You're going to need a physical mailing address for things, but how do you know when to get a separate mailing address? This article will lay out the different scenarios under which you would need a separate business mailing address.
Why Would You Need a Business Mailing Address
Your mail needs to go to a physical street address in the same state as where your company was formed. This is your mailing address. Simply put, your mailing address is where you expect to receive your mail for your business.
Below, you will find the reasons why you would need to get a separate mailing address for your business.
You Want to Keep Your Address Private
The U.S. Small Business Association showed that 60% of all businesses without staff are home-based. That means about 19 million home-based businesses out of the 32.5 million small businesses are up and running, so you’re in good company. However, if you value your privacy and want to keep prying customers and strangers away from your home and work in your pajamas in peace, you need to get a separate business mailing address.
Some of the most common mail that you will regularly receive as a home-based business include customer invoices, insurance, permits, licenses, bills, and checks. Because of this you might want to use your home address as BOTH your mailing and business address. In that case, you will risk sharing your home address with the public. Think of how many Google searches people make about “custom online t-shirts”. Say you show up on the first page with a volume of 10,000 monthly searches. That’s 10,000+ people clicking and finding out where you live.
You Don’t Have an Office Space
If you don’t have a physical space in the state in which your business is incorporated, you need a business mailing address because as much as you aren’t tied to a physical location your mail has to be (think taxes).
An office space not only refers to commercial buildings with offices, but it also includes a home office or any physical location that you work out of. There can be different reasons why you don’t have a physical location to receive your business’s mail and packages.
Another example is that you run your business overseas and don’t have a permanent U.S. address. Perhaps you live in Spain, but run a business in California. In these types of situations, you will require a business mailing address to receive postal mail.
You Run an LLC
Your business mailing address will be the location you wish to receive your mail on behalf of your LLC. The mail items include communications from the Secretary of State, legal documentation, and business formation documentation such as your Articles of Organization/Certificate of Formation and EIN.
Articles of Organization are like your LLC’s birth certificate. They will include key details of your LLC such as the name of your company, registered agent, and business address, as well as other information required by the state in which you incorporate. Once the Secretary of State approves your Articles of Organization, they act as the official affirmation of your LLC’s legal existence. Many states allow LLC owners to file their Articles of Organization online. Most states that offer online applications will provide a downloadable PDF, but if you need a physical copy mailed to you, it will be sent to the mailing address for your business. For more details on the information to include in your Articles of Organization and what to expect for physical delivery, read How to File Your LLC Articles of Organization.
An EIN, or employer identification number, is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to your business and is unique to you. This number is permanent and is crucial when it comes to applying for business licenses, opening a business bank account, and getting loans for your business. You can apply for your EIN online. Once complete, make sure to download and print a PDF copy of your EIN Confirmation Letter. Additionally, the IRS will send you a duplicate copy, which will arrive 4-5 weeks after applying at your business mailing address.
If you need to apply for your EIN by mail, print out and fill out the SS-4 application form. You can view instructions on how to fill out the SS-4 form in this article.
How Can You Get a Business Mailing Address
A virtual mailbox is the best address solution for business owners who do not need a physical space separate from their home. If you intend to work from home, can operate your business remotely, and want to enjoy the privacy protection that a separate mailing address brings, then a virtual mailbox is for you.
A virtual mailbox provides you with a separate mailing address that you can use to receive mail and packages to get customer invoices and bills. Mail deliveries will be scanned and uploaded to your digital account which you can view, similar to email. Once you have viewed your mail scans, you can then decide what to do with them: recycle, shred, or have the mail or packages forwarded to whatever address you want.
A virtual mailbox gives you a permanent address to use for your LLC so that the public only see your virtual mailbox address. You can use the virtual mailbox address on your Articles, EIN, and website.