US carrier registration for businesses without an EIN or equivalent tax ID number

If you’re a business (sole proprietor) or solopreneur without an EIN (or another form of business ID if you’re based outside the US) and wish to text any US number through OpenPhone, you’ll need the following to register through our sole proprietor path:

  • a US or Canadian address
  • a working mobile number with a country code of +1

Using the sole proprietor registration path, if you have multiple phone numbers with OpenPhone, only one of your OpenPhone numbers will be able to text to US numbers. If you want to have multiple phone numbers that can text to US numbers, you’ll need to obtain an EIN or obtain another form of business ID based on your location.

If you’re using OpenPhone to text friends and family only and based in the US or Canada, check out our guide to registering for personal use.

 

Why is registering a requirement?

The infrastructures at US cell carriers weren’t built to handle the level of fraudulent texts that occur today. The major US carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) are working together and now taking action to protect their customers. US carrier registration applies to any business sending messages to US numbers through a cloud phone provider (like OpenPhone and others).

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to get registered and break down the associated fees.

Benefits of US carrier registration

By completing the US carrier registration process, you can improve your text deliverability rates and lower the risk of carriers filtering your outbound text messages on their network. Carriers are planning to filter all unregistered messaging traffic. As of August 31, 2023, major carriers began filtering all unregistered messaging traffic, keeping unregistered numbers from texting US phone numbers.

By completing this registration, one OpenPhone number in your workspace can send up to 3,000 message segments per day, including up to 1,000 segments to T-Mobile numbers (subject to our Fair use policy). 

How much does registration cost?

After you’ve submitted the form, OpenPhone passes your form details along to a third-party organization, The Campaign Registry, for review.

At a high level, you pay a $19 one-time registration fee and then a $2 monthly messaging fee to register through the sole proprietor path. The fees mentioned here go to The Campaign Registry (TCR) and other third-party entities that help review and register your business.

  • Carrier review and setup fees: The Campaign Registry, a third-party agency chosen by the major US cell carriers, collects a one-time fee of $19 to review your application in two phases. In the first review, The Campaign Registry completes an initial screen of your application. A third-party entity then does a second manual review of the information you supply in the registration form. * 
  • Messaging fee: The Campaign Registry charges a $2 per month fee to help you maintain good standing with the large US cell carriers (and not filter your messages sent).

*A $15 resubmission fee applies and goes to our carrier partner if your application is rejected. Keep reading for best practices and tips to help you complete your application.

We know these fees are surprising but if it helps, think of them as a small tax to keep fraud away from telephony and help make the use of a phone as a trusted channel of communication. 😊

100% of the fees mentioned above go to The Campaign Registry and other third-party entities to help you register and stay in good standing with the US cell carriers.

Who has access to the sole proprietorship registration form?

Only paying customers have access to US carrier registration settings. Customers who are currently on a trial need to convert to a paid account to complete this registration. Learn how to switch to a paid account here.

You need to be an owner or admin of your OpenPhone workspace using OpenPhone’s web or desktop app to view and submit the US carrier registration form.

How to access and complete the sole proprietorship US carrier registration form

To complete the form, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your OpenPhone account’s settings page, select "Trust" under "Workspace".
  2. Click “Get started” to complete a short questionnaire to confirm your eligibility.

Getting started

us-carrier-registration-form.png

 

Eligibility confirmation

us-carrier-sole-prop.png

us-carrier-sole-id.png

us-carrier-sole-address.png

After this in-app confirmatioin that you’re eligible to register as a sole proprietor, you’ll be taken to the sole proprietor form to confirm:

Your details

US carrier registration for

  • First and last name
  • Business or DBA name (optional)
  • Email address
  • Mobile number (this must be a ten-digit cell number that contains a country code of +1; VoIP numbers like OpenPhone can’t be provided here)
  • Work industry (optional)

Your address

Enter your company or home address. This address must be in the US or Canada. If you’re outside either country and wish to text from an OpenPhone number, you’ll need to obtain a business tax identification number.

Messaging details

us-carrier-sole-text.png

In this section, you'll need to provide detailed and accurate information as vague or short responses can result in your registration being rejected by The Campaign Registry. 

How will you use text messaging day to day?
Confirm the types of text messages your team will typically send to US phone numbers. For example, a massage therapy studio could provide:

Our message therapy business will send an appointment confirmation text after someone opts in after scheduling an appointment on our website.

What specific text messages will you typically send? 

In this section, you’ll need to provide at least two example texts your workspace typically sends. We also recommend sharing more than two if you have other messages you often send — just be sure to click “+Add another example” when entering in separate text message examples.

text-message-example.png

If you wish to send templated messages, please make sure to indicate the templated fields in sample messages with brackets, to help reviewers better identify which parts are templated. For example, please write “Dental check due for [Mary Doe], Visit [www.contoso.com] to schedule an appointment or call [123-456-7890]. To opt out of receiving text messages, reply STOP”.

We recommend having opt-out language in at least one of your sample text messages.

If you’re unsure if we support your use case for texting, be sure to check out our guide to messaging categories and examples not allowed on our platform.

How do you collect consent to send text messages?

Select the opt-in method(s) your team uses to collect consent to send text messages.

Keep in mind if you indicate that your customers opt-in to your messages via the website, but provide a website address that does not function, your application will be rejected. In some cases, you may also be asked to provide proof of how you gather consent. 

Other carrier registration form best practices

Before submitting your form, keep in mind also these best practices:

Ensure data accuracy and consistency

Make sure you submit an application with accurate and consistent data:

  • Consistency in the business name, website, and text sample messages. If your brand name is Acme, your website is www.acme.com, but your sample messages say “Here’s your one-time passcode for logging into www.contoso.com”, your campaign will be rejected.

  • Consistency in email domain and company name. If you register as Apple Inc., but you provide an email address containing a Gmail domain name, your campaign will be rejected. Similarly when registering for personal use (Sole Proprietor) but providing large corporation emails that may otherwise cause confusion on intended use being personal. 

    Note that this check only applies to large, well-known corporations that should have dedicated email domains.

  • Make sure the business you register is the actual brand that you’re sending messages for. For managed service providers, agencies, and some forms of third-party vendors if you register a business with your own company’s information (e.g. a company that provides tech for dental offices), but end up sending messages for your customers (e.g., individual dentist practices), your application will be rejected.

Ensure your use case involves consumer consent before sending messages

If you aren't already, take the appropriate steps to collect consumer consent. Please refer to the CTIA guidelines to see detailed instructions and best practices on handling consumer consent.

  • Make sure consumer opt-in is collected appropriately. If you indicate you collect opt-in via text messages, but your sample messages say “Hi, is this the owner of 123 Oak Street? I’d like to discuss how I can help you sell your property”, it is clear that you have not collected appropriate consent before sending messages and your campaign will be rejected.
  • Make sure opt-in language is available on your website if you indicated in your application that a consumer opts into your campaign on your company website. If your brand Acme uses its website, www.acme.com, to collect phone numbers but your website does not contain opt-in language such as “By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from ACME. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.”, your campaign will be rejected.

Assigning a phone number

Untitled

Before submitting the form, you’ll be presented with a list of phone numbers in your OpenPhone workspace. You will need to select one phone number to assign messaging capabilities to. After your registration is approved, you can reassign the number you wish to use for texting to the US at any time by returning to the "Trust" settings. Any other phone numbers in your workspace will only be able to text to non-US numbers. You’ll still be able to call any number.

If your workspace only has one phone number, we will automatically pre-select that phone number on your behalf. Once selected, you can submit the form.

Reassigning a phone number

Please note 🛑

Re-assigning texting capabilities to another phone number will result in losing texting capabilities on both numbers for up to 20 days. Unfortunately, this timeline is set by the carriers and is out of our control. If you'd still like to proceed with reassigning a number, please send us a note here and our team will be happy to help!

SMS verification

After an initial check is completed by our carrier partner (which generally takes a few minutes after you submit your form), you’ll need to respond to a one-time verification text message that will be delivered to the mobile number provided for verification during your form submission.

Within 24 hours, respond to the text to verify. If not, you'll need to send another text by clicking “send again” from the “Trust” settings page.

Failure to respond to verification text within 30 days

If you do not verify your phone number within 30 days, you’ll see a banner on your “Trust” settings page directing you to contact our Customer Support team. Please send us a message at a2p@openphone.co

Untitled

What happens after my US carrier registration is submitted?

Once completed, we will submit the form to the carriers for approval. Due to the number of businesses across the world registering, The Campaign Registry and other third-party entities in charge of reviewing your application currently have a backlog of requests. It may take weeks for your registration to be completed on the carriers’ end. However, we still recommend registering as soon as possible.

There are two steps to becoming fully registered for texting to US numbers:

  • Brand registration: This is an initial automated review of the company information you provide in your registration.
  • Campaign registration:  With this step, a third-party entity completes a manual review of the messaging details that you supply in your registration.

Each of these steps can have any of the following statuses:

  • Pending - waiting for approval
  • Approved - registration was successful
  • Rejected - registration was rejected

You can easily track the progress of your application by returning to the “Trust” settings.

If approved as a sole proprietor, your workspace and one phone number will be registered to ensure that your messages are delivered and have a lower chance of being mislabeled as SPAM.

If your application has been rejected or failed, please verify the details submitted and submit the form again. If you need help with resubmission, please click “Help” at the bottom of this page for us to assist!

 

Register with the Free Caller Registry

We also recommend registering with the Free Caller Registry to help support the reputation of your phone numbers. The information you provide on that site is used by major US wireless carriers, including T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, and AT&T.

If you add additional numbers to your workspace, you must register any new numbers with the Free Caller Registry. However, you won’t need to complete the US Carrier registration form again.

Learn more about US carrier registration

For more frequently asked questions about registration, check out our carrier registration FAQs.