We may be living in tech-savvy world, where email, text message, and other forms of digital communication seem to be king. But when it comes to businesses, every style, shape and size of business seems to rely on physical mail to function. It might be new business cards, invoices, or deliveries of stock and supplies, but whatever it is, there are just some things that can’t be taken care of digitally.
It’s a common question among business owners – what type of mailing options are out there and what’s going to work best for your business? And although there are supporters in every camp, we firmly believe that any of the options could work out fine for your business – as long as you weigh the pros and cons and are informed on what each option has to offer. That said, we’re talking mailing options and why you might want to consider either a home address, P.O. Box, or a mailbox for your small business.
Legally What Type of Address is Needed for My Business?
When it comes right down to it, you’ll need at least a physical address to complete the paper work to legally start your business and obtain your licenses and permits. The addresses you may want to use beyond that in your business are up to you.
Many businesses, mostly home-based businesses, use their home address on their business cards, stationary and as their mailing address for invoices and the shipping of supplies. Although that doesn’t sound like a bad option, it does raise concerns when it comes to security as well as the logistics of changing addresses in case you move from your current home.
P.O. Boxes are a good options and are available at almost every postal office across the country. However, over time, the personal side and transparency of our businesses have become more important in attracting clients. Because anyone can obtain a P.O. Box and it’s a fairly common belief that many P.O. Boxes sit untouched for days, even weeks, at at time – the use of one can actually invoke distrust with some clients and make them wonder about the legitimacy of our business. When it comes to marketing our business, we want to do everything we can to promote trust, transparency, and passion for the work we do for our clients.
Mailboxes are another option, often provide a physical street address for your use, and include additional services that the traditional P.O. Box may not offer.
When it comes right down to it, any of the options may be just what your small business needs. But the best business decision you can make is one that is informed on the options. As you consider your business needs, budget, proximity, and marketing tactics, you’ll be able to pick and choose from the address options and make a pick that will fit your business to a T. We’ve compiled the basics on all three options for your use:
Reasons to Use a Home Address for Your Small Business
- doesn’t incur additional cost
- provides you with a proper mailing address, rather than a impersonal P.O. Box as your address
- keeps things simple – one address for everything – your licenses, marketing materials, shipments, and a searchable location listing for Google and other search engines
Reasons to Use a P.O. Box for Your Small Business
- usually the low cost option
- provides a level of security for your personal life because your home address isn’t made public
- provides continuity if you ever have to move and cuts down the hassle of informing clients of a change of address or an interruption in your deliveries
- you mostly receive mail that’s delivered by traditional mail carriers (the post office) rather than speciality mail delivery services (i.e. UPS, FedEx, etc.)
Reasons to Use a Mailbox for Your Small Business
- you often receive from multiple carriers, providing greater versatility and reliability
- need a mail forwarding option because you travel often or for work
- notification options – many mailboxes provide a phone call or text message whenever an item arrives, so you can stop spending time checking the mail and get back to business
- round-the-clock access – many mailbox providers offer 24-hour access to your mail and deliveries, so you can pick up your mail when you want instead of arranging your schedule around their hours
So which option fits your business best? Are there additional needs you have that don’t seem to fit between a home address, P.O. Box or Mailbox? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.