There are many reasons for companies to have a vanity toll-free telephone number. Vanity toll-free numbers provide businesses with a phone number that sticks in a customer's mind; complement marketing efforts; and are more likely to attract phone calls from across the country. There are many floral businesses, for example, that are known primarily by their toll-free phone numbers. AT&T, the nation's largest phone service provider, has made the process of reserving a vanity toll-free phone number simple and straightforward.

Pick the numbers, words or letters that you want for your toll-free or vanity phone number. When doing so, keep in mind that with the growth of the adult-oriented phone business, toll-free numbers are often in short supply and even when a number is available there is sometimes an adult-oriented business with similar digits. You do not want your customers to end up reaching an adult service because they dialed a wrong digit of your number.

Log on to the Internet and go to the AT&T website and click the link for business sales ( Click the tab for looking up the availabiliy of the toll-free phone number that you want. Choose the prefix from among the following: 1-800, 1-888 or 1-866.

Enter the vanity combination for the number you are seeking. So if you are looking for "1-800-lostkey" then you would chose the 1-800 prefix then add the "lost" in the search box. You can also search using wildcards such as any combination of numbers that spell out words such as key, lost key or key lost.

If the number is available the system will ask you to choose the address for billing and the phone number you want to ring when the toll-free number is dialed. AT&T will then bill you monthly for the use of the phone number at a er minute rate.