To start selling products on Shopify, you need a business address. Several options exist, such as your home address, PO Box, or virtual mailbox, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t use the first two. A virtual address is the best solution for your Shopify business address, as it protects your privacy while giving you a more professional image.
We explain all the options below.
Three options to use as the business address for your Shopify store
You can use your home address as your Shopify business address, but it opens you to privacy risks as the entire world knows where you live.
PO Boxes offer better privacy than a home address but hurt your credibility and professionalism and cannot be used to register your business.
Virtual mailboxes provide you with a virtual business address in any prestigious location, boosting your credibility and professional image while maintaining your privacy.
The potential risks of using a home address for your Shopify store
When creating a Shopify store, your business address will be required. This is where you will receive returned packages from unsatisfied customers. And, of course, your suppliers need an address where they’ll send your shipment.
A home address is the quickest option, especially since you’re running a remote business and have no official business address. But privacy concerns are the most significant downside to using your home address for your Shopify store. Anyone can access where you live.
Imagine having a returned package only to hear your doorbell ring and finding an angry customer yelling in your face, requesting a refund. Of course, this would be the last scenario any remote business owner would want. But, sadly, it’s the reality of small businesses using their home as their mailing address.
If you handle fulfillment yourself, your home will always be filled with packages and customers dropping by. However, that might not be very convenient for your spouse and kids.
If you want to keep your private life separate from your business, then a home address isn’t the best choice for your Shopify store.
Using PO Box as your Shopify business address: the limitations
A PO Box is a more private route compared to a home address. In short, PO Boxes are a better option for remote business owners and digital nomads looking to keep their homes and privacy from the eyes of the world.
However, the most significant downside to using a PO Box is that it hurts your credibility and professionalism. Shrewd internet users are known to be wary of any business whose address is a PO Box, as it tells of a company trying to hide its location. This might look suspicious and put off prospects. Would you not want to lose potential customers because of your address? A PO Box doesn’t cut it if you want to build a trustworthy business.
Furthermore, you cannot use a PO Box for LLC registration. So if you’re going this route, you need to use another address as your business address when incorporating your Shopify store.
In addition, PO Boxes are unacceptable for Shopify payments since they are not physical business addresses. It’s against Shopify rules.
Finally, PO Boxes can only receive USPS packages. So if a vendor is sending supplies or an unsatisfied customer is returning a product through UPS or FedEx, you’ll need to find another mailing address to receive it. And it is highly inconvenient to always go to the post office to collect or send shipment!
A PO Box solves the privacy issues of using a home address for your Shopify site but comes with other challenges. Thankfully, a virtual mailbox solves all of those challenges.
Using a virtual mailbox as your business address
A virtual mailbox or virtual address is a real street address in a well-known physical location where you receive packages. Although termed “virtual,” a virtual mailbox is a physical location that can serve as your warehouse where packages are shipped to and from.
There are many reasons why a virtual mailbox is the best option for creating your Shopify store:
- It makes you look professional and credible
A Virtual mailbox service provider can provide you with an address in any prestigious commercial location. That means customers would be more willing to buy from your Shopify site simply because of your reputable business address.
You’re neither hiding your location as with PO Boxes nor publicizing your limited size (many people consider work-from-home entrepreneurs as small-scale and unreliable). Instead, you show that you have a dignified commercial office.
- It can be used to register your business.
A virtual mailbox can be used as your business address when creating your LLC. Since it’s a physical mailing address, it can also be used to create a bank account.
- It keeps your home private.
Virtual mailboxes serve as your physical business address, but you do not have to work from there. You can still run your small business from home, save that you get to keep your home address unpublicized. So if privacy is a major concern, this solution is your best bet.
- Avoids inconvenience
Some virtual mailbox services also offer mail forwarding. Such services enable you to get your packages home without going to the mailbox. As a result, it will save you valuable time to focus on your marketing and customer service. In addition, the virtual mailbox service may provide you with a mobile app where you can access and manage mail remotely, the ideal lifestyle of a remote business owner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you use a virtual mailbox as your registered agent’s address?
To create an LLC, you need to name a registered agent, and their address must be a physical one where they can receive legal documents and mail from government agencies. Since a virtual mailbox is a physical commercial location, it can serve as your registered agent’s business address.
What is a virtual mailbox?
A virtual mailbox is a physical mailbox located in a commercial area where your mail is received and stored. Virtual mailbox locations include postal offices, mailbox stores, and flexible workspaces on office premises. In addition, you can easily download and view your mail online using a mobile app provided by the service provider.
Virtual Mailbox enables you to simplify mail handling.
Steps to get a virtual mailbox
Getting a virtual mailbox is much easier than it seems. The steps are straightforward.
- Pick a virtual mailbox service. All you have to do is research and check reviews on the top virtual mailbox service providers. Then compare prices and see which one offers the kind of services you need.
- Choose a subscription plan. There are different subscription plans; monthly, yearly, or otherwise. Most services are rated by how many mails are scanned. Also, there’s always a choice of upgrading or downgrading your plan whenever you desire to.
- Choose your virtual business address. Pick a mailing address from any reputable location. You can use it on your Shopify site, documents, LLC, etc.
- Make payment through your preferred method, and there you go!
What are the best virtual mailboxes services for Shopify?
iPostal1 is an excellent option for businesses that need a virtual mailbox. Some of the best virtual mailbox services include:
- Anytime Mailbox
- PostScan Mail
- Alliance Virtual Offices
- My Company Works
- Earth Class Mail
- US Global Mail
Some of these services offer free storage for up to 30 days and a free trial period.
How to choose a virtual mailbox service?
Go for a virtual mailbox company that meets all your needs. For example, Virtual Post Mail offers package forwarding, mail processing, and check deposits.
Like with most subscription services, you’ll have several monthly plans to choose from. So you might want to consider the cost.
One way to go is to try anyone with a free plan to see if it works for your needs before subscribing.
Can you use a virtual office as your Shopify virtual business address?
If you use a virtual office as your Shopify address, your agent would need a separate physical address.
What’s the main difference between a PO Box and a virtual mailbox?
While a PO Box can only receive mail from the USPS, virtual mailboxes can receive mail from any package forwarding service. Virtual addresses also help you earn more customer trust since they are real street addresses.
Do you need an address for Shopify?
To complete your account registration on Shopify, you must provide a business address that would be used for payments, customer returns, and your contact page.
Can customers see your address on Shopify?
Note that whatever address you provide during Shopify registration will be publicly displayed on your contact page, so using your home isn’t advised. Instead, virtual mailboxes are your best bet for maintaining privacy as you manage your online store.
Which address should you use for your Shopify store?
The obvious consideration for your Shopify store would be to get a virtual mailbox. It is a physical business address that eliminates privacy concerns and bolsters your credibility among customers more than a PO box or home address can ever.
Small businesses, including Shopify store owners, can benefit significantly from it.
What are Shopify’s rules concerning Addresses?
According to Shopify’s terms and conditions, you must provide an address during account opening. The store reserves the right to publicize whatever address you provide on your contact page and during returns.
So whenever a customer wishes to return an order, whatever address you provide will be shown to them. So naturally, this puts you at risk if you provide your home address.
What is Shopify Payments?
On opening your Shopify store, Shopify creates a Shopify Payments account for you. With it, you can receive customers’ payments, regardless of their payment method. So you don’t have to set up a third-party payment provider to receive payments. However, you must provide a physical address for your Shopify Payments account, so PO Box is unacceptable. since it isn’t a physical business location.
Who uses virtual mailboxes?
Virtual mailboxes have been popular for startups, small businesses, and digital nomads. Any home-based company may utilize a virtual mailbox.
Virtual Address vs. Private Mailbox
Virtual addresses and private mail are very similar to each other. They provide the address of a business without a physical location and are ideal for e-commerce businesses and homes if they operate as an LLC or corporation. A company must send out incoming messages from a public mail address. With a virtual location, you can do so without publicizing your home address, even though your company is home-based.
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