Whether to use your home address for business purposes is a matter of what that address is. Something like 1114 Grove Ave. sounds perfectly fine, but as you indicate, it sounds like 1114 Grove Ave., Apt. 4, it probably doesn’t. Luckily, solutions exist. Since you will obviously be doing some heavy shipping and perhaps dealing with yields, consider using a mail-receiving service such as Mailboxes Etc. These facilities provide you with a street address and a suite number rather than a post office box number (which some individuals regard as questionable in themselves). They will also generally save you a lot of headaches, handling everything from packing and shipping to package tracking. Shop around in your country for a service that is conveniently situated at your home and priced.
What is a Business Address?
A business address is an address used to identify your main location of company. It’s where your company is supposed to operate from but may not always be the case.
The address is used to communicate with your clients and suppliers. It is needed in almost all elements of company activities, such as:
- Opening business bank accounts or merchant accounts.
- Registering your business domain name.
- Opening accounts with your suppliers and vendors.
- Receiving statements, invoices, payments, and bills.
- Filing for legal contracts, licenses, and permits.
- Communicating with your customers.
- Getting your business listed on Google Places, Bing Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.
Types of Business Address
Your business address can be three of the following options:
- Home address
- Postal Office Boxes (PO Boxes)
- A commercial office or location
A home address is the simplest way to get your company started and comes with a lot of conveniences:
- It’s free! You don’t need to pay extra to use your home address.
- You can easily check for mail or receive packages in your pyjamas.
- The commute is non-existent saving commuting-related expenses.
Many start-ups and company owners use their home address as the fastest manner to get a company going because the start-up costs are lower. However, when you look at using your home address for your company, there are issues about privacy and credibility:
- Banks and merchant services will not usually recognize a residential address as a company address for your LLC or Corporation. They would normally like to see a physical street address or a valid office. There are some physical address requirements for opening and maintaining a business bank account.
- A home address is not professional. With Google Maps and Google street views, everyone can easily find where your home address is located. Your address will not project a professional image when they see that your business operation is a residential home.
- Customers can come knocking at your door. You should be mindful that clients will be able to access your place by using a home address. If you receive an angry client, they may often and easily bang at your door.
- Depending on your type of company and the zoning and HOA regulations of your city, you may not even be able to operate your company out of your home / apartment / condo.
Home address is a valid option if you are a consultant or freelancer, but if you’re a business that does not involve selling your own time, using a home address may be viewed as non-credible or unreliable by your customers.
Instead of using your home address, another alternative is to purchase a Post Office Box, aka PO Box, through your local post office. PO Boxes are always situated in the physical post office. The address will always be in the format as follows:
PO Box 1234
FREMANTLE WA 6160
Pros and Cons
There are many advantages of installing post office boxes; including: attracting clients to your outlet, annual payments and mail management fees, indoor sorting – no outdoor delivery; Australia Post is chasing slow payers. Some Licensees see a disadvantage in having to store items that are carded to post office boxes due to the storage involved and because some clients are slow to collect their items or may not commonly clear their box.
Commercial Business Address
A commercial business address provides all the following advantages for a company:
- Guarantees a real street address.
- Provides a professional image.
- Protects privacy.
- Receives both mails and packages from all couriers.
- Can be used to register for LLCs and Corporations.
- Accepted by banks and merchant services.
A company address is an address that is linked to a commercial office place. It’s an actual street address that can be used for almost all purposes. It also enables you to use it to register your LLC or Corporation, which generally needs a physical address to start with.
Using a commercial business address will give your new business a professional image and will show that you’re serious about what your company to customers. This leads to more trust with your customers and more credibility to your start-up and business.
Your address will look more professional as your address will look like the following format:
My New Start-up
219–241 Cleveland St
STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 1427
If people searched for your business, it will show a real office or store front.
Unlike a PO Box, a commercial business address can be used to receive mail and packages from all couriers. That means important documents or check payments can be sent to you via FedEx or UPS.
The business address will always protect your privacy and personal information from appearing in a public database or on the Internet. You can efficiently use it for any purpose without worrying about the safety and security of your private home.
While the advantages are great, the cost of having a commercial business address is traditionally high. This is because you generally have to sign a lengthy 1-3-year lease to rent a place you may not even use. However, there are now other methods to get a commercial business address without the related heavy expenses and lengthy obligations.
Which Type of Business Address is Right for Me?
While a home address or PO Box will work to start your new business, if you care about a professional image and privacy; you should seriously consider choosing a commercial business address. If you want your business to look professional, a commercial business address will attract more clients and generate more credibility, as well as safeguard your privacy and data.