Choosing a street address for your business may not seem particularly exciting. Who has the time to think about it when there are other parts of your business pulling you in different directions?
Getting it all right in the early stages is crucial. First impressions count and the proper address can ensure that your business starts off on the right foot. Choosing between your home address, PO Box, or a commercial address can determine who does business with you.
Furthermore, it's not only about impressions, there are many legal aspects where a commercial address has a huge advantage over a residential address or a PO box.
That's why we’ll talk about the essential benefits of choosing a virtual mailbox that offers a commercial address.
You will learn:
- Why it's important to have a commercial street address.
- The disadvantages of using a PO Box and a residential address.
- How to choose a commercial street address that benefits your business the most.
What is a Commercial Street Address?
A commercial street address is an address that points to a commercial building.
A commercial building is any real estate used for business purposes. It includes facilities such as office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses, and retail plazas.
Why a Commercial Street Address is Important
A commercial street address gives your business a professional appearance. This is essential, especially when you’re starting out and you need to show credibility to your customers and potential investors.
When you’re choosing a virtual mailbox service, you should be looking for a provider that offers a genuine commercial street address, as opposed to an address that is tied to a co-working center, a UPS store, PO box, or a virtual office.
These are the primary reasons why you need a commercial street address.
- You need a commercial address to operate in full compliance with the United States Law. For instance, you must specify a commercial street address to set up your business as an LLC or corporation.
- A commercial address is required to open and maintain a business bank account. A PO box is not accepted.
- A commercial address protects your privacy. Laws and regulations require companies to disclose a lot of information publicly, and much of that data is searchable online. That could include the address of your home office, which then becomes a potential target for thieves, competitors, and disgruntled customers. A commercial address helps protect your safety.
- A commercial street address lets you receive packages from all couriers, including UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service.
In addition to the credibility benefits with banks, investors, business partners, and customers your website, marketing pieces, and official documents can highlight a real street address:
My New Startup
1400 Market Street Suite 100
Brentwood, IL 60067
Therefore, a commercial street address is essential in registering an LLC or corporation, opening business bank accounts, and protecting your privacy as well as many other business benefits.
Commercial Street Address vs. Residential Address
Many startup founders choose to work out of their homes. It’s free and you get all your mail delivered right to your doorstep. Plus, there’s no commute to check your mail.
However, you need to consider the downside of using a residential address for your business.
- Restricted Business Services - Most banks and merchant services will not accept a residential address as a business address for your LLC or corporation.
- Lack of Privacy - Using your residential address can raise serious privacy and safety concerns. Your home address will show up in online searches, and an angry customer may surprise you with an unscheduled visit. Your home address will be used on public and state websites.
- No Security - In case a piece of mail is too large to fit in your personal mailbox, the carrier is allowed to leave the package at your front door, which means your mail can sometimes be left unattended for days.
- Unprofessional Business Image - A residential address doesn’t portray a professional business image to customers, vendors, or investors.
Compare how our location in Delaware stacks up against a residential address. It is worth it to keep your privacy and have a professional image.
A commercial street address will protect your privacy by keeping your home address and business documents secure. It will let you choose a good location in a respectable business area and provide a professional-looking building.
Commercial Street Address vs. PO Boxes
As a startup founder, you want to control costs. That’s why some entrepreneurs use a PO Box as their business address.
A post office box (PO box) is a lockable mailbox found in a physical post office. You can rent a PO Box at the post office. It’s inexpensive and the premises are monitored 24/7.
PO Boxes were originally created for rural areas where mail could not be delivered directly to home addresses. Today they’re used for multiple mailing needs. A PO Box is the best choice if you have basic needs for a mailbox service that will protect your privacy or for keeping an address that you will use for mailing address purposes.
Although a PO Box may seem like a convenient solution, especially for startups, there are many disadvantages you need to consider.
Here are the essential business aspects where the difference between having a PO Box or a commercial street address can make a huge impact.
- Restriction to Business Registration - If you want to register your business as an LLC or a corporation, you can’t use a PO Box as the principal business address.
- Challenge to Open Bank Accounts - Banks won’t accept a PO Box address as a legitimate business address, so you won’t be able to open a bank account.
- Lack of Business Presence - PO Boxes don’t show up on Google Maps. Google does not accept a PO Box address as a business location. If you want Google to include your business in its local search results you need to have a physical address.
- Non-professional Business Image - PO Boxes are not professional. Not to mention using a PO Box address makes your credibility look cheap.
The standard address format of a PO Box looks like this:
PO Box 1234
Brentwood, IL 60067
Compare how our location in Henderson stacks up against a PO Box. It’s definitely worth investing in a location that doesn’t look amateur.
- Inconvenience of Travel Time - It’s a hassle to pick up your mail because you have to make a separate trip out of your work day. Do you want to waste time traveling to pick up your mail on a continual basis? Maybe you’ll save time by checking the PO Box once or twice a week, but that may mean you could miss an urgent piece of mail and won’t be able to address it until a few days later. You could miss important deadlines on legal documents, license renewals, vendor invoices, and more. Penalties, interest, and late fees could add up for your business.
- Delivery Restrictions - The biggest drawback of a PO Box is that mail delivery options are restricted. To start with, you can receive only USPS deliveries at a PO Box. Carriers like UPS and FedEx cannot deliver to a PO Box, which means that they won’t accept delivery orders to a PO Box and you won’t be able to receive packages from those carriers.
A commercial street address is accepted as a business address for an LLC or corporation and business bank accounts. It also offers a professional business image and has no delivery restrictions because all couriers are accepted.
Differences of Commercial Street Addresses Between Virtual Mailbox Providers
A virtual mailbox service that offers a commercial street address will let you avoid all the problems of a residential address and PO box. You can enjoy the benefits of a real business address without the expense of relocating your business and signing an expensive commercial lease.
Choose your commercial street address carefully
While it may seem that you have struck gold with a virtual mailbox service that offers locations in multiple locations, you will need to choose an address carefully.
Many virtual mailbox services will use USPS and PO Boxes and forward the mail to their main sorting and scanning facility. This allows the virtual mailbox to offer more addresses even though they may not have a physical presence in that state.
While this does give you more choice, it also adds an extra step that not only adds room for error (such as misplaced mail), but also delays how soon your mail is scanned, since it must be forwarded to the virtual mailboxes head office.
How to find a professional commercial street address
There are several aspects that you need to consider when choosing a virtual mailbox provider with a commercial street address. Not all commercial addresses convey the same level of professional business appearance and be aware that not all virtual mailbox providers are created equal.
Here’s how to choose one:
- Make sure to choose a commercial address with a good location. Is it in a good or a bad area? Is it easily accessible? Does it show on Google Maps? What kind of other businesses are surrounding it? Location matters because you will be using that address for multiple parts of your business, but mostly for customers to find you.
- Make sure the commercial building is in good shape. What does the building look like? A run-down building will send a bad signal to customers and affect their perception of your business. Choose a building with a clean facade, doors, windows, and is a well-maintained building you would feel safe walking into.
Imagine your customers or potential investors were searching online for your business. Ask yourself in selecting a location the following questions.
- What do you think their impressions would be?
- Do you think these locations look professional?
- Is this how I want my business to look when customers search on Google Maps?
Here are some examples of virtual mailbox providers with commercial street addresses
Overall, it is important to know that some virtual mailbox providers do not offer a location with a professional appearance. That’s why it is important to know what to look for in a commercial street address because location matters.
That’s what a VirtualPostMail building will help you achieve.
We choose all our locations with the security and professionalism of you and your business in mind.
Here are the key benefits of choosing our commercial addresses:
- We don’t offer virtual offices. Instead, we offer dedicated buildings for our own use for the utmost security.
- Our commercial addresses are not in UPS Stores. There are no third-party people handling your mail, just our team of trusted and screened professionals.
- Our commercial addresses are in professional office buildings for a professional business image.
Is a Virtual Mailbox with a Commercial Street Address Worth it?
A business’s physical location is an important factor in the way that a business is perceived.
While a home address or PO Box is a low cost option and a fast solution to starting a business you should consider a commercial street address from the beginning.
A virtual mailbox with a commercial street address will give you an affordable and convenient solution to achieving a professional business image without the risks or hassles of a home address or PO Box.
Furthermore, a commercial street address will protect your privacy, look professional, and will meet many legal and business registration requirements for a physical address.
Are You Ready For A Virtual Mailbox?
Not only do we offer a virtual mailbox with a commercial street address our service is easy to setup! Begin by finding a plan that fits your business and personal needs.