For many online businesses and home-based businesses, a PO Box is the easiest option for a business address. You can get one that’s close by and at a very low cost. It’s also a much better choice than using a home address, which doesn’t give you any privacy and may get you into trouble with city ordinances or a landlord. But, just because the PO Box is an easy and available option doesn’t mean it’s the best option for a business address. Here are three reasons why PO Boxes make horrible business addresses, and what you ought to use instead.
It Doesn’t Look Legitimate
PO Boxes are often used by scammers and fraudsters as a way to set up their schemes without having to release any personal information that could link crimes back to them. Although you may be running a legitimate enterprise, the fact that PO Boxes have been previously used for sinister purposes may make potential customers weary about your intentions. PO Boxes are simply harder to trace back to actual people, and if a potential customer wanted to do research on your business before paying for products and services, then a PO Box makes that more difficult. You don’t have to be so transparent that you give away a home address, but a PO Box isn’t considered a transparent or open business address where it’s easy to tell if you are who you say you are.
You Can’t Meet Any Clients or Customers at Your “Address”
With a PO Box, it’s difficult to meet any clients or potential customers at your “office.” You either have to arrange for a lunch or coffee meeting (which costs money), or you have to do the meeting at your home (which isn’t very professional or representative of a reliable, successful business). If someone asks to see your office space, or to meet you at your address, then what are you going to tell them when you only have a PO Box? A PO Box as a business address doesn’t show that you are a serious business or that you are open to meeting with clients and customers in a professional, productive location.
A PO Box Doesn’t Work for Google Places
If you want to have your business listed on Google Places, then a PO Box won’t work. Google doesn’t consider it an accurate physical location, and won’t list your business as a result. Part of Google’s requirements is that the business needs to be staffed during its hours of operations, and it’s very difficult to staff a PO Box. This policy especially hurts local businesses, so if you want to be known for your products/services in your area, then don’t use a PO Box. You can’t use it as an address online, which is how people will find out about you and learn about what you have to offer.
Virtual Office Mailing Addresses are the Best
Virtual office mailing addresses are a much better option than both PO boxes and your home address. They afford you privacy like a PO Box, but they are also more professional than either option. Virtual office mailing addresses also offer a variety of services that the others don’t, such as a receptionist to sign for deliveries, access to meeting spaces and business services, and a directory lobby listing. These addresses are also similar in cost to the PO box, while having a lot more flexibility and professionalism. Overall, virtual office addresses are the best business addresses out there if you have a home-based business, an online business, or if you’re a freelancer or sole proprietor.