Running a small business from home can provide a number of benefits from flexibility to cost savings.However, if you’re using your home address as an official business address, it can have some drawbacks when it comes to things like privacy and projecting a professional appearance. That’s where a virtual address for small business can help.
When asking yourself, “Is a virtual address for my small business right for me?” There are some important factors to consider. These factors include privacy, legal considerations, ability to portray a professional appearance, convenience, and cost.
We dive into each of these factors below to help you understand whether or not a virtual address makes sense for your business. We’ll list options for the best virtual business address as well.
One of the most popular reasons for why you should consider a virtual address for your small business is due to privacy. Especially if you are currently using a home address as your business address, it may be difficult to hide this information to the public. For example, even though you can avoid giving out your address to clients and leave it off your website, your business address will become public information when you legally form or incorporate your business. Additionally with the CAN-SPAM Act, if you send out emails for commercial purposes, you’re forced to tell recipients where you’re physically located. For many people, this isn’t desirable so having a virtual address is a good solution.
While there are countless stories of businesses that started in the garage, another important factor to consider is whether or not there are local laws or other legal agreements that can prohibit you from using your home address for your small business. For example, is your home under city or town zoning restrictions that would prevent you from operating a business? Many towns and cities utilize zoning ordinances, which define if a specific area allows commercial or residential buildings. Or if you’re renting, your lease may prevent you from running a business at home. There can also be similar rules when you fall under the purview of a Homeowner’s Association, which are regulating bodies with jurisdiction over planned communities or condominiums. Many of which often have rules that restrict you from operating a business out of your home. This was made famous by the television show, “The Office”, where Michael Scott is forced to stop operating his Michael Scott Paper Company out of his condo with the punishment being forfeiture of the residence.
In business, perception and appearance can be crucial during the sales cycle or customer search. Depending on your business needs, it can be valuable to have an office address in a certain locale. However, since leasing a physical location can be really expensive, a virtual office address is a great way to have a particular address in your preferred city without a large financial investment.
Certain areas or cities can help you build credibility or trust with clients with just an address. You can use that address on your business cards, mail, or website to promote a more professional appearance compared to a residential address. If you’re running a technology company, having a San Francisco office might lend you a certain amount of legitimacy in the eyes of customers. The same could be true for running a finance company out of New York or an entertainment company out of Los Angeles.
When running a small business, you want to be able to focus on your product, not logistics. So it’s important to have the least amount of overhead as possible when it comes to obtaining an office or business address. Although using your home address can be easy, having a virtual mailing address for your small business can be even more convenient. Virtual offices and mailboxes can provide a number of services, which can help you grow your business. For example, one of these services can provide a phone number with the office’s area code or provide you with a meeting space. Another great benefit is having your mail digitized. With this you can have your mail scanned, forwarded or shredded. Additionally, many virtual addresses can deposit checks that are sent to you or help with getting a registered agent address. You can see details on the best virtual mailbox and best virtual address for individuals and businesses.
Cost is a crucial factor to take into consideration if you’re exploring virtual mailbox or virtual address options. Below we list standard pricing across some of the most popular virtual address + mailbox solutions:
If you’re looking for the best virtual office for small business more information can be found here.
Other options, but at generally higher price points includes co-working spaces and private physical office spaces.
Although using your home address for your business address can be a great starting point, a virtual address for small business is a great idea for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons we covered above include privacy, projecting a professional appearance, convenience, and cost.
At Stable, we provide permanent virtual addresses and mailboxes so you never have to worry about mail or changing addresses again. We’ll digitize all mail that you receive here, and you’ll be able to scan, forward, shred, (and even deposit checks!) from anywhere in the world.
Get started with Stable here if you’d like a virtual business address + mailbox in less than 3 minutes.
Disclaimer: Stable is not a legal or accounting firm, therefore we cannot provide legal or tax advice. You should consult legal and tax professionals for advice on how to meet ongoing obligations that apply to you and your company.