Business Address Do's and Don'ts
Congratulations on making the big decision to start or expand your small business or home-based business! Now what? Well, one of the first decisions will be how and where do you want to register your business – that is, what will be the location of your business?
You have a number of options when deciding where to officially locate your business – that is, where to register your company with the IRS, your Secretary of State or, as in here in Arizona, the Corporation Commission. Each has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Post Office Box
- Your Home
- A Business Address
POST OFFICE BOX
A Post Office Box is often an initial go-to for many people as they are familiar with the Postal Service, it is usually nearby and they are relatively inexpensive (if they are available – high demand and limited supplies at some locations). However, be cautious as many agencies and businesses will not accept a PO Box as your business address. For example, in order to get an EIN from the IRS you need a physical location for your business (your house or other business location). Some licensing agencies require a business address and will not accept a PO Box either – do your research!
How the ultimate in inexpensive? My home! Great Idea – but a couple of words of caution. As with a PO Box, some agencies will not permit a residential address to serve as your business address for licensure or registration. But a sometimes even bigger concern is do you want your home address to be public information with the ability of customers (whether happy or unsatisfied) to come to your home for your business? Act with caution.
A BUSINESS ADDRESS
An actual Business Address at a business location is often just the ticket for new and expanding businesses. How do you get that? Well, if you know someone who has a business and is willing to let you use their address (essentially subletting part of their space to you) so that you can receive mail there that might be one option. But a better option would to find a business whose business includes accepting mail, packages, etc. for small businesses.
There are many choices but a few questions to ask:
- What type of mail will they accept (first class, certified, packages, etc.)?
- What will they NOT accept (process service, hazardous waste, large items, etc.)?
- Will your address be a true address with a suite number or is it a Personal Mail Box (PMB) – it matters to some agencies and internet search platforms?
- How much?
- What are their hours and is their a receptionist to accept mail and packages?
- Will they let you know if you receive packages or mail?
- What type and level of service is required for your business, licensure and visibility?
So many questions – but spending a little time up front will help you find the right solution before you register your company AND spend money on business cards, stationery, etc. Good luck!
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