How to Find Out Who Owns an SMS Short Code

SMS short codes are all the rage these days, and many businesses are looking to take advantage of all the benefits they offer. You want to figure out which short codes are available for your business and get in on these benefits.

Here’s everything you need to know about using short codes, from locating ownership to applying.

What is a short code?

Before discussing how to find out who owns an SMS short code, we first need to discuss what short codes are. TextSanity is here to help break it down.

An SMS short code is a 5- or 6-digit phone number used solely for texting purposes. Although you will not be able to receive phone calls through a short code, you will be able to receive up to 1,400,000 texts at any given time. These shorter codes are easier to remember than traditional 10-digit phone numbers — making them perfect for marketing and promotional purposes.

What does it mean when you get a text from an SMS short code?

When a customer gets a text message from an SMS short code, that means they opted-in to receive messages from a short code. This is because there are strict regulations in place from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA requires that consumers opt-in to receiving messages from businesses using a short code phone number. If businesses do not comply with these regulations, they face harsh fines, and the TCPA can even ban them from using short codes.

When you opt-in to receiving messages from a company, this usually involves texting a keyword to the short code. However, you may also opt-in to receiving messages through an online form on a business website.

Unsubscribing from short codes you no longer wish to receive text messages from is easy. Most messages include information that tells you how to opt-out. Or simply respond “stop” to the short code. You’ll be removed from the list.

Can anyone get a short code?

If you’re interested in getting an SMS short code, you may be wondering if it’s even possible to do so. While anyone can obtain an SMS short code, businesses looking to reach their customers use them the most. Any type of business can benefit from a short code from apparel businesses to tech businesses and every business in between.

How do you get a 5- or 6-digit text number?

To get a 5- or 6-digit short code, you need to work with the U.S. Short Code Registry. This federally-regulated list handles short codes and leases them to businesses.

What is the process for getting a short code?

When obtaining your own short code, determine which type of code you want because there are two different options: vanity short codes and non-vanity short codes.

Vanity short codes have 5 to 6 digits based on availability. You may want to choose a vanity short code to have a number that’s easy to remember. You may also want to choose a vanity short code that corresponds with your business.

For example, an “easy” short code would look something like “54321” or “12345.” Or say your business name is Fields, or you sell flowers. You could select a short code that spells it out like “343537” or “356937” respectively. Non-vanity short codes also have 5 to 6 digits but are randomly selected for you by the Short Code Registry.

Once you have determined which type of short code you want, purchase the code, and then apply to each wireless carrier. This can be a lengthy and complicated process.

If intend to send a high volume of messages simultaneously, a dedicated short code is the solution need!

Here’s the process to get your own dedicated short code TextSanity.

1. Set up a TextSanity account.

Register an account by going to Choose your plan level and a toll-free phone number. Toll-free phone numbers incur a charge of $5 per month.

2. Rent your short code through The National Short Code Registry.

The cost to rent a short code is $500-1000 a month depending on the type of code choose. Your first payment to the Short Code Registry and send your receipt to us.

3. Contact our sales team to get your application started.

When we receive your receipt for your short code, we will bill a one-time $1200 fee. Once paid, we submit an application to each of the US cellular carriers so you can send messages on your short code.

4. Connect your short code to your TextSanity account.

Once your short code is secured and applications approved, our team will connect your short code to your existing TextSanity account.

To talk to our customer service team about setting up a dedicated short code, text CONTACT to 50505 or call 877-211-4533.

How much does it cost to get a short code?

Short code pricing varies depending on the type of short code in question. A vanity short code costs $1,000 a month. A non-vanity short code, on the other hand, costs $500 a month.

So while a vanity short code may be more expensive, consider effectiveness. Because vanity short codes are easier to remember and use, you may well end up with more subscribers and conversions with a vanity short code.

How do you find out who owns a short code?

If you want to look up who owns a short code or see if one is available, the best place to consult is the U.S. Short Code Directory. This database allows you to search for specific short codes to see when they were last registered and who registered them.

Take the previous example of “515151,” for example. According to the database, this short code was last registered on 9/17/2014 by KTLA-TV. It may not be available, but the database also provides you with similar short codes and their registration dates.

Who manages short codes?

A short code is managed directly by the business using it. This means that the business is solely responsible for messages sent and received on the short code. However, working with a company like TextSanity, helps you manage your messages by connecting your short code to their platform, from which you oversee messages in a manageable way.

TextSanity can even help you obtain a short code, submit an application to the major US carriers, and connect your short code to their text marketing platform. All of this for a one-time fee of $1200.

Get an SMS short code and start using TextSanity

It’s easy to find out who owns an SMS short code if you know where to look. It’s also easy to obtain your own SMS short code and operate it with the right partner. So reach out to TextSanity today to get the process started!