You’re ready to launch your startup business and you’ve decided that privacy, security, and a professional business image can be obtained with a commercial business address. But what are your business address options?
We’ve done our research for you and came up with five options for a commercial address. Let’s take a look at them and see which one may fit your needs the best.
Commercial Business Address Providers
- Virtual Mailbox Services
- Private Mailbox Stores
- Virtual Office/Business Centers
- Coworking Spaces
- Commercial Office
Virtual Mailbox Services
A virtual mailbox service offers a permanent business street address for receiving mail. Once mail is received, the mail is scanned and an image of the mail envelope is uploaded into your digital mailbox. You can then view and request to have selected mail pieces opened and the contents scanned.
Alternatively, you can have your mail forwarded to another address, which is useful if you receive your new credit cards, driver license, or passport. With a virtual mailbox, you can essentially read and manage your mail online from anywhere in the world.
What are the Advantages of a Virtual Mailbox?
A virtual mailbox is the best solution for managing your mail remotely from anywhere. This type of service offers many conveniences:
- Get a permanent street address without the hassle of checking a physical mailbox or traveling to the mailbox location. Your permanent address is yours no matter where you live or move to.
- Save time managing your mail with the ability to quickly and easily search through PDF scans using OCR technology.
- Shop at online US stores even if they don’t ship internationally. You can have packages shipped to your virtual mailbox and then forwarded on to an international destination.
- Easily forward mail and important documents, such as your driver license or credit cards, to yourself no matter where you are.
- Store digital mail documents for future reference or for tax purposes. You will never need to sift through years of paper just to find what you need.
- Streamline workflow and automate tedious administrative tasks when it comes to snail mail and package delivery.
- Simplify mail processing by centralizing all your mail in one single location without having to deal with mail being sent to multiple offices or people.
- Maintain a mailing address that never changes even if your physical location changes or if you move. You will never have to update your mailing address again.
Many virtual mailing services offer a series of extra perks, such as depositing checks to your bank account, physical mail storage, mail shredding, and even registered agent service for your company.
What are the Disadvantages of a Virtual Mailbox?
- If you cancel the mail service, you cannot use USPS to forward your mail to your new address. You will have to notify everyone of your change of address.
- There are additional costs incurred by having to forward mail compared to picking up mail.
- Opening business bank accounts may be more difficult since banks usually require you to have a physical office.
- Using the mailbox address in another state may cause the state tax authority to assume that you have a nexus there, which may subject you to taxes in that state.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Virtual Mailbox?
A virtual mailbox is an affordable option for small businesses and startups that want to convey the appearance of having a physical office without the need to have a commercial office space.
It is also ideal for those who run their businesses out of their homes and wish to keep their personal information private as well as international companies looking to have a presence in the United States.
Private Mailbox Stores
A private mailbox store is a store that is usually located in a retail center or plaza and offers mailboxes linked to their store address. You can rent this type of mailbox from places such as The UPS Store, PostNet, Postal Annex, or any locally owned mailbox rental company.
What are the Advantages of a Private Mailbox?
A private mailbox store can receive packages from all carriers such as USPS, UPS, or Fedex. This is in contrast to a PO Box at the post office where only USPS mail is accepted.
Additionally, with a private mailbox:
- You get a real physical street address.
- Mail and packages are signed and held securely by the provider, so less chance of theft.
- They offer additional business services that may come with the mailbox rental, such as a fax, copy, and packaging services. It’s like a convenience store for businesses.
- 24-hour access to your physical mailbox so you can pick up mail when it’s convenient for you.
- The cheapest option to get a commercial address.
- Pick up packages without paying extra fees.
What are the Disadvantages of a Private Mailbox?
- You have to physically travel and pick up your mail and packages at the location. This is extremely inconvenient as you have to go to the location to check for mail. If there’s no mail, then you have wasted time making that trip.
- If you travel far away or if you will be gone for long periods of time, you will not be able to access and check your mail in a timely manner.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Private Mailbox?
A private mailbox is a convenient option for anyone who lives very close to the mailbox store. It is also very cost effective as mail and packages can be picked up without paying extra fees.
Virtual Office Space and Business Center
A virtual office is a collaborative work environment that is a departure from the traditional office scenario in which office space is leased, manned and equipped. A virtual office in a serviced business center is a service designed to present a professional image without the extra expense in managing the facility.
Both virtual offices and business centers offer workspace solutions that include a commercial mailing address. You can rent the office spaces to help make your startup or small business appear larger and more established.
What are the Advantages of a Virtual Office Space and Business Center?
A virtual office space will provide you with a professional business address, mail handling services, a local phone number, call handling/receptionist services, and meeting and conference spaces which can be rented out on an as-needed basis.
A business center will offer individual offices for local representatives of large companies, professionals, and startups with shared lobby space, conference rooms, support staff, telecommunications services, office equipment, and other amenities.
What are the Disadvantages of a Virtual Office Space and Business Center?
Cost is the biggest disadvantage of a virtual office space and business center. A virtual office or business center is a good alternative for those looking to save time and money in recruiting business resources, but the cost is more than other business address options. You are also paying for services you may not need.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Virtual Office Space or Business Center?
The features and flexibility of a virtual office can benefit most if you are looking for the following:
- If you want a “home base” for your business locally with clients and partners.
- If you want the professionalism of a receptionist and support staff without the cost in hiring them.
- If you need a physical space to conduct meetings or meet with clients.
A coworking space is a shared workplace for individuals to work in. It is usually used by freelancers, startup founders, and digital nomads as a place to work away from home.
What are the Advantages of a Coworking Space?
The main advantage of a coworking space is the collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility that the space provides to the people. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of coworking is the creative environment and the sense of community from like-minded professionals. A coworking space is usually full of entrepreneurs, which can help build valuable networks, support systems, and learning opportunities.
What are the Disadvantages of a Coworking Space?
A coworking space is an expensive option, but is still cheaper than renting your own space. Another downside of coworking spaces is that you will receive the same distractions as in a normal work office environment. It is best to consider your personality and work style before selecting a coworking space.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Coworking Space?
The features and flexibility of a coworking space can benefit most if you are looking for the following:
- If you want a physical location to work at everyday.
- If you need a physical space to conduct meetings or meet with clients.
- If you want a physical space to run events, workshops, lunches, and other learning or social activities for your members or team.
- If you value belonging to a community, accessibility and sustainability with other entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Commercial offices are usually located inside shopping malls, professional office buildings, retail plazas, and free-standing buildings. Depending on your financial capability and strategic needs, you may either purchase a property or rent a commercial property.
What are the Advantages of a Commercial Office?
A commercial office option provides a business with a real physical space, which allows you to house employees and service walk-in customers.
The Disadvantages of Commercial Office Space
The biggest downside of using a commercial office is the huge monthly expense needed to maintain the space. It is the likely the most expensive option listed here.
Another disadvantage is the inconvenience caused by relocating your business to another location. If your business happens to do very well and grows big, you may need to move to a larger office. When this happens, you need to update your mailing address with all your vendors and customers. Otherwise, you may miss any incoming bills or checks, which will adversely impact your business operations and cash flow.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Commercial Office?
If you plan to have employees or walk-in customers, a commercial office would be the best option.
The decision to lease or purchase an office space will depend on many factors such as taxes, financial capability, and growth rate. It’s best to consult a professional to guide you towards the best solution for your situation.
Taking into consideration the time and cost of each option, a virtual mailbox provides the best value and utility for a startup business. It is perfect for those who do not need a physical office and can run their businesses remotely.
Even if you do need a commercial office, perhaps for walk-in customers or to house employees, a virtual mailbox is still a great way to maintain a permanent mailing address so that if you do need to move due to growth, you do not need to worry about updating your address with all your vendors and customers.
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