Do you run your small business out of your home or garage? You’re not alone. In fact, about 50% of small businesses in the United States are home-based. But while running your company from home offers many advantages, it’s not without its pitfalls.
One of the first obstacles many at-home entrepreneurs will encounter is if they should use their home address for their business dealings. Before answering this question, you should first consider some of the dangers of using a home address.
Why You Need an Address to Conduct Business Online
It’s a requirement to have a physical address when starting, running, and maintaining a business. A physical address plays a role in a lot of business aspects, including:
- Opening a business bank account
- Registering an online domain
- Creating a supplier and vendor account
- Sending invoices, payments, and bills
- Applying for contracts, licenses, and permits
- Setting up online and local business listings
Should I Use My Home Address for My Business?
No federal or state laws prevent you from using your home address to conduct business. Still, your local zoning laws or homeowners association might have rules against operating a full-time business from your home. If your location allows for it, it’s ultimately up to the business owner to decide what address is best. However, it’s wise to consider your risks and available options before deciding.
Popular Business Address Options
There are several options available as alternatives for using your home address for your business. Business address options include:
- Using a PO Box at your local post office
- Renting a business mailbox from UPS
- Renting or leasing an office space
- Registering a virtual mailbox
Benefits of Not Using Your Home Address for Your Remote Business
Ditching your home address for one of the alternatives mentioned above can benefit you and your business in the long term. Consider the following benefits when deciding on an address for your business.
Keep Your Personal & Business Life Separate
Using your home address might not be the best option if you want to maintain the privacy and security of your family. Today, you can quickly find a business’s address on record and get directions to the location online. Any customer, vendor, or employee could appear at your doorstep.
Alternatively, conducting business using a separate address will provide another layer of security and privacy. It will also limit the exposure of your personal information to the world.
Avoid Conflicts With HOAs, Landlords, & Other Zoning Restrictions
While there may not be rules against using your home for a small business, your local laws or neighborhood organizations may say something different. You should check with your HOA covenants and research any local zoning laws that might prohibit your business before using your home address on any business documents. If you’re renting or leasing, ask your landlord.
You can avoid these potential conflicts altogether by using a separate address while working from your home.
Further Limit Your Personal Liability
Many small and remote businesses operate a limited liability corporation (LLC) or S-Corp to limit their personal liability in the event of a lawsuit. If you use your home address on business paperwork, it might “pierce the corporate veil.” You’re essentially demonstrating to a court of law that you have not separated your business and personal dealings adequately.
You can divide the two by registering with a separate address. It will also ensure your limited liability protection remains intact and potentially limit future financial risks to yourself and your family.
Maintain Proper Professionalism
It’s vital to share your business address on your website, invoices, business cards, and other places. Still, a home address appears less professional in the eyes of clients, customers, and partners. Using a different address to register your business can help you showcase your address with confidence. You can increase your professional look without the risk of divulging your home address.
How to Change Your Business Address From Your Home Address
You are not stuck if you’ve already started using your home address for your business. You can change your business address in a few easy steps.
1. Select Your New Address
The first step to changing your address is to select an alternative. We suggest using a virtual mailbox. A virtual mailbox will make your mail accessible online, limit junk mail, and allow for mail and package forwarding from anywhere.
2. Notify the IRS & Your Secretary of State
You need to notify the IRS and appropriate state and local business organizations. For the IRS, you’ll need to complete Form 8822-B-Change of Address. You can find this form on the IRS.gov website. Check with your state’s Secretary of Statefor details on who to contact at your local or state level regarding your business’s change of address.
3. Update Applicable Forms & Documents
Once you select an address and notify the proper authorities, you can change your address on your website, invoices, and all other applicable forms and documents your business may use.
Claim Your Virtual Business Address Online in Minutes
SnapMailbox is here to help if you’re ready to take the first step toward improving your small business by getting a professional business address. We offer real, professional addresses in every state to use as your official business address. Your mail will be received and digitally scanned at our facilities, so you can view it online anytime from the comfort of your home. You can then choose to discard or forward it to the address of your choosing — it really is a snap! Get started today with our 100% free trial.