You’ve decided to start your own business in Florida, and, who wouldn’t? It’s hard to turn down the benefits of living in the Sunshine State. However, just because you have decided where you want to set up shop doesn’t mean you’re ready to launch your business. It’s time for you to decide what business address to use for your LLC.
There are many considerations that go into choosing an ideal business address. Read this article to discover what business address is ideal for your Florida LLC.
What is a Florida Business Address?
A business address is used to specify your official place of business. It is the address you list for customers and clients to contact you. While most think of a business address as the place in which a business operates, this is not always the case. As a new LLC, it is very common to operate out of your home.
However, you should be hesitant about using your home address as your business address. Your business address will be displayed to anyone who searches you, customers and competitors alike.
Your business address is used to communicate with customers, vendors, and anyone else concerned with your business operations. Below are a few examples of where your business address will be used for:
- Articles of Organization
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Public website
- Emails to customers
- Invoices to customers
- Accounts with suppliers and vendors
- Communications and correspondence with customers
If you haven’t noticed, that’s a lot of public places where your business address will be used. That’s not a comforting thought if you’re using your home address. Have no fear, though. By the end of this article, you’ll have a much better idea of which business addresses you can use to protect your privacy and personal information.
Privacy and Your Florida Business Address
Privacy is important! If you’re not convinced about your privacy and business address let’s dive in more.
Florida’s “Sunshine Law” is an open records law that requires the Florida Division of Corporations to make state business filings accessible to the public. These aren’t redacted documents. That means any names, phone numbers, and addresses appearing on your business formation documents and annual reports are accessible to anyone with a computer, an internet connection, and a little old-fashioned curiosity.
Don’t believe it? Try it yourself. Just visit Florida’s Sunbiz website, and do a random records search. For example, look up “Buzzer Beater” and see how much information pops up. The address, status, and owner information are all available with one click of your mouse.
Now, imagine this is your own business. Anyone can find out this information about you! That’s a big no-no when it comes to your privacy if you’re using your home address. It’s time to consider your address options.
Does It Matter What Business Address You Use For Your Florida LLC?
So, now that you know that your business address for your LLC is public, the answer is “YES” your business address does matter.
If you were thinking about using a PO box as your address, sorry, but PO box addresses are not accepted as business addresses, so skip this option.
Here are the 3 most viable options for your business address.
You already know what your home address is. In fact, you have it memorized like the back of your hand. Your home address is the address at which you live. It’s your place of comfort and also where you might be planning to run your LLC, but if you haven’t seen the pattern it does risk your privacy.
Pros of Using Your Home Address
Cost-saving: Since you are already paying to live there, there will be no additional costs to using your home address as your business address. As a budding Florida startup, saving money is a big deal. By using your home address, you can save by avoiding the real estate expenses that come with renting out a physical office space.
Convenience: By operating your business out of your home, you can wake up and get to work. No dealing with traffic on your commute or needing to discern between different addresses when specifying your address on documents. One address means less confusion when dealing with shipping and mailing needs and making sure there are no mix-ups.
Disadvantages of Using Your Home Address
Privacy and Safety Risks: As mentioned earlier, your business address will be made available on some very public records. This means anyone and everyone with a digital device and curiosity can find your address with just a few clicks. If you use your home address as your business address, you are opening your home to customers, competitors, and strangers all across the internet. While most individuals won’t go to such depths, you cannot guarantee that your privacy and safety will not be at risk. Anyone with malicious intent can use your personal information to invade your privacy.
Not to mention, what if there is an angry customer who wants to confront you? They can find your address and ambush you at your front door while you’re none the wiser. You don’t want someone to come knocking at your door at 3:00 AM without prior notice.
Damage to Your Professional Business Image: Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. When you come across a new company and are considering using their products or services, what is one of the first things you do? You look at their website. Well, the company address is one of the must-haves of any website, which means you will be posting your address for your own website. Now, imagine you’re a potential customer, and you see a home address as the place of business. You might lose a little faith in the products or services that business is offering.
Having an address that represents a well-established office or commercial property boosts a company’s image because, let’s face it, people do judge a book by its cover when it comes to spending their own money. If you use your home address as your business address, your business reputation and trustworthiness will decline. Although there is no harm in operating out of your home, customers will view your business as less professional and doubt its credibility. Build a reputation of trust and credibility with your customers, and avoid using your home address in business situations.
A virtual office provides businesses with a combination of services, space, and technology without the overhead costs of owning or leasing a physical space. These services can include a physical address and office-related services such as a receptionist, a phone number, and meeting rooms for teams to conference within.
Pros of Using a Virtual Office
Cheaper than Owning a Physical Space: As mentioned above, you get the advantages of an office space without bearing the capital expenses that come with having a lease to your name on the physical space. It’s like operating in a semi-permanent office that provides services to you based on which options you choose. This can be a helpful option to use when you are expanding your business into a larger team but don’t have the capital to support a full-on office lease.
Access to Business Amenities: Virtual offices are great for businesses that require specific services, such as a receptionist, fax, or internet. Because virtual offices were created with startups in mind, they provide amenities that many businesses take advantage of. If you are searching for any kind of office help, a virtual office will be able to provide you with that service.
Less Office Management: Since you will not be owning the office space, you won’t have to worry about the responsibilities that come with managing a physical office. This means that you can spend more time focusing on your business operations without having to worry about separate, unrelated responsibilities that come with rent.
Cons of Using a Virtual Office
Expensive Business Address: Although the cost of a virtual office is lower than that of a monthly lease or owning an office space, this service is still costly and will take a large chunk out of your business budget. If your LLC is still starting out, this can be a heavy burden to bear and may not be the best investment to make. If you realize in a few months that you cannot afford to continue using the virtual office service and have to cut it out of your business budget, your operations will need to be readjusted, which can slow down your business and team progress.
Limited Physical Office Space: A virtual office provides what you request and nothing more. Because you will not have a full office space for use, there will be a lack of physical space for your business to operate in. This can cause inconveniences for your LLC and team. A virtual office is also not a physical location to work in on a daily basis.
A virtual mailbox is a service that allows you to access and read your physical mail online, similar to email. Your mail is scanned and digitally uploaded to your account for viewing. You’ll get real-time notifications of the mail piece, so you are up to date on important notifications and correspondence that you receive.
So, what does this mean for your business? You can use your virtual mailbox as a separate business address to protect your privacy, as well as list on website, formation documents, and all other business communications, most of which will be available to the public.
Privacy Protection: Many business items, including company filings and business communication with clients and customers, will be made available to the public. You don’t want to let your home address be accessible to strangers and the overall public. With the address the virtual mailbox service provides, you can protect your home address and use the separate address for your business. By doing so, it provides you with a layer of protection and anonymity between your business and home, allowing you to maintain your personal privacy.
Pros of Using a Virtual Mailbox
Permanent Business Address: Your virtual mailbox let’s you obtain a separate business address from your home address. You don’t have to worry about paying the steep overhead of renting a physical space, and virtual mailboxes are cheaper than the cost of reserving a virtual office. Virtual mailboxes also offer other services that are included with your purchase, providing more value than simply having a separate address. You also won’t have to worry about changing to a new business address if you move out of the state or do some long-term traveling. Your virtual mailbox address will stay constant (and you will continue to receive your mail and package notifications), which means you don’t need to update your information to customers or business documents.
Remote Business Management: Because a virtual mailbox service will digitally scan and notify you of mail and package deliveries in real-time, you don’t have to worry about dealing with rush hour traffic to check a separate mailbox for your business deliveries or time-sensitive documents. You can also choose to forward your physical mail after viewing it digitally. VPM’s mail-forwarding features fast processing speeds, and it accepts all couriers. Whether you want to send and receive mail through FedEx, USPS, or UPS, you’ll be able to with VPM. It also doesn’t matter where you are. Even if you’re halfway across the world, you can have your mail forwarded from your mailbox to your current location.
Maintain a Professional Business Image: By using a virtual mailbox address as your business address, you forego the professionalism issue that you run into when using your home address. You can choose a virtual mailbox address attached to a commercial office or prestigious location, raising your professional image to one that is trustworthy and credible for your customers.
Registered Agent Service: As an LLC, you are required to designate a registered agent to act as your contact with the Secretary of State and receive service of process on behalf of your business. A registered agent service handles your legal documents and communications for you, notifying you of any deliveries. By combining your registered agent with your virtual mailbox, you can protect your privacy and receive same-day access to your mail. Unlike non-traditional registered agents that use snail mail, a virtual mailbox will immediately scan and forward your documents, so you can quickly receive all notices. By using a VirtualPostMail (VPM) virtual mailbox that comes with free registered agent services, you can kill two birds with one stone.
Check Depositing Service: Another feature of most virtual mailbox services is the check depositing service. Rather than going to the bank every month to deposit your paychecks, this check depositing service will do it on your behalf. Get paid faster by not having to physically step foot in a bank again to deposit checks. This way, you’ll have one less errand to run when you can be focusing your time on more pertinent matters, like running your business.
VPM is a virtual mailbox service that provides you with a separate mailbox address to receive correspondence. This address can double as your business address, as well. Below are a few main reasons why you would want a VPM virtual mailbox.
Cons of Using a Virtual Mailbox
Additional Costs to Use Package Forwarding: In exchange for the convenience of avoiding a commute to pick up your mail, you may have to pay additional shipping and handling costs to receive your packages. A great way to maximize the value of shipping costs, however, is to bundle your packages and ship all of your mail together. This way you only have to pay your shipping fees once, as opposed to multiple times.
If you run a remote business and don’t need a physical location separate from your home to do your work, then a virtual mailbox is best for you.
Florida Business Address FAQs
Q: Can I use a PO Box as my business address?
A: No, you cannot use a PO box as your business address. PO boxes are not permitted for business registration purposes.
Q: Should I use my home address for my business?
A: Yes, but it’s not recommended. While you are allowed to designate your home address as your business address, it is advised against. By doing so, you will be risking your privacy and safety, as well as putting your business reputation at risk. As a reminder, you can read about the pros and cons of using a home address above in this article.
When establishing an LLC in the state of Florida, there are a number of steps you need to follow. One major step you need to take care of is designating a business address for your LLC. Due to Florida’s “Sunshine Law”, all business addresses will be made accessible to the public. This means that you need to choose carefully when deciding what type of address you want to designate as your place of business.
There are 3 main options to use for your business: a home address, a virtual office, and a virtual mailbox. Each option provides its own advantages and disadvantages. Home addresses are ideal for saving money, but are risky to use because your privacy and safety will be compromised and made available to the public. Virtual offices are great when you need a physical meeting room for team or client meetings, but they are costly and limited with space. Virtual mailboxes are most ideal for individuals who are just starting businesses and do not need a physical office space separate from their home. A virtual mailbox service provides an affordable business address in a commercial area separate from your home address, providing convenience, protection, and a professional business image.
Ready to Get a Virtual Mailbox Address?
If you’re ready to launch your business and are in need of a separate business address, it’s time to look for a virtual mailbox. A virtual mailbox will suit all of your business address needs, in addition to providing a few extra features that can be very helpful for your LLC. Ready for your virtual mailbox address?