Forming a limited liability company (LLC) for your small business can be a great way to separate your personal identity from your professional one. However, when you register a business as an LLC, you'll need to provide some important contact information, including an address where you can receive important correspondence from banks and federal and state agencies (including the IRS).
Unfortunately, once that information is filed, it becomes a matter of public record. If you run a home-based or distributed business and use your home address to register your LLC, it can lead to a host of issues — including making your business appear unprofessional (or worse, not legitimate), and infringing on your privacy.
If you've previously used your home address as your business address, it may be time to sign up for a virtual business address.
A virtual address is a real street address that you can use to receive mail, packages, and other correspondence for your LLC. With a virtual address service like Stable, your mail is scanned and images are uploaded to an online dashboard.
From there, you can select which mail items you want to have opened, forwarded to your home (or other) address, shredded, or recycled. When mail is opened, its contents are scanned and once again uploaded to your online account for your viewing.
A virtual mailing address is an excellent choice for an LLC because you can use it for registering your business. This means that you can keep your home address private while still having access to all your business mail and parcels.
Depending on the virtual business address service you choose, you can get an address anywhere in the country — including premium mailbox locations like New York City and San Francisco. This can add legitimacy to your growing business while streamlining your mail operations.
If you're thinking about signing up for a virtual business address, it's important to understand that not all of these services are created equal. While there may be dozens or even hundreds of companies offering virtual business addresses and digital mailbox services, not all of them will have what you need for your LLC.
So, what exactly should you be looking for in a great virtual address service?
First, be sure that the address you register is unique and can be used anywhere you would normally provide your home or office address. You should be able to enter the address directly into a service like Google Maps and see a picture of the office building where your virtual address is located. In some cases, you may even be able to choose aspects of your address, such as whether you want it to be associated with a specific suite number or unit number.
For an LLC, you'll also want to make sure that you can use the address for registered agent purposes. This refers specifically to an entity designated to legally receive correspondence on your company's behalf. Some virtual mailbox services can also act as registered agents, but you may need to pay an extra monthly fee for this service. With Stable, you can add a registered agent from any U.S. state or territory.
If you've already registered your LLC under your home address, then the process of formally changing your address can be a bit complicated and time-consuming. Though the exact process can vary from one state to the next, there are quite a few forms that you'll need to fill out and file with your state, federal agencies, the IRS, and the post office (USPS).
To simplify the process, choose a virtual address service like Stable that provides dedicated change-of-address guidance. This way, you can get a customized checklist that walks you through the steps involved in changing your professional business address. Stable even pre-fills the USPS Form 1583 for you, saving you time and eliminating a tedious manual task from your lengthy to-do list.
Make sure that the virtual address service you select offers comprehensive postal mail scanning, storing, forwarding, and even check depositing to save you time, space, and money.
Ideally, your virtual address service will promptly upload your items and give you access to them via an intuitive online dashboard once they are received. Some services, like Stable, even notify you via text or email when new mail arrives. From there, you can decide which actions to take on each mail item:
Likewise, if your business receives checks by mail, having a virtual mailbox service that can deposit checks on your behalf can be very convenient, saving you lots of trips to the bank yourself.
For motivated entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers alike, using a virtual mailbox service for an LLC makes a lot of sense. But what's the best virtual mailbox for your company's needs? Let's explore some of our top picks to help you get started, including some alternatives to providers like Anytime Mailbox.
With virtual address locations throughout the United States (including options in Delaware, California, New York, Texas, and Florida), Stable is frequently trusted by business owners with LLCs. Specifically, Stable offers virtual mailbox services that include options for receiving mail and packages, opening and scanning mail, forwarding mail, and storing/shredding mail as directed.
Stable can accept shipments from any carrier (including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL) and includes high-quality scans of mail contents at no charge. If your business receives a lot of packages, Stable can consolidate mail and parcels going to the same address with cost-saving bulk forwarding services. When your business receives checks, Stable can provide a convenient check depositing that saves you trips to the bank. Instead, simply request check deposits to your authorized bank account with one click.
Stable also stands out as one of the only virtual mailbox service providers offering registered agent services in all 50 states. This is a great way to eliminate paperwork and make compliance easier for your LLC; if you need to take action with a government agency, Stable will notify you immediately. Registered agent services are just $25 per month and can be added to any Stable plan with ease.
Founded in 2004, Incfile is one of the longest-standing virtual mailbox services. In addition to virtual address services, Incfile also offers various legal services that your business may need. This includes LLC formation, which may come in handy if you're in the early stages of your business and haven't yet created your LLC.
Likewise, Incfile offers virtual business addresses in nearly all 50 states (except Oregon), so you can choose the physical location that best suits your needs.
You'll receive an email notification each time you receive new mail at your virtual business address. From there, you can log into your easy-to-use online portal and access your mail, taking such actions as forwarding, shredding, scanning, or storing. Incfile also offers prompt service, advertising on its website that mail is guaranteed to be scanned within one business day of receipt.
Incfile also offers registered agent services in all 50 states for an additional monthly fee, which may come in handy for LLC operators who don't want the responsibility of serving as their own registered agents.
It is worth noting that, unlike Stable, Incfile addresses can only receive traditional mail; packages cannot be delivered to an Incfile business address. If your business deals with a lot of parcels, this may not be the service for you.
Planet Express specializes in package forwarding services from warehouses based in California, Oregon, Florida, and the United Kingdom. This makes Planet Express a great way to secure a package-forwarding address for your LLC, so you don't have to use your personal address. While this service is primarily focused on package forwarding, Planet Express addresses can also be set up to receive traditional mail and letters.
While Planet Express may not offer an online dashboard for viewing and taking action on mail, this service does offer automatic forwarding of your packages and mail. For premium accounts, you may even be able to avoid sales tax on your orders by choosing a location in Oregon or Florida.
Planet Express may not offer all the robust features of a traditional virtual mailbox, but with a free plan, this can be a viable option for LLCs looking to register a new business address while saving some money with discounted shipping rates.
PostScanMail is another popular virtual mailbox service that's been in the game for more than a decade. This service offers a number of plans, with the cheapest starting at just $10 per month. It is worth noting that PostScanMail uses third-party operators, which helps to keep costs down. This makes PostScanMail one of the more affordable virtual address services out there, which can be ideal for startups and freelancers who may not want to add another $30+ monthly expense.
PostScanMail offers virtual business addresses in a variety of locations, including premium spots like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. All accounts also come with free archiving of scanned mail items, so you'll never have to worry about running out of digital storage. Meanwhile, PostScanMail addresses can accept mail and packages from any carrier (as long as parcels don't contain any hazardous materials or perishable items).
PostScanMail accounts also come with mail recycling services, so you can securely dispose of any mail items you no longer need.
With plans starting as low as $20 per month, Northwest offers virtual mailbox services with addresses in such locations as California, Illinois, New York, Texas, Washington, and more. Each plan comes with same-day digital scanning, physical mail forwarding, and a unique suite number that sets your business apart.
In addition to basic virtual mailbox services, Northwest also offers LLC formation services and dedicated registered agent services for your LLC. With Northwest's registered agent services, you'll pay $125 per year to receive state-specific compliance reminders, electronic scans of your important correspondence, legal documents, and more.
Earth Class Mail is a virtual mailbox service trusted by thousands of companies across the globe, with more than 80 address locations available throughout the United States. (Note: Earth Class Mail's cheaper plans only give you the option of an Oregon address — you'll pay more for one of their other 80 addresses.)
This service takes a lot of pride in its green initiatives, including recycling junk mail and shredded mail.
Unlike some virtual address providers who rely on third-party operators to provide services, each operator at Earth Class Mail is an employee — so you can enjoy some added peace of mind and consistency of service.
With four plans to choose from, you can find an option that suits your company's needs and budget. All plans come with 10 days of free package storage and 30 days of free mail storage. Likewise, unlimited cloud storage and free secure shredding and recycling services are included with every paid plan.
While Earth Class Mail does not offer registered agent services for LLCs, it does offer a convenient check depositing service that can come in handy for LLCs that receive a lot of payments by mail.
With plans starting as low as $20 per month, Business Anywhere is another popular virtual mailbox service that caters to businesses and entrepreneurs. With this service, you can access your mail anytime (and from anywhere) on your personalized dashboard.
Business Anywhere offers virtual addresses in Florida, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Arizona. Each plan includes unlimited mail and package receipt, direct and prompt mail scanning to your online dashboard, and worldwide forwarding services. With a Business Anywhere plan, you'll never pay additional fees for page scans or storage — and because Business Anywhere offers mail filtering, you'll never have to deal with junk mail again.
There are plenty of great virtual mailbox services available, but only a handful of them specifically cater to business owners with LLCs.
At Stable, we offer virtual office addresses in premium locations so you can choose the address that best suits your business needs. From there, we offer convenient services that include physical mail forwarding, scanning, storing, shredding, and even check-depositing to save you time and hassle. On top of all this, we're one of just a few virtual office services that can also act as a registered agent for your LLC.
Make the switch to Stable today and see for yourself the difference the right virtual address services can make in your business operations. We'll walk you through the entire process and offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so get started today!