Home vs. Virtual Address – Which is Better for Business?
There are many issues to consider when starting a small business. The whole process can be daunting, to say the least.
And while many will entrepreneurs will look to use an LLC service for the formation of their new enterprise, the address that they use sometimes come as an afterthought.
This is understandable, the launching the actual business comes first and foremost. If a small business is being run from home, the business opener generally opts to use that address.
If they have premises, they naturally use that address.
However, there are options beyond this. These days, virtual mailbox services offer a range of business addresses for their users.
Could one of these work for you?
To find out, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a home business address vs. a virtual business address.
Home Business Address vs. Virtual Business Address
As we mentioned above, it is understandable why a person would use their home address if they work from a home.
It requires no additional setup costs or arrangements, and mail/packages will come straight to your door.
However, there are negative aspects to using a home address for business.
Legal issues when using a home address
Many new business owners do not realize that using your home address for business can result in some legal issues.
Let’s take a look at some of them now.
Some areas will have municipality codes dictating what types of businesses can be run from home.
In some instances, these zoning laws may even prohibit homeowners from running a commercial operation at all.
If this is the case for you, you will not be allowed to use your home as a business address.
Lease and HOA rules
If you live in an apartment or condo with a managed complex, you may be restricted in your ability to run a business from your home and therefore cannot use it as an address.
Also, some homeowners’ association (HOA) rules are designed to restrict business usage of the properties under their jurisdiction.
If there are restrictions and you live under HOA rules, you may not be permitted to use the address for business purposes.
While not strictly a legal issue, privacy or lack-there-of can be a very real problem if you use your home address for business.
You will be using your residential address for legal contracts and other matters that will end up in the hands of customers and clients.
This can result in the negative impact of having your and your family’s privacy compromised.
Imagine an unhappy customer or client ending up on your doorstep to resolve an issue. Depending on their temperament, an unwanted confrontation could occur at your home address.
So how can the alternative help? What are the benefits of the virtual business address over a home address?
The Benefits of Using a Virtual Business Address
A virtual business address via a virtual mailbox/office service has many benefits for the small business owner.
First and foremost, those legal and privacy issues mentioned above are completely eradicated when a virtual address is used.
There are also many other benefits, which we will look at now.
Let’s be honest, a home address on a contract or invoice does not look professional. If you are looking to build trust with your customers and clients a virtual business address is a great place to start.
It will provide you with a professional presence and gives outside parties reassurance that you are the real deal.
Mail management & Call Answering
Furthermore, a virtual mailbox service will offer mail receipt, scanning, forwarding, and shredding. In other words, complete remote management of your mail.
Should you opt for virtual office services with a large provider, you might also have access to a live receptionist answering and your calls.
Work & Meeting Spaces
Another benefit of a virtual address with a virtual office provider is that you may have access to individual office spaces and conference rooms.
This is ideal if you have face-to-face meetings. In many cases it would not be appropriate to invite a client to your home for a meeting, a virtual office space works very well and increases the professionalism of the entire arrangement.
There is no limit to the number of virtual addresses you can use. If you are expanding into other regions and states, simply using a local address in that new location helps you make a professional foothold.
As your business grows, those virtual addresses can grow with you.
So there you have it, the many benefits of a virtual business address over a home address.
If you would like to know more, head to our recent review roundup of some of the best virtual address and mailbox services currently available.