Online and home-based businesses are a huge success nowadays; needing an office to launch a business or make it big is no longer the case! With online leaders like Amazon, eBay, and Shopify, it’s clear that working on your online presence is what’s important.
With consumers being on their phones and online almost 4 hours a day, businesses have found ways to meet the recent consumer needs with a website or mobile application.
But unfortunately, since many governmental requirements aren’t optimized to be done online or virtually, yet, things like delivering paper documents and a physical street address still matter.
What is a permanent address?
A permanent address is a physical street address that is yours. You can use this address for personal or business needs. Your permanent address can be a home address or an office address (or one of our alternatives mentioned below!)
You can change your address (temporarily or permanently) through the USPS Change of Address online. The temporary period can be from one month and up to a year. You can get the process done in a few minutes, for only $1.
Do you need a permanent address for business?
If your business is an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or a Limited Liability Partnership then you will need a permanent address or a registered agent address.
A registered agent address can be a home address or the address of a partner; it is the designated address that will receive important mail like government documents.
However, this address is public record so using your home address isn’t preferred. This address needs to be a physical street address so you can’t use a PO Box address as well. However, you can use a virtual business address or a virtual office address.
Please check with your virtual business address/ office provider if the address can be used as a registered business address beforehand.
Why not use your home address?
You can register your business using your home address, many home-based businesses are a huge success, but you will meet obstacles on your way up and will eventually need to seek an alternative. Here are a few reasons why using your home address isn’t a good idea:
- Once you start using your home address as your business address it’ll be public information to your customers, partners, and anyone else looking for it. It’ll be inconvenient for your family when business mail comes to your home, or worse, an angry customer! To maintain your home’s privacy and safety, you’ll need to separate your personal life from your professional life.
- Even though home-based businesses can do better than businesses with an office, using your home address on your website, business card, or marketing platforms doesn’t portray a professional image and can lessen your credibility.
- A home address can also limit your business growth, not only will it do so in a physical sense because your home will be cluttered with business mail and packages but also because if you live in a remote area or suburban city/ town, you’ll be tied to a local business level, as appose to having a prestigious address in New York or California!
What are Better Alternatives?
Using a PO Box Address
By renting a PO Box in a nearby Post Office, you’ll be able to use the Post Office’s address to receive business mail and packages. Unfortunately, you can’t use this address for business registration, but you can use it on your website or with customers.
However, by using a “PO Box” in the address, customers will automatically assume you don’t have an office or business address which would lessen your business’s credibility.
And so, you can change the address format by using the Post Office’s address and a hashtag to reference your PO Box like you would with a suite or apt number. It’ll look similar to this:
123 Maple Street #401
But you can only use USPS for mail delivery, without other mail carriers like UPS, FedEx, or DHL which can get problematic. You’ll also be restricted to the Post Office’s regulations and working hours to receive your mail.
Using a Private Mailbox Address
Another solution would be to use a private mailbox like renting a mailbox at the UPS Store or Postal Annex. You can use the store’s address as your mailing address with your customers; it’ll be a real physical street address that would look better than a PO Box address.
Unlike the Post Office, you can receive mail and packages from all mail carriers which is a huge advantage.
These stores usually have more flexible hours than a Post Office to pick up your mail but they don’t have a delivery option so you’ll need to physically go pick up your mail.
And so, the store location should be somewhere you can easily drive to, near work or your home. You’ll need to regularly check on your mailbox so it doesn’t pile up and then you’ll be asked to upgrade your mailbox.
Using a Virtual Business Address
A virtual business address is a real US mailing address that can be used for personal or business mail. This is a great option for travelers, startups, businesses abroad, or anyone looking for a stable US mailing address. You get a virtual mailbox that you can access at any time to handle your mail and a real street address to use for business.
With over 150 locations to choose from, you can live in Texas and have a business address in New York! Pick a location and package according to your business needs, with no limitations.
- You’ll be able to log into your mailbox through a computer or smartphone, with an internet connection.
- You’ll also get instant notifications with any new mail and packages received.
- Log into your mailbox and choose what you’d like to do next with your mail.
- You can open & scan, forward, archive, or shred & recycle any mail piece.
Using a Virtual Office
A virtual office is a business center that offers virtual solutions to startups, small businesses, or home-based businesses that need office space and services.
It helps give your business a professional image and offers services like a professional business address, postal mailing service, fax service, virtual receptionist, etc.
Some virtual offices also offer office space or conference room in case of conducting business meetings with partners or clients. However, a virtual office is more expensive than a virtual business address so this option is good if you need the whole package, not just an address.
A permanent address is not needed to run a successful business, but it is a much-needed advantage and in the case of an LLC, a must.
However you don’t need to waste money on expensive office space or use your home address with these virtual alternatives; you can easily have a professional address for your business, wherever you like.