businesses, and has awarded it an overall 4.6/5 rating. Dialpad Pro is nifty and futuristic thanks to its conversational AI, which allows you to do a lot of things hands free and focus your attention on other tasks as you work on making your small business succeed. Although it misses out on some crucial external connections (2.3/5 in our research) , we awarded it a great 4/5 rating for its customer support, ranking above other providers like Nuacom, GoToConnect, and bOnline 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 “I moved to Dialpad from RingCentral because I was frustrated with calls dropping and horrible customer service. Dialpad was a breath of fresh air. Not only has their custom service been exceptional, but Dialpad connects with CLIO, my practice management software, and I am able to log my calls directly from CLIO and track my time. It makes billing clients simple. I have also had no issues with calls dropping etc. I really like that I can choose whether to use the carrier or wifi on my calls.” (sic) Kendra D., - November 23, 2022 Did You Know? Companies are migrating to the cloud. 70% of contact centres operate on the cloud, with 44% being fully migrated. Ooma – Office Pro – Best small business phone system for affordability Ooma Office Pro 4.4 Pricing $24.95 - 34.95 per user, per month Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview One of the priorities for small businesses who are on the hunt for a new telephone system is to find an affordable option. Ooma is just that. For the affordable price of $29.99 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. Read more + Read less - Strengths Generous offering of customer support features Affordable price point Weaknesses Very limited offering of external connections Poor security features How much does Ooma Office Pro cost?PlanPrice (per user, per month)Ooma Office$24.95Ooma Office Pro$29.99Ooma Office Pro Plus$34.95What 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?Scoring an overall 4.4/5 and a perfect 5/5 for price in our research, Ooma Office Pro stands out from the crowd due to its very alluring affordability. For just $29.99 per user, per month (billed annually), you can access a very generous range of inbound communication and customer support features. Although Ooma's price score is definitely very impressive, keep in mind this stellar 5/5 score is equialized by Dialpad Pro, Google Voice, and Net2Phone. However, what sets it apart is its more competitive price point and better customer support.However, where Ooma Office Pro falls behind the rest is in security features. 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 Get free quotes Answer a few questions – it only takes a minute 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 “Ooma Office is a fantastic VoIP Phone system. Saves thousands in long distance fees and costs associated to administration. No need to call someone for support and be charged extra fees. Support is 24/7.!” (sic) Lloyd H., - October 7, 2022 Google Voice – Standard – Best small business phone system for Google Users Google Voice Standard 4.4 Pricing $10 - 30 Get free quotes Quick overview Chosen by companies like Dow Jones and ZPG, 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 our research has given Google Voice a 2.8/5 rating 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. Read more + Read less - Strengths Fantastic for Google users Top-rated security features Weaknesses Difficult to integrate with other non-Google systems Customer support is quite restricted compared to other providers Limited range of available features How much does Google Voice Standard cost?PlanStarting price (per user, per month)Starter$10Standard$20Premier$30What 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?Our researchers have put the key features offered by Google Voice for small business to the test and have given it a 4.4/5 rating. Whilst 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 matches Nuacom, but lags far behind others like RingCentral and 8×8. However, what it does excel at is security, which is the reason we gave it an excellent 5/5 rating in this category. No other provider equals Google Voice in security, except for 8×8. ▶ Read more: The 10 Best Conference Phones Canada 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 “I loved using it for texting. I used my google voice number as my main mobile line using VoIP for almost a year. I like the transcribed voicemail it offered. It was great for international calling too” (sic) Cherisse M., - April 11, 2017 Net2Phone – Business Lite – Best for International Calling Net2Phone Canada 4.3 Pricing $29.99 - 134.99 Get free quotes Quick overview All the systems we discuss here provide unlimited Canada calls at no extra cost – but what about calls to other countries? Most systems charge extra fees for them, 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 centers 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! Read more + Read less - Strengths 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 Weaknesses 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 How much does Net2Phone Business Lite cost?PlanStarting price (per user, per month)Business Lite$29.99Business Select$39.99Business Premier$49.99Call Centre$59.99Starter Kit$134.99 per monthWhat kind of small business features does Net2Phone Business Lite offer?Customer support: On the Business Lite 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 Business Lite compare to other VoIP providers for small businesses?Scoring a stellar 5/5 for price in our research, one of the reasons we love Net2Phone Business Lite is because of its competitive price. However, there are other providers who are just as competitive because they all occupy the same top spot, including 8×8, Ooma, and Google Voice. So, while not unique, it’s still a really safe bet if you want something that won’t stretch out your wallet. Having said that, Net2Phone Business Lite is far from perfect. Our research gave it 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 “I really like this service. I think it is a great new way of having office phones with fantastic customer support. The company is located in Ottawa with their support teams there as well so you are actually talking to a person who knows the company/your problems and not a bot or someone overseas in a call centre.” (sic) Susan G., - October 24, 2018 GoToConnect – Standard – Best small business phone system for value for money GoToConnect Standard 4.2 Pricing $31.20 - $37.70 Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview Promising a seamless onboarding process using which you can get your cloud phone system working within a day, GoToConnect is a safe option if you’re looking to get value for your money. 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 $37.70 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. Read more + Read less - Strengths 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 Weaknesses Analytics and workspace integrations unavailable Limited number of compatible external platforms compared to other providers Not the most comprehensive customer support How much does GoToConnect Standard cost? PlanStarting price (per user, per month)Basic$27Standard$32What 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 combing through all the information available on GoToConnect, our researchers have given it a 4.2/5 overall rating. Although its customer support score of 3.4/5 lags a bit behind that of RingCentral and Vonage, the features you can access for what you pay for your Standard subscription gives you greater value for your money than those systems would. 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 “Having a professional answering system is great. I have had many comments from clients that they find it easy to use. The automated texts are a great Feature. I like using the backend to make changes. I like to voicemail to text emails as well.” (sic) Dominika H., - October 5, 2022 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! How did we compare the best phone systems for small businesses?Our team of independent researchers has conducted an in-depth dive into seven of the most used and best rated phone system suppliers on the market. Prioritising all the possible features that small businesses might need from a VoIP phone system, we’ve narrowed it down to the top seven providers and their best subscription models for small businesses. They shine through because of their onboarding and management features, and their ready-made integrations that can help you strengthen your operation.We’ve also aggregated customer reviews from platforms like Trustpilot and Capterra to assure you that our knowledge is not only robust on paper, but also in practice. Regardless of which choice you make to meet the demands of your small business, our research-backed recommendations will match you with the most suitable players in the VoIP market. How to choose the right phone system for your small businessOur 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 VoIP 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 spending 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. Verdict Even though you’re spoilt for choice with eight great VoIP providers out there, our top-rated recommendations are RingCentral Premium and 8×8 X2 . Whether they’re the right choice for your small business is, of course, up to you. But we believe they offer affordable packages and come with modern 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!Do know, however, that you’re not alone in decrypting all the options and jargon in the VoIP-verse. That’s why we want to help you cut through the noise, and find the right small business phone system for you easily and quickly.Whether you’re feeling ready to make a choice or you’d still like to ask more questions to providers, you can fill in our quick and free comparison tool to fast-forward you into adopting your new small business phone system. Simply answer a few questions about your team’s 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. FAQs 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 – but 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, and adaptable, and most importantly, cheap. In fact, 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. Then, which provider you choose should depend on the size of your business and what your specific needs are! You can read our review above for specific recommendations for small business. 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 $29.99 per user, per month all the way up to $39.95 per user, per month. 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: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.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.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.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. 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 auto dialer. Moreover, VoIP apps boast management and conversation features, as well as various integrations with other apps. Traditional PBX vs. VoIP: what’s the difference? The long and the short of it is this: a traditional PBX system uses the landline to make and receive calls, while a VoIP system uses the internet.Both phone systems allow you to receive multiple calls at the same time, but while a PBX uses a digital on-premise switchboard to branch calls off to different handsets, a VoIP system uses an online server. Let's take a closer look:VoIP phone systemsVoIP phone systems work by transmitting phone audio over the internet. They come in two varieties: on-premise VoIP, and hosted VoIP (also known as cloud-based VoIP).With on-premise VoIP, the system is hosted on your own servers. You'll need all the right hardware for this, and you'll need to pay someone with the right expertise to build and maintain the system.By contrast, a hosted VoIP system lives on your system supplier's servers, and is managed and maintained by your supplier, not you. Over and above all other kinds of phone system, we recommend hosted VoIP to small businesses. This is because it's affordable, it's easy to install, and it tends to come with sophisticated call and UC features for your team to benefit from. That's why most of the systems we review on this page are cloud-based VoIP systems.Another benefit of a VoIP system is that it 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.Traditional phone systemsIf you're not ready to upgrade to VoIP, a traditional landline phone system may be suitable for very small businesses with a handful of employees. All you need is one line in and a couple of phones, so that more than one employee can pick up the phone if it rings.If you tend to receive lots of calls, having one phone line could be holding you back. This is where a PBX system comes in.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 – but you'll still be able to coordinate incoming and outgoing calls, make call transfers, and manage voicemail.Of course, PBX is flexible in the sense that it can be used with VoIP as well as the landline. In fact, many suppliers give you the option to create an IP PBX system. This uses SIP trunking to connect a traditional phone system to the internet, meaning you can make calls over the internet and benefit from VoIP functionality, in addition to making calls using the traditional landline. What is a PBX system for small businesses? A PBX, or private branch exchange, is a business phone system that manages call transfers internally and externally between different office phone extensions. In the past, PBX was only used for internal calls. Now, a PBX phone system allows you to put calls on hold, check voicemail, and transfer calls to various extensions. Written by: Fernanda Alvarez Piñeiro 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 Macey Senior Business Software Researcher 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.