How a Virtual Mailbox Compares to a Residential Address and P.O. Box
Choosing a street address for your business is admittedly not the most exciting part of entrepreneurship. You have so much else to think about when starting a new venture, picking an address might seem like a minor decision. But the right address can have a greater impact on a business than one might think.
A professional-looking address can help your business make a good first impression. Depending on your type of business, "Commerce Street" may sound better to customers and investors than "Honeysuckle Lane."
But it's not just about perceptions. Certain legal aspects might make a commercial address more appealing than a residential address or P.O. Box. That’s where a virtual mailbox that offers a commercial address can come in handy.
What Is a Commercial Street Address?
Any address that points to a commercial building is considered a commercial street address and can include office buildings, shopping centers, and warehouses.
Basically, if it’s used for business purposes, it can be a commercial building.
The Importance of a Commercial Street Address
A proper professional appearance is essential for your business. This is especially true when you’re starting out and need all the credibility you can get. Tying your business to a commercial street address is a quick and easy way to help foster that image.
A virtual mailbox service, like SnapMailbox, that offers access to a genuine commercial street address can be the key to this kind of credibility. Of course, there are more concrete benefits to a commercial street address when compared to a UPS store, P.O. Box, or virtual office.
- U.S. law dictates that you need a commercial address to be compliant and, among other things, set up a business as an LLC or corporation.
- Banks will not accept a P.O. Box when applying for a business bank account, only commercial addresses.
- Your privacy is better protected. Regulations require you to disclose company information publicly, in a way that’s easily searchable online. Using your residential address opens you up to major privacy concerns.
- All couriers, including UPS, FedEx, and USPS, deliver to commercial street addresses.
What Is the Difference Between a Commercial Street Address and a Residential Address?
Startup founders often choose to work out of their homes. This is great for cutting costs and making sure that any business mail gets sent right to your doorstep. On the flipside, there are real, concrete downsides to using a residential address for your business.
- Restricted Business Services: As a general rule, banks won’t accept a residential address as a business address for LLCs or corporations.
- Lack of Privacy: Your home address is likely to show up in online searches, which runs the risk of inviting angry customers or employees to your door.
- No Security: Having mail sent to your front door is nice, but on the off chance that a piece of mail is too big and needs to be placed outside your home, you could run the risk of it being stolen.
- Unprofessional Business Image: Customers, vendors, or investors won’t look at a residential address and give it much credibility at all, ruining your business’s image before they even interact with you.
A commercial street address doesn’t have any of these setbacks. In fact, using SnapMailbox allows you to choose a location in a respectable business area.
What’s the Difference Between a Commercial Street Address and a P.O. Box?
Controlling costs is key for startup founders. This makes a P.O. Box a sensible choice for founders looking for something beyond their residential address. You can rent a P.O. Box, a lockable mailbox, from most any post office. It doesn’t cost much, and the premises are monitored 24/7.
Initially created for rural areas where it was difficult to deliver to home addresses, P.O. Boxes are now used by many for different needs. If you have basic needs and need some privacy protection or need an address for mailing address purposes, a P.O. Box is generally your best option.
They’re convenient, but P.O. Boxes do have disadvantages to consider.
- Restriction to Business Registration: Your P.O. Box won’t be usable when registering your business as an LLC or corporation
- Challenge to Open Bank Accounts: P.O. Boxes aren’t considered legitimate business addresses by banks, making opening a business bank account impossible.
- Lack of Business Presence: Since P.O. Boxes don’t show up on Google Maps, your business won’t show up on local search results.
- Inconvenient Travel Time: Picking up your mail from a separate location constantly can be a pain. You could cut some time by only checking your P.O. Box once or twice a week, but then you might miss an urgent piece of mail, leading to missed deadlines for invoices, legal documents, or more.
- Delivery Restrictions: The biggest drawback of a P.O. Box is delivery restrictions. Only USPS can deliver to a P.O. Box, meaning you won’t be able to receive packages from other carriers.
In contrast to a P.O. Box, a commercial street address has no delivery restrictions and is accepted as a business address for an LLC, corporation, and business bank account. It offers a professional business image a cut above a P.O. Box.
Is a Virtual Mailbox with a Commercial Street Address Worth It?
Like it or not, your business’s physical location will go a long way into how it’s perceived.
Low-cost options such as a residential address or P.O. Boxes are fast solutions, but if you want your business to look professional, a commercial street address is the way to go.
A virtual mailbox that includes a commercial street address offers a convenient, affordable solution. You’ll have a professional business image without the disadvantages of a home address or P.O. Box.
Additionally, a commercial street address protects your privacy, looks professional, and meets many legal and registration requirements.
SnapMailbox doesn’t just offer commercial street addresses. We allow you to pick your own from our stable of addresses, all located in credible business locations. Our service is easy to set up, allowing you to start using your new address as quickly as possible!