It’s no exaggeration to say that starting a business takes a lot of work. Not only do you have to create a business idea that brings a unique value proposition to your customers and figure out all the logistics that go into it, but you also have to register your LLC and take the necessary steps to ensure your company is official and legally allowed to operate. So, what are some of the most important steps you should take to ensure that your LLC is in tip-top shape?
A few necessities every LLC should have are a registered agent, business address, mailbox address, and a business bank account. These are ABSOLUTE necessities when it comes to managing your LLC successfully.
You’re probably thinking, “this seems like a lot just for my LLC,” but don’t worry! There exists something that can help you take care of all of these necessities: a virtual mailbox. Read on to learn more about how a virtual mailbox can benefit your LLC.
Free Registered Agent Service
Every LLC is required to designate a registered agent in the state it is registered in. Your registered agent acts as your official point of contact with the state, mainly to receive any legal or tax documents, as well as compliance information. VirtualPostMail (VPM) offers a registered agent service to stay compliant, run, and operate your LLC. This means you can focus on the core of your business without worrying about missing important and time-sensitive documents that could affect the nature of your business.
Now, here’s why you should look into VPM’s registered agent service.
Our registered agent service fulfills the requirements set by the state. These requirements include being a resident in the state that you form your LLC, having a physical address, and maintaining availability during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM). Because VPM owns the locations to which the registered agent is attached, you can rest assured that there will be no mix-ups when it comes to processing your important business documents or issues with the physical address. Additionally, this means that you will receive same-day deliveries for timely notifications. With other registered agent services, you’ll have to wait for your notifications/communications from the state the traditional way. That means it’ll take longer to receive important notices, and your time to act and respond to a legal matter is significantly reduced.
With VPM’s registered agent service, you will never have to worry about your own privacy and security. While you can act as your own registered agent using your own home address, it is highly recommended that you avoid this option. If you use your home address as your registered agent, that address will be open to public record for anyone to see. A registered agent service gives you an extra layer of security that can protect you from prying eyes.
Best of all, VPM’s registered agent service is FREE! Save over $100 a year compared to using a dedicated registered agent service. Don’t pay for something if you don’t know why you’re paying for it, know where your money is going.
Get a Professional Business Address
The difference between a registered agent and a business address is that a registered agent is required to operate your LLC. While you still need a business address, you don't necessarily need a separate business address if you choose to use your home address for both your registered agent and business address. However, that’s risky. If you choose to use your home address as your registered agent and business address, it’s because you don't care about your privacy. Another thing about business addresses is that you will need a separate address if you use a PO Box for an LLC because the state doesn’t accept that as a business address.
A professional business address is especially useful for startups who do not have a physical presence, something that is required for all LLCs. Again, you cannot use a PO box as your business address. If you’re considering using your home address for your LLC, it’s still highly advised to have a separate business address in order to present a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness to your customers. It can be damaging to your LLC’s reputation if the address for your business is simply a home address or not present at all. Plus, with a business address from VPM, you’ll never have to change your address again. We ensure that you’ll have consistency with your business no matter if you expand or move.
VPM’s locations provide a commercial business address that is private and secure. Your LLC will look much more reputable with a commercial address attached to a physical building compared to a home address. Think of that customer who does a Google search and sees your house? Is that professional? Even if your startup is completely online, this commercial business address will make your customers feel like they can trust you. Many startups use their home address for their business correspondence. While this may be the simplest option to start out, this means sacrificing your safety and privacy. Imagine an angry customer wants to get back at your company. If you use your home address as the address you present to your clients, anyone could come kicking down your door and giving you a hard time. You don’t want that, and we at VPM don’t want that for you either.
A mailbox and business address are both needed for communication purposes, but you can also use your home address as your mailing address and your place of business. You'll want to consider a separate mailbox address if you don't want to use your home address available to the public to know where you live.
VPM is also a great option for you to consider for your mailing address for similar reasons mentioned above. We can provide you with a safe and reliable mailing address that never fails to deliver your mail and packages when you need them. We’ll let you in on a little secret: most virtual mailbox providers do not own or operate all of their location addresses. But, guess what? VPM does!
This means that you never have to worry about a third party partner breaking contracts or shutting down, resulting in you having to switch to a new service or alter your mailing address. We own all of our addresses, which means you can remain consistent without fear of changing your address and inconveniencing your clients or your own mail needs. This also means that you will never need to be concerned about the quality in which your mail and packages are handled. VPM takes great pride in our strict processing pipeline to ensure your mail is handled with tender loving care. We also know that time is of the essence. Because VPM doesn’t use third parties, we cut any extra wait time for mail delivery. Mail goes straight from us to you rather than from us to a third party to a hub location to you. Don’t wait longer than necessary to just risk damaged and lost mail.
When you sign up with VPM, you will receive a permanent mailbox address. With this address, you can decide whether you want your mail to be opened and scanned, mail forwarded, or destroyed. Don’t waste time opening your mail and getting paper cuts when VPM can take care of all of that for you! Our mail forwarding feature allows you to send mail anywhere in the world. Simply choose the items that you wish to forward and where, and we will handle the rest. It’s that easy. Similarly, VPM’s package forwarding service is just as easy to use. You can manage your packages online, just how you would your mail, and send them wherever you want. Essentially, we combine speed and consolidate packages for lower prices.
Business Bank Account
Now that we've covered all that, similar to a registered agent you'll need a business bank account for your LLC. As a startup owner, a business bank account is one of the most important things you can have. It's required for mostly loans and credit for your business, as well as for separating your personal and business expenses for taxes, audits, and liability (you want to protect your assets).
If you want to run your business smoothly (hiccups in your business are never fun to deal with), then you need to open a business bank account that is not attached to your personal account. As an LLC, separating your business and personal accounts protects your limited liability because your funds won’t be combined. If you allow your business and personal finances to intermix, you could be at risk of being held personally liable in court, meaning that not only are your business finances up for grabs, but so are your own personal funds, car, house, and basically all you own.
US federal banking regulations enforced the Patriot Act on all businesses by requiring all bank accounts to be registered to a real physical address. This makes it especially difficult for international and online startup owners to set up banking and payment processing in the US. VPM offers an easy and accessible way for such businesses to obtain a real physical address in the US that can be used for opening a US business bank account.
If you think you can get around the physical address requirement for opening a bank account, think again. You cannot use a PO box address, mailbox rental store address (such as the UPS store, Postal Annex, etc.), or virtual mailbox services that are marked as Commercial Mail Receiving Agents (CMRA).
The addresses that you can use to open a business bank account include your home address or commercial office address. A couple stipulations that may impede your business bank account, however, include the fact that your home address is most likely linked to your personal address and a commercial office is expensive. Are there any better address options?
Yes, VPM has a service where you will obtain a legal lease agreement for a true physical space (it’s not a virtual mailbox promise). It’s a real lease contract and will satisfy one of the primary requirements when opening a U.S. bank account. See more about TruLease.
Ready to Get Your Business Started?
When you decided to start a business, you were probably prepared for the hard work and attention to detail that automatically comes with running your business. VPM is here to help you alleviate that stress. With our services, you can take advantage of a free registered agent service, a professional business address, a virtual mailbox address, and a business bank account - all of which are necessary to ensure a successful business. Get all of these business benefits with one simple option. Sign up for VPM now.