When starting a business, you will learn that looking professional is more important than you think. Getting a business mail address for your limited liability company LLC is crucial for drawing this professional image for your business.
Over 627,000 new small businesses are popping up every year! Unfortunately, these businesses don’t always have a physical office to operate from. Many business owners start at homes and garages, so you need a virtual business address like your physical street address.
Starting a business from your home is a great idea, but you probably still need a business address, and this is what we are going to discuss here.
Why do you need a business address for LLC company?
Your business address tells your customers, vendors, and clients where you are, and so the business owner can use it in things like:
- Communicating with your customers via mail.
- Receiving your business mail.
- Filing for legal papers like your licenses, permits, contracts, etc.
- Getting listed on Google and other search engines as a business appear in searches made by people in your area.
- Receive mail from your clients and customers.
- Opening bank accounts for your business.
- Registering a business domain name.
- Opening Accounts with your vendors and suppliers.
- Accountants and attorneys wouldn’t recommend using your address when you need a business address for LLC purposes.
Can I use my home address for LLC?
Good question. And the answer is yes, you can, but you really shouldn’t.
There are some positives to having your home and office address be the same. First, you already have it, so it’s free.
You don’t need to buy a service or anything. For example, there are no fees for using your home address as your business address.
Your home is where you live, so there is no need to go to work every day. Instead, you can wake up and go to work in your pajamas.
So, it’s a good idea then. But, no, and this should be your absolute last resort.
Using your residential address for your business might seem like a good idea, but if you think about it, it’s not. This is a mistake, so many new businesses do, and it’s a costly one.
The first and most important reason is; privacy.
Most small business owners agree that putting your home address on the internet and documents is not a good idea for obvious privacy concerns.
There are also safety concerns, and you don’t want some angry customers yelling at you at your home with your kids upstairs, eavesdropping on the whole situation, do you? Exactly.
2nd reason; it’s not professional.
Banks, merchant services, and vendors are generally unwilling to accept a residential address as the business address of your LLC company.
It’s also very likely that your customers will Google you, and when they do and find a home on Google maps instead of an office, some of them might reconsider the transactions.
3rd Reason; some states require a business address
Some cities and states require a professional address, and some have laws against offices in urban areas, which is probably where your home is located, so you might not be able to use it all as a business mailing address.
4th Reason: Foot traffic and security
This might not even sound this important, but we have to mention it. A business address is used to receive packages, and some of these packages might be expensive and important.
If you use your home address to receive packages, you risk getting it snapped by package thieves. You also risk getting them ruined by rain or snow if you live in a place where the weather is moody and constantly shifting.
Now, I can’t just leave you on the note that it’s a bad idea to use your residential address as a business mailing address without making the picture clear.
What about PO Box?
A PO box – also known as a post office box or a Postal Box – is a uniquely addressable locked box located in your post office station or in a place that belongs to it. Each PO box has a unique number and is assigned to a specific person or organization.
Getting a PO Box for LLC comes with plenty of benefits and mailbox services that make them very appealing to small businesses.
Benefits of a PO Box:
- Flexibility; you don’t need a physical location, and you can move anywhere without having to change your business address
- Security; You don’t have to deal with package thieves and dangers like that; the post office will take security care.
- Convenient; You can get all your mail items at once if you want to, so you can have dedicated time to go pick up your mail and go through it. Some post offices even have the PO boxes in lobby locations, so you don’t even come at business hours and can pick them up 24/7.
- Choice; You can choose the size of the mailbox and the plan according to your needs
However, there are also some disadvantages to PO boxes that you should know about before getting one;
- You have to go and pick up your mail.
- It doesn’t carry the same professional image a real business address has.
- The same state limitations discussed before can apply here.
- You can’t receive any packages from third-party couriers like FedEx.
- Banks don’t accept PO Boxes as a business address.
- Individual government institutions don’t accept PO Boxes in their paperwork as your business address.
What about a virtual business address?
A virtual business address is a great way to get a virtual address for LLC without renting a physical address or setting up an office space.
Many home-based businesses use a virtual address instead of their home address to place on LLC and corporate documents, business cards, flyers, and websites.
Traditionally, you have to have a place to get a commercial business address, but this is not true in virtual business addresses.
A virtual business address is an excellent solution to most of the problems discussed above.
- It is a real street address and displays a professional image of your business.
- You can receive packages from any couriers – something that a PO box can’t.
- You can use it to register for LLCs and corporations.
- A business owner can use a virtual business address to open bank accounts for LLC.
- You don’t have to change it when you change the location where you conduct your business.
- It protects your privacy, and no one knows your home address.
- A virtual mailbox is a great time saver.
- The mailbox service can be customizable according to your own needs.
This is why a virtual business address is a great way to get a business address for your LLC. So let’s see how you can get one.
First, let’s find out our top five picks for virtual business address services.
Best virtual business address services:
- Alliance Virtual Offices
- Northwest Registered Agent
- PostScan Mail
Alliance Virtual Offices is a virtual business and virtual mailbox address service extremely affordable with a choice of 40+ different countries to choose your address (United States, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, and UK). In addition, they got 1200+ locations, many of them in the US (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many others) and other global locations.
Alliance Virtual Offices provides recognized business addresses, mail handling, forwarding, virtual office space, meeting room space, live receptionist services, business phone numbers, and a virtual phone system.
With a virtual office plan, postal mail arrives by onsite receptionists and is stored securely for local pickup, included within the monthly virtual office fee. Clients can collect mail as often as possible at no additional charge, or various forwarding options are available.
A virtual office address through Alliance is used for various other functions besides mail. For example, one of the significant benefits of using an address at a recognized commercial building rather than a PO box is that it can be used on business license applications, credit agreements, entity formation, and other purposes.
The virtual business address plan starts from $49 per month.
- Offices available in most major big cities
- Flat rates
- Friendly customer support
- Live receptionist
- Private offices and hot desks
- Choice of either a local or a toll-free number
- Low-risk pricing options
- Premium address
Incfile has been in business for over a decade and offers the lowest cost LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, and Non-Profit Incorporation Services available starting at $0 plus state fees. Since launching in 2004, Incfile has helped more than 250,000 business owners get off the ground. Incfile staff is familiar with entity formation requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
None of Incfile’s virtual addresses are PO Boxes, which is a tremendous advantage to use Incfile services. Instead, you will get a real street address that allows you to use it on your incorporation documents.
- Due diligence
- Business entity filings
- Registered agent service (free for the first year)
- File business taxes
- Company changes
- Trademark registration
- Lifetime customer support
- Free lifetime company alerts
- Online access to incorporation documents
- Preparing & filing the articles of organization
- Setup business banking account
- Online order status tracking
IncFile offers three different packages:
- Silver (starting at $49)
- Gold (starting at $149)
- Platinum (starting at $299)
*Depending on the state you look to incorporate in, the fees will all be different.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is a US virtual address and virtual office service. The company offers a physical mail forwarding service and a virtual phone line for your business. You can choose locations including Wyoming, Florida, Delaware, Idaho, Texas, Washington, and Montana.
Their pricing starts at $49 for a US virtual office address. Registered agent service costs $125 per year.
Whether you’re a business owner, or entrepreneur, with a home-based business, startup, or online business, PostScan Mail is a virtual business address service that gives you the convenience of viewing and manages your postal mail online from anywhere. In addition, PostScan Mail gives you complete control online through a virtual mailbox with options to open and scan, forward mail, recycle or shred your unwanted junk mail.
PostScan Mail ensures that all virtual addresses are located in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc., to help your business reach a broader market.
PostScan Mail offers unlimited access to all your scanned mail items for as long as your account is active, meaning that you get entirely free online mail storage, whether they are scans of the documents of the envelopes.
PostScan Mail Pricing:
- Starter, $15/mo
- Standard, $20/mo
- Premium, $30/mo
iPostal1 is one of the leading names in digital mailbox technology; it was the first to introduce the service back in 2007 at its shipping store, but it has had its fair share of ups and downs since then.
View and manage postal mail and packages from anywhere 24/7, and they currently offer more than 2000 real street addresses across the world.
You can choose from New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Texas, South Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Utah, and more.
It’s worth mentioning that you can get a mailbox address with iPostal1, not only a PO box. The difference is that with PO boxes, you can’t register your company or receive deliveries from carriers, which is not the case with the real street address you get with iPostal1.
You can get a virtual business address that can be used as your business mailing address for your office and manage your mail 24/7 using your computer or mobile device.
iPostal1 virtual business address plans and pricing:
- Blue, $14.99/mo OR $149/yr
- Silver, $24.99/mo OR $249/yr
- Gold, $39.99/mo OR $399/yr
For virtual office addresses:
- Office 60, $39.99/mo OR $399/yr
- Office 120, $49.99/mo OR $499/yr
- Office 120 Toll-Free, $59.99/mo OR $599/yr
- Office 240 Toll-Free, $69.99/mo OR $699/yr
All plans include:
- Real U.S. street address
- Flexible shipment scheduling
- Free App for Android and iPhone
- 24/7 digital access to all your mail items, 4 GB secure cloud storage
- For business, up to 4 recipient names, plus 1 company name per address
- Consolidation of letters into one package for mail forwarding
- Discard mail items service
How to Register an LLC With a Virtual Address?
How to get a virtual address for your business?
It’s effortless and straightforward steps to get a virtual business address for LLC.
You may need an extra document or two if you are from other places than the U.S, but the process remains remarkably similar worldwide.
- Claim your virtual address at one of the virtual business address providers.
- Choose a physical address for your mailing address.
- Pick the right plan that fits your business needs.
- Purchase the service
- Complete your US Postal Form 1583*
- For LLC registration, you will need to apply for Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN)
- Use your new virtual address on your articles of organization.
After this, the virtual business address for your LLC should be up and running in a short period.
If you get this out of the way, you might want to consider getting a virtual office service to help your business operate smoothly. Virtual office services also make it easy for remote teams to work efficiently.
*Virtual office address require a US Postal Form 1583, which authorizes commercial mail receiving agents to receive mail on your behalf.
*You can do step 6 and step 7 online.
When must I get a physical address for my business?
There is one scenario in which you can not use a virtual business address or a PO box for LLC.
If you are starting a limited liability company or a corporation, you have no option but to have a physical address for your LLC. The same is true if you are in a limited partnership or a limited liability partnership.
In these cases, the states require that you get a registered agent address in your State. You should also know that the registered agent’s address is a matter of public record.
This address must be where you conduct your business or services, so you can’t get a PO box instead.
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