All virtual mailbox services provide you with a virtual address. That’s how the service works.
Physical mail arrives at that address and then you are able to manage the mail remotely via the interface that the service provides.
For travelers, expats, and digital nomads it is a convenient way of keeping on top of your physical mail while abroad.
But what if you are a small business owner and entrepreneur and decide to use a virtual mailbox service.
The virtual address in these circumstances is beneficial in many other ways.
That’s what we look at today.
What is a Virtual Business Address?
First, we should quickly clarify what a virtual business address is. In short, this is the address you would use to designate your business “office” location.
This address is used for your business correspondence and is a location through which customers and vendors can communicate with you.
Benefits of Using a Virtual Business Address?
There are many benefits to using a virtual business address for startups and at-home businesses.
In my opinion, the single most important reason to use one is that it looks more professional.
1. Professional Business Image
A virtual business address with the right provider can be located in the business district of a large U.S city.
At the very least you can choose an address based in an office building in your area of choice.
This immediately portrays a more professional image than using your home address on a residential street in the suburbs.
A professional image helps to develop trust and credibility with your customers and clients, vendors, and partners.
This virtual address can be used as the “face” of your company.
The address can be used as your location on Google maps for instance. It can also be placed on all your letterheads, invoices, and billing forms.
Essentially, you can reap the benefits of a commercially recognized business address while still being too small to either need or afford business premises.
This is why a virtual business address is perfect for small businesses and startups that often work out of their home.
It is also important to note that Google Local and PO boxes are not allowed when you form an LLC. A virtual business address via a mailbox service is allowed, however, making them a great choice from the very inception of your business.
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A virtual address can also be used for email CAN-SPAM compliance, (the bottom of emails sent to anyone on your mailing list has to include a contact address), as well as on your website and other marketing materials you might create.
2. Keeps Your Home Address, Private
Actually, this is just as important and beneficial as point one (and maybe more so depending on your type of customer). Using a virtual business address means that you keep your personal address out of the public domain.
If you are a startup and/or solo-entrepreneur and you are trying to raise the profile of your business, doing so with your personal address attached can be problematic.
Your personal privacy is compromised if your correspondence points to your home address at every juncture.
As we listed above, invoices, letterheads, email compliance, Google Maps and more will contain your home address. This is unwise, to say the least.
A virtual business address solves all of this.
The commercial address you choose with your provider will be the address in the public domain. This keeps your business separate from your personal life.
Situations where a virtual business address can be used instead of your home address:
- LLC Formation with the state.
- Public and state registration websites.
- Communicating with your customers.
- Separate virtual business address.
- Accounts with suppliers and vendors.
- Opening bank accounts and merchant accounts
- Your business domain name.
- Email compliance.
- Statements, invoices, payments, and bills.
- Legal contracts, licenses, and permits.
3. Access to a virtual mailbox
As we have already mentioned, a virtual business address forms part of a virtual mailbox service.
This means that by using one of these addresses, you will also have the benefits of a virtual mailbox.
We will cover the benefits of virtual mailboxes in a dedicated article. Needless to say, being able to manage your physical mail remotely, and have it safely forwarded, shredded, and uploaded to the cloud is beneficial in itself.
And all of that comes from choosing to use a virtual business address.
4. Secure Document Management
A virtual business address also means that your physical mail is being stored and managed in a way that is a lot more secure than being sent to your home address.
Mail, letters, and packages are scanned as they are received which means you are in a position to respond to time-sensitive mail fast and easy, wherever you are.
From a security perspective, these services have secure premises with strict protocols in place both physically and in the way, information is handled online. (This does vary, however, so check your provider for full details of their security measures).
Shredding and disposal are also handled in a manner to ensure your documents and details do not end up in the wrong hands.
Items are scanned into PDF using OCR technology. This means the data is fully searchable from your interface remotely.
This makes for a more efficient way of storing digital mail documents for future reference.
Overall, a virtual business address centralizes all your physical mail in one single location. This makes it easier to manage and the fact it is all available in the cloud means you can view it from anywhere you have an internet connection.
Ultimately, virtual business addresses provide a lot of benefits to small business owners. Professional image and privacy are the two biggest reasons for me.
If you are in the startup stages of your business and do not have your own premises, a virtual address certainly has its advantages over your home address.