February 6, 2013 | 4 minutes

Getting a Business Address for an Online Business

You might think that e-commerce and online businesses don’t need a business address or any physical address for their operations. A contact form and/or a few email addresses, or even a phone number, may suffice for day-to-day operations, but a business address offers much more benefit than just something to keep the business together. If you’ve never considered a professional business address for your online business, here’s why getting a business address is a good idea and a few ways in how to get a professional business address:

It Looks More Legitimate

Consumers like working with local businesses, even those that are completely online. Getting a business address in your area adds legitimacy and credibility to your business; it shows that you’re serious about building a business and maintaining a professional image. Besides, a professional business address looks more legitimate than a P.O Box or a home address, and its an address that you’d actually want to present to potential customers and online (you don’t really want people finding your home address so easily).

Tip: If you don’t ever serve/receive customers at your business address, then the address needs to be removed from your Google listings. Failure to do so could result in a removal of your listing.

P.O Boxes Don’t Always Work

Sure, they’re cheaper than a professional business address and are available at all hours of the day, but some entities don’t consider a business address. For example, some companies don’t deliver to a P.O box, and government registrations and licensing doesn’t count them either. Depending on the size of the P.O box, you might not be able to receive packages either. That could be a problem for an e-commerce business that would need to handle returns from time to time. So, if you’re going to spend the money on an address or mailbox, spend it on a professional business address that can work for everything (and is much more presentable on business cards and your website).

An Address is Needed for Registrations

Everything from filing an LLC to registering your domain name requires an address. Even though a home address or a P.O box may count for some of these, consider the fact that these documents and registrations make it easier to find an address for your business. By putting a home address, you’re making it that much easier for people to know where you live. Also consider the zoning laws in your area or the lease for your home/apartment, either of which may prohibit the use of your home address for any business purposes, even if you were to conduct your business primarily outside of the home.

How to Get a Professional Business Address

There’s no one way to get a professional business address, but the best two ways to get the address without too many extras is through a virtual office service or through a coworking space (sometimes, a provider will have both virtual offices and a coworking space). With either of those, you can get the professional business address without having to get a specific office suite or a telephone number or anything else. You have the option of just the address with maybe mail forwarding, package handling, and perhaps a local place to meet if you need it.

A professional business address may seem like one of the last things an online or e-commerce company would need, but getting a business address should be a high priority. With these types of companies, it’s all about image and credibility, and a professional business address does that much better than any other type of address. All the big sites and e-commerce companies have one, so why shouldn’t you?

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