How much does a business telephone system cost?

For a small business owner, the most important aspect of a telephone system is how much it will cost. Read on to find out the specific costs for your business.

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The cost of a business telephone system for a small or growing company will depend entirely on the type of tech you’re buying into. For example a PBX phone system will cost your business anywhere between £160 – £1000 depending on business size.

Setting up a telephone system can be a big expense, but with the right amount of supplier research it doesn’t have to be. After all, with a recession looming, the last thing you want is to spend time, and money, setting up a service that won’t satisfy the needs of your business.

We’ve put together this expert pricing guide to talk you through all the costs you need to know, factoring in VoIP, PBX, installation fees, and company size, amongst other considerations.

How many staff do you need a phone system for?

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Business telephone system prices overview

How much you can expect to pay for your business’ phone system will vary depending on certain factors, such as the size and function of your business.

The average cost of a telephone system depending on size:

  • Micro business with 10 phones = £300+ 
  • Small business with 20 phones = £600+ 
  • Medium-sized business with 50-60 phones = £1600+ 

For detailed information about phone system costs based on different business sizes, read on…

Or, if you’d like to save yourself time, simply use our easy-to-use, free cost comparison tool and be paired with the best business telephone system providers available in the UK

It takes a minute or two of your time, and there is zero obligation on your part.

VoIP phone system costs

Specific Costs:

  • Hosted VoIP Configuration and installation fee – £250 (on average)
  • VoIP phone system software costs – £20 – £800 per month (depending on the number of users)

The average cost per VoIP user is £10 per month

VoIP is suitable for businesses with the following requirements:

  • Budget-conscious – as VoIP phone systems use the internet to connect calls, this can reduce call costs and other charges associated with making and receiving calls via landline or other methods
  • Small spaces – without the need for physical phone lines, or even phones (if you choose to use softphones), a VoIP system often requires a minimal amount of space
  • Remote teams – as VoIP is an internet-based service, your team members can work from multiple places, and don’t need to be tied to a particular location

For more VoIP-specific content, check out our dedicated pages on VoIP phone costs and our review of the best VoIP providers for small businesses.

PBX phone system costs

Specific costs of a PBX phone system:

  • A PBX that consists of two phone lines with six handsets costs around £160
  • A PBX with 16 lines and up to 64 handsets costs around £900+

Who should use a PBX?

PBX phone systems could be suitable for a range of business needs, as they offer the flexibility to create a system that matches varying requirements (e.g. hosted or on-premises, wired or internet-based).

They can be located on your premises or elsewhere, or even hosted on the cloud. Read our PBX phone system installation guide for more information.

Want to know more about PBX? Read our comprehensive PBX guide.

Cost considerations

When buying a phone system, it can be easy to think that the cheapest price is the best for your budget. But what factors should you take into account, in addition to the price point, when selecting a system for your startup?

  • Are the cheapest systems also the most valuable? For example, while a small price tag may seem like a great deal, consider the costs of repairs and maintenance that a secondhand system could incur
  • What is and isn’t included in the price? A lower figure could indicate a cost-effective purchase, but be sure to review if any additional charges are applicable, such as for maintenance, support, or installation
  • Does the system have any specific requirements? Whether the system is only compatible with certain devices, or if it needs a particular amount of bandwidth, check if there are any other costs you’ll need to factor in to make the system work
  • Which ongoing charges will be applicable? Once you buy a phone system, the costs don’t always end after the initial purchase. Many often require monthly plans for calls or to use the service, so assess these charges to find out what matches your budget – both immediately and in the long-term

A traditional business phone line may seem like a cheap choice initially, but once you factor in the costs to add or remove a line as your business requires, it isn’t so cost effective.

With so many cost factors to consider, why not make your life easier?

From business size, to the number of users, to handset requirements, so many factors will influence the cost of your business telephone system…

What our free cost comparison tool will do is streamline all of these factors, pairing you with the best providers quickly and easily, so you don’t have to wrack your brains determining all of the numerous cost implications.

Let us do it for you, in a few simple steps!

What other costs might I need to consider?

In addition to finding the cheapest system that matches the size of your business, there are additional costs to factor in when calculating telephone system prices. These include:

  • Installation – you’ll need to factor in the fee for installation, unless you or your team members have the relevant expertise
  • Maintenance – whether you need remote support or an in-person visit, it’s likely that your phone system will need maintenance on at least a yearly basis, if not more frequently. The amount you’ll be charged depends on the level of cover you choose, with more comprehensive packages likely to incur higher prices
  • Training – you and your team may require specialist training to use the systems effectively. The costs for this vary, depending on the phone system provider. Some VoIP providers offer in-house training at no additional cost.
  • Ongoing charges – these could include the business energy charges required to run the system, as well as the monthly call plans and other services
  • Extra plan charges – if you opt for a pre-agreed amount of minutes, then go over this, you may incur additional fees from your provider

The best way to compare telephone system prices

To summarise the cost of your business telephone system will depend on a number of factors, but it will be affected primarily by the type of system you choose, and the size of your business. In a nutshell, the two most popular phone systems cost:

  • A PBX phone system will cost your business anywhere between £160 – £1000 depending on business size.
  • A VoIP system, on the other hand, can cost small businesses less, at between £30 – £800 per month depending on the number of users.

It’s incredibly difficult to provide exact figures when it comes to working out the cost of installing a phone system for your business.

The easiest, quickest, and most pain-free way to do this is to complete our free price comparison tool. It will provide you with direct quotes from the best business phone system providers in the UK – so you can compare prices accurately and confidently.

Compare Business Phone System Costs Do you already have a business phone system? Find the best provider in minutes
Business phone system cost FAQs
  • How much does a business telephone system cost?
    This depends entirely on what type of system you are using and the size of your business. If you are using a PBX phone system, this can cost your business more than if you were using a VoIP system because of installation and line costs. You must also factor in handset costs for any system you choose.
  • Is a VoIP phone system cheaper than a PBX?
    Depending on the size of your business, VoIP phone systems will be much cheaper than PBX. This is because you don't need to purchase handsets (you can use mobile applications). The cost of installation is also smaller. However if you have a very large team, the cost per month per user when using a VoIP provider can become more expensive than a PBX system.
  • What is the best way to work out business phone system costs?
    It's hard to work out phone system costs because there are so many factors to take into consideration. It can take lots of time gathering information and requesting quotes, which is a pain if time is of the essence. The best thing you can do is use our free cost comparison tool to help you work out the costs. It will save you lots of time and stress, and what's more you'll be provided with quotes from the top business phone system providers in the UK. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Written by:
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.
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