For entrepreneurs who don’t have a brick-and-mortar establishment, getting a physical address for your business may be a sticky situation. If you work from home, it might be easiest to list your home address as your business address — but you might also want to consider using a separate one.
We’ll outline a few reasons as to why you’d want to maintain an address other than your home for your small business, and how you can go about getting one.
Why You Might Want a Business Address
1. You Want to Establish Credibility
If you work from home, using your home address as your business address may make your company appear less legitimate.
Yes, it’s true that self-employed freelancers or solopreneurs are technically small business owners — and you’re certainly skilled at running a successful business. But the image of you operating out of your dining room (or from your laptop on the sofa) can make your enterprise seem less professional.
The bottom line is having a physical address that’s not the same as your residence can boost your credibility and professionalism.
2. You Have an LLC or Corporation
If you have a business structure such as an LLC or corporation, your mail needs to go to a physical street address that’s in the same state where your company is formed.
LLCs and corporations require a Registered Agent that maintains business regular business hours and can receive official mail. And while you can act as your own Registered Agent, you might want to have some level of privacy — Registered Agent information is publicly available.
You might also want your mail going to a separate address if you run into financial or legal hot water. Plus, taking yourself off of the searchable Registered Agent database means you won’t get scads of unwanted junk mail.
3. You’re a Digital Nomad
If you’re an inveterate globe-trotter who works from faraway locales (or is frequently on the go), it might be hard to pin down a physical address for a long period of time. Plus, it would be challenging for you to gain access to your mail when you’re trekking cross-country — or living in an entirely different hemisphere.
Ways to Get a Physical Address for Your Business
1. Get a P.O. Box
In some cases, you might be able to use a P.O. Box for your official mail. But as mentioned, if your company operates as an LLC or corporation, you’ll still need a street address for your Registered Agent.
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 Co-Working Space
If you’re a member of a co-working space, you can most likely use the address of the space as your business address. But you’ll want to check with the space on its rules for receiving mail.
4. Get a Virtual Business Address
A newer option you might want to consider is a Virtual Business Address. This is a mail forwarding service that serves several functions. First, you’ll have a street address and physical presence in the state you want to do business in — even if you’re located elsewhere.
Virtual Business Address services can also scan your mail and send digital copies of items that are delivered to you. This way, you can take action on important items without worrying about where you’re located at the moment. Some companies will also weed out any junk mail, which saves you time.
Is setting up a Virtual Business Address right for your company? Talk to an Incfile representative if you have questions. Our Virtual Business Address service provides you with a professional presence, keeps your home and business address separate and enables to access your mail no matter where you’re working.