If you’re an online-only entrepreneur, or you don’t have a brick-and-mortar establishment, then listing a physical address for your business could be extremely useful. While work-from-home business owners might want to give a home address as a business address, you do have some other options.
We’ll explore the reasons why you might want to list an address other than your home address for your small business, then we’ll explain how you can get one.
Reasons to Get a Physical Business Address
You might want a separate business address if:
1. To Build Credibility with Customers, Suppliers and Partners
Using a separate physical address as your organization’s address can make your company look more legitimate and encourage others to do business with you.
It’s true that self-employed freelancers and entrepreneurs are technically small business owners — and you’re certainly skilled at running a successful business. From a customer’s perspective, the image of you operating out of your dining room, or from your laptop on the sofa, might make your organization seem less professional.
A physical business address that’s not the same as your residence can boost your credibility and professionalism and build trust with your customers, suppliers and partners.
2. You Own an LLC or Corporation
If you have a business entity structure that’s an LLC, corporation or similar, your mail needs to go to a physical street address in the same state as where your company was formed.
LLCs and corporations must have a Registered Agent that maintains regular business hours and can receive official mail. You can act as your own Registered Agent, but you lose some level of privacy as Registered Agent information, including their address, is publicly available.
If you run into financial or legal issues, then a separate address can also be very helpful. Taking yourself off of the searchable Registered Agent database could also significantly reduce the amount of junk mail that you get.
Incfile offers a complete Registered Agent service across all 50 U.S. states. We’ll receive mail on behalf of your business, scan it and notify you, and you can log in to our secure portal and review your correspondence.
3. You’re a Digital Nomad
If you’re a traveler who’s always on the go and can work anywhere in the world, then maintaining a physical address could be difficult. Even if you do keep an address, accessing your mail as a digital nomad could be difficult when you’re trekking cross-country, or living in an entirely different hemisphere.
4. Relocating Your Business or Expanding into a New Region
Moving home or moving a business takes a lot of time, effort and focus. With everything going on, it’s possible that something might slip through the cracks. Getting a separate physical address helps you deal with those problems — provide it as your business correspondence address, and you can be sure of continuity of service.
If you’re expanding into a new region or state, then a business address there can also be very helpful. Of course, you’ll need a Registered Agent in a new state, but you might also benefit from a separate business address.
How to Get a Physical Address for Your Business
When it comes to getting a physical address, you have several choices:
1. Get a P.O. Box from the United States Postal Service
You might be able to use a P.O. Box for mail, with two important exceptions:
When you first form your business, many states will not allow you to use a P.O. Box.
Under no circumstances will states allow you to use a P.O. Box for your Registered Agent address.
You will also need to visit your P.O. Box to pick up mail, or have it forwarded to another address. It will often be more convenient for you to choose another option, rather than maintaining several addresses for different types of correspondence.
2. Get a Mailbox Through the UPS Store
If you decide to get a mailbox through the UPS Store, you’ll receive an actual physical address, not a P.O. Box. They can handle deliveries, send you notifications when you receive packages and forward mail.
3. Use the Address of a Coworking Space
If you’re a member of a coworking space, see if you can use the address as your business address. Check what the rules are on receiving mail to the coworking space and any services they offer like mail forwarding.
4. Get a Virtual Business Address
One of your best options could be a Virtual Business Address. This is a virtual mailbox service that provides you with several useful benefits:
You’ll have a physical street address and presence in the state you want to do business in — even if you’re located elsewhere.
A Virtual Business Address service will scan your mail and send you digital copies of correspondence that’s sent to you.
You can use an online portal to log in and see your correspondence wherever you are, making it ideal for travelers.
Some services will dispose of your junk mail and won’t scan it, which can save you time when you’re reviewing correspondence.