Do you use your home address for your small business? That might work OK for now, but it could lead to major problems in the future. Below, we discuss what a virtual address is and why you should consider getting one for your company.
What Is a Virtual Address?
Virtual addresses are physical locations where you can receive business correspondence – except you’re not actually there. Business parcels go to a prestigious commercial address where the reception team will sort and hold them for you to pick up later when convenient.
This virtual ‘office’ works like a P.O. Box, but without the P.O. address. It allows you to access mail without customers ever having to know you work from home or someplace else. Unlike mail forwarding services, virtual addresses provide a professional reception staff who can sort physical mail and even receive packages.
So, what do virtual addresses do? They can:
- Receive business mail somewhere other than your home address
- Hold or forward mail to send to you
- Create the illusion of having a business in a prestigious district, such as downtown
- They provide a location where you can reserve a hot desk or a professional conference room by the hour, day, or week.
Why Should You Get a Virtual Business Address?
Maintaining Privacy and Security
If your company operates from home, it’s easy to mix business affairs with personal life. You’ll have to give customers and suppliers your home address when they ask for contact information. This means anyone could know where you and your loved ones live.
Using a personal address as your business address can create privacy and security issues. You can reduce these risks with a virtual address and still provide people with an actual address when they ask for one.
Satisfying Local Ordinances
Depending on your location, you may face local ordinances that could restrict your business. Many zoning laws try to draw clear boundaries between residential and commercial areas. This means it could be illegal to turn your home into a business.
Before starting a home-based company, you’ll want to check with your local zoning laws. Some restrict commercial development in general, while others may inhibit specific aspects of your business, such as:
- Parking and traffic flow
- Advertising signage
- Number of employees
- Commercial buildings
The last thing you want to do is own and operate a business illegally. Getting a virtual address is an excellent solution to help satisfy zoning regulations and grow your business.
Following HOA and Leasing Rules
Do you live and operate a business in an apartment complex? Your lease could have something to say about that. You’ll want to double-check the terms of the agreement and talk to the property owner to ensure you don’t break any rules.
Your homeowner’s association (HOA) may also restrict your business operations if you live in a community. We recommend checking the HOA codes and rules before developing your company.
Most small, home-based businesses don’t disrupt the neighborhood or bother nearby residents. If HOA or lease restrictions apply, you could discuss the matter and get exempted. Having a virtual address can also minimize foot traffic and mail deliveries.
Preventing Liability Problems
Preventing liability issues is another reason you should get a virtual business address. Limited liability corporations (LLCs) have some protection against business-related damages and debts. However, you could face severe problems if you don’t separate personal activities from company operations.
Using your personal address for business purposes could cause legal issues. With a virtual address, you can sidestep fine-print lawsuits and prevent liability problems before they reach your bank account.
Protecting Your Business Reputation
If you don’t have a virtual business address, you have a couple of options:
- Publicize your home address on your website, business cards, packaging, etc.
- Avoid providing an actual street address altogether
Either of these options could hurt your professional reputation. If you publicize your home address, you may compromise your privacy and security. If you don’t include an address anywhere publicly, customers and vendors may doubt your credibility or not contact you.
A virtual address can help boost your professional image. It looks good on an invoice or contract, letting clients know you’re legit and well established. You’ll also see more traffic because it’ll be easier for people to find and contact you.
Solutions for All Your Virtual Business Needs
There are many reasons to get a virtual address for your business. At 1222 Offices, we have solutions for all your virtual business needs, including virtual offices and state-of-the-art meeting rooms. Contact us today at (239) 673-5110.