Remote Operations

What is a virtual address for business, and how does it work?

March 14, 2023
Sarah Ahmad

The demand for commercial real estate has been declining since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. This has been especially true in the business office sector, where national vacancy rates reached 12.4% in the third quarter of 2022.

With companies continuing to do business remotely (even as the world returns to some variation of "normal"), the reality is that fewer businesses need a physical address. Still, these companies need a secure and reliable place to receive mail that's not an employee's residential address.

Enter the virtual address, a practical option that more businesses are relying on than ever before.

What is a virtual business address?

Specifically, a virtual business address refers to a real street address that businesses can use to:

  • Receive mail and packages.
  • Maintain compliance with state regulations.
  • boost brand image.

When your parcels and mail arrive at a virtual address, it’s securely handled and you (or authorized people in your company) get a notification. You can view it in an online dashboard and decide what action to take on each piece of mail, such as:  

  • Forwarding it to your physical address
  • Scanning the contents
  • Shredding it
  • Depositing checks

Likewise, a virtual business address can be provided to your state government for compliance purposes or to register an LLC or corporation. This address can also be furnished to the IRS for tax purposes and given to customers or vendors who may need to send your company mail.

Essentially, you can use a virtual address for just about anything you'd use a regular business address for.

How do you receive mail from a virtual address? Understanding virtual mailbox services

One of the great things about virtual addresses is that you can choose a location that suits your business needs, whether you want one that's based in your home state or prefer an address in a specific city. 

Because virtual business addresses are tied to real physical addresses, they can be used by your business to receive mail once you've set up your account. This makes them ideal for remote or distributed companies with employees in multiple states, or startups looking to incorporate in startup-friendly states (like Delaware) where they may not have a physical presence.

Before you can have a virtual mailbox service receive mail on your behalf, you need to fill out USPS Form 1583, which is the application for mail delivery through an agent. It’s required for a service to legally receive your mail, and while it can be a laborious process, Stable makes it easy by pre-filling the form for you.

Once the 1583 form is approved and you have a virtual business address, you can start using it to receive mail, streamline mail operations, and save time.

Scanning and digitizing mail

Your virtual address service can scan and digitize mail on your behalf, and with Stable, you can quickly and easily access it online via your dashboard. This means that rather than having physical mail piling up on your desk, you can keep everything digitized.

Forwarding services

A virtual mail service can also provide mail and package forwarding. With Stable’s mail forwarding, customers can forward important mail (like legal documents) while retaining a physical copy. 

With Stable’s bulk forwarding service, customers can consolidate multiple mail items (mail and packages) into one for reduced shipping costs. Because Stable negotiates discounted rates with carriers, the savings gets passed along to customers.

Storage and shredding

With Stable, your physical mail and packages can be stored for up to 30 days, but this limit will vary between providers. During this time, you can choose to have each piece of mail forwarded, shredded, or destroyed in a few clicks through Stable’s online dashboard. When mail is shredded and destroyed, you can rest assured that it's done properly so that your information stays secure.

Depositing checks

If your business receives a check in the mail, a virtual mailbox service like Stable can forward it to you so that you can deposit or cash it yourself. Alternatively, Stable can deposit the checks for you while automatically extracting payer or payee information. This can save you trips to the bank and help you close out your books faster.

Using a virtual mailbox vs. a P.O. Box for business

Virtual mailboxes aren’t just for startups, small businesses, and home-based businesses — they’re great for companies with physical locations as well. If you have multiple locations or are expanding rapidly, virtual mailboxes can give you a central location to receive mail. They’re also ideal for businesses that receive high volumes of mail and checks, as they remove the burden of sorting, consolidating, processing, and depositing manually.

However, some businesses are more familiar with P.O. Boxes, particularly if they’ve used them before. With a "traditional" P.O. Box, you will have access to a lockable box that is rented through your local post office and managed by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

P.O. Boxes can be convenient for receiving mail, but the reality is that they aren't real street addresses — and they typically can't receive mail from other carriers like:

  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • UPS
  • Smaller third-party providers

Likewise, P.O. Boxes usually can't be used to incorporate a company, register an LLC, or for tax reporting purposes.

A P.O. Box doesn't always reflect positively on your company's reputation, either. If a potential customer searches for your business address and sees that it's a P.O. Box rather than a real street address, they may consider your company less reputable or trustworthy.

And, of course, there's the general lack of mailbox services offered through a P.O. Box. With a P.O. Box, you're responsible for physically traveling to the post office yourself to pick up your mail. With a virtual mailbox, on the other hand, your mail can be scanned, digitized, forwarded, and even shredded or destroyed on your behalf — all without you ever having to leave your desk.

For many businesses, setting up a virtual address will simply make more sense than using a P.O. Box.

Not only does a virtual mailbox come with additional services to help you manage your mail, but using a real street address also reflects positively on your business and its professional image.

Benefits of a virtual address for your business

Using a virtual address can benefit your business in a number of ways, saving you time and boosting your brand's credibility.

Permanent business address

Having a virtual address for business helps to consolidate your important documents and information in one place. This is especially useful if your business is remote or doesn't have physical office space.

Additionally, because switching business addresses can be cumbersome, having a permanent virtual address for your business can save you a lot of time and hassle if you relocate.

Accessibility and convenience

These days, people are spending less time in physical offices — yet businesses still need to receive mail and packages on a regular basis. A virtual mailbox allows your company to do just that without the need to rent out a P.O. Box or travel to a physical mailbox.

Instead, receive notifications every time your company receives mail, then use your virtual dashboard to decide what to do with each piece. It doesn't get more convenient than that.

Enhanced privacy and security

A business address is often a matter of public record. As a result, using a home address may be a privacy concern. Using a virtual address keeps your personal address personal so that your private information stays secure and hidden.

Greater business credibility

When choosing a virtual address, you can specifically weigh your options by city and even street. For example, having a Market Street address in San Francisco or a Madison Avenue address in New York City can communicate prestige and professionalism to prospective clients and employees.

Not to mention, if somebody were to Google your business address, they would see a commercial building instead of a private residence, which can further boost your credibility.

Virtual mailbox services

Virtual business addresses often come with a variety of mail digitization services that make it easier to handle mail on-the-go through an online portal. A virtual mailing address for business ensures that you don't miss any important documents, making it easy to request mail scanning or forwarding to anywhere in the world with the click of a button.

Improved collaboration and organization

Many virtual address/mailbox services allow business owners to add registered agents or other authorized users to view and receive company mail from an online dashboard.

For example, team members can easily share mail with specific departments (like Finance or HR) by requesting scans from a virtual mailbox service. This saves companies from the time and hassle of relying on a single employee to physically scan or forward mail in-person, streamlining operations and maximizing efficiency. 

How to get a virtual address for business

Obtaining a virtual business address is easier than you might think, especially when you use a reliable service like Stable. If you're interested in a virtual business address for an LLC, corporation, or any other entity, we can get you set up in a matter of minutes.

We provide permanent and premium virtual addresses and mailboxes, so you never have to worry about mail operations or changing addresses again. We'll digitize all the mail that your virtual address receives, so you'll be able to easily scan, forward, shred, and even deposit checks from anywhere in the world.

In addition to basic mailbox services, the team at Stable makes mail organization more efficient with features like:

  • Seamless integration with Slack, Notion, Gmail, Dropbox, and more so you can automatically push and forward mail at your convenience
  • Features to automatically open/scan mail, forward packages, and deposit checks
  • API and webhooks to build powerful workflows on top of your tool stack
  • Search and tag features to organize and quickly find mail

Get a virtual business address within minutes with Stable

If you're looking for a reliable, secure, and convenient way to handle your business mail without the need for a physical office or cumbersome P.O. Box, then Stable has you covered with virtual mailbox services.

With Stable, your business gets a permanent virtual address so you never have to worry about mail or changing addresses again. Join more than 1,000 modern companies by signing up today and setting up your virtual mailbox in less than three minutes!


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.

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