I’m a fairly laid back person. The thought of an angry lead (for what ever reason) hunting me down at my home never really bothered me. What are the chances right? Who would take the time out of their busy schedule to confront a person who sent them a letter in the mail box?
My friend Jerry Puckett (who sends out 100’s of thousands of direct mail pieces) always says…
…Do they get mad at Best Buy for sending them mail and go to their local store and threaten the manager?…
Like most of you, I have heard stories of angry leads coming to investor’s homes. I guess you can’t be too careful. The way to protect yourself from this is to get a business address.
Top 4 Reasons to get a Business Mailing Address
For the first 4 years of my business I always shrugged my shoulders at the idea of getting a business address. I was okay with using my home address on direct mail.
However my SEO guy recently convinced me it was in my best interest as a real estate investor. After doing some more research on my own, there are legitimate reasons why getting a business address is a good idea.
1. Search Engine Rankings. With a business address you can get listed with Google Local. By doing this your business gain credibility in the eyes of Google. This credibility will give your websites more power…thus ranking higher!
2. Greater Division of your Private and Business Worlds. As my business grows it has become harder to sort out what’s business and private. From expenses to mail delivery everything used to be commingled. Having separate bank accounts and separate addresses really helps.
3. Protection and Privacy. You have a home-bases business, but would rather not give out your home address to complete strangers. You can’t be too careful. Your family’s safety is most important.
4. Legitimate Looking Business Address. Your small business can rent a commercial “suite” address on Main Street for just a few dollars per month. This commercial address can be used on your business cards and letterhead, giving your small business a “step up” from a residential street address that can scare off potential leads.
Getting a Business Address
There are a variety of ways you can obtain a business mailing address. Some expensive and some not so expensive. I prefer the not so expensive options.
Rent an office space. This by far will provide you with the most expensive option. The advantage however is that you get an office away from home where you can do work. Also it’s a great place to meet with clients.
Rent an Office from a local business. Many businesses these days have offices/desk space that they aren’t using. Try going up to a local business and ask if they would rent out an office/desk space. You could probably negotiate a great rate. There is also a chance you could get it for free. It doesn’t look good for a business to have a lot of empty desks.
Get a USP PO Box. This was my first thought. At $10 a month (or less if you pay for a full year) it is very very cheap. However there are problems with PO Boxes used for small businesses…
- No Street Address which gives your direct mail less credibility (Think Junk Mail)
PO Box 123
Anytown, NJ 09876
- You can’t register a business with a PO Box address
- You can not have UPS or FedEx packages delivered to your PO Box
Get a UPS Store Private Mail Box. This is what I ended up getting. It’s a little more expensive then a PO Box but comes with some key advantages.
- Actual Street Address
123 Main St. #123
Anytown, NJ 09876
- You can register your business using this address
- UPS and FedEx packages can be delivered to your PMB
- Get email or text notifications when you have mail
Get a Virtual Mail Box. I had no idea something like this existed until I was doing research about renting a mail box. Here are the features of this service…
- They provide you with a local address
- Forward your mail to your home
- Mail and packages received and signed for
- Even discounts on day office, meeting rooms & video conferencing
- Some will even email you scanned copies of your mail.
A few of the options are…
I have no experience with any of these and there seems to be a ton more options. I’ve heard that while these services sound great you have to make sure you are using a reliable company. They tend to go out of business quite often. So if you choose to go this route then see how long they’ve been in business, first.
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That is the same company I use Scott. I think having a business address gives you an extra layer of credibility and it is good for SEO. This is great advice for anyone just starting out.
I seriously wish I had done this from the beginning. Now though I just have to remember to check my mailbox ever so often LOL
I like your tip about how getting a commercial address can help with search engine rankings. A business isn’t likely to show up with Google Local if they don’t have a business mailing address. Not only does having a little business blurb help you with Google, it helps you with customers, since they can see what you’re about and where you’re located. Thanks for the great tips.
I think it’s great to have a professional business mailing address not only for Google My Business and Google Maps’ proximity and prominence but also for submitting your website to other local web directories like Yell, Yelu, Yelp, Hotfrog, Freeindex, BT Phonebook Online, etc because the more gateways you have for your customers to 1. find your business and 2. contact your business the better. Plus the business mailing address keeps your home address private and secure which your family will undoubtedly appreciate. Great post Scott! Thanks.
This is what I did. Please note it is still not good enough for obtaining credit and for use as a registrant. Software will know it is not a real business address.
A modified PO box does not work in order to incorporate or get a loan. One must have a physical business address.
Thanks for this article.
There really is no nice way to get around this Google restriction. I ended up just using my home address because I wasn’t going to go out and rent an office just to get an address. If you have a friend who owns an office perhaps work out a great deal with them to rent something for cheap is my only suggestion.
Scott, this post is 4 years old, but I thought I’d give out some information on a better way to use a USPS box. Most if not all post offices will now let you use the street address, and #123 as the address, and mail will get delivered there. If you go to the USPS.com website, you can get a list of all the post offices that let you do this.
However, I live in a small town, and I asked the postmaster here if I could use the street address and box number, and she said sure, no problem. So you end up with the same kind of address as UPS store at less cost.
Thanks Paul! This is some good information for people looking for a way to get a business address. One issue I have found is registering an address like this for an LLC. You are not allowed to use a PO Box for an LLC. Just tossing that out there for anyone looking to avoid using their home address for their LLC like I was.
This is great. Just yesterday I decided to get a UPS mailbox so that I can post it on my website. Thank you for the confirmation.
I have a quick question. I’ve registered my business on official documents and sites such as the IRS and the state with my personal address, but today got a PO Box. I’m hoping to put the PO box address on things my customers see such as shipping labels, social media profiles, my ecommerce store, etc.
Do I need to update any official documentation and sites with my PO Box? I don’t want to get in trouble legally for being registered with a personal address but be using a PO Box on everything else.
Thanks for any help you can provide!!
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure exactly what needs to be your “registered address” and what can be a P.O. box. Maybe someone else can chime in if they know. I just ended up using my personal address because I didn’t want to figure out the question you are asking. Sorry I couldn’t help.