3 Reasons Why a PO Box is a Horrible Business Address

mailbox with red tab upFor 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.

Related Links:

A PO Box is a Horrible Business Address

Getting a Business Address for an Online Business

The Importance of a Physical, Business Address

Why a Professional Business Address is a Good Idea

mailbox with red tab up

When starting a business or running one on your own, one of the last things you’re thinking about is professional business address. After all, money is tight, and if you don’t have to pay for an address or an office, why should you? Fortunately, getting a professional business address is not only inexpensive but it’s better for you and your business in the long run. Here’s why such an address is a good idea:

Getting Found on Search Engines

It’s tough to find a P.O. box on Google Maps or Google Local, and you certainly don’t want anyone using those tools to find your home address. A business address is a must for just about any startup or company that wants to be taken seriously and considered legitimate. It is especially important if you plan, or already do, have clients and customers coming to your business or that you’re meeting on a regular business. However, a business address makes it easier for your to build your online presence, and to get found online. Search engines don’t count the P.O. box as a physical address.

It’s Necessary for Licensing

Depending on your state or city laws, you may need licensing in order to run your business. To acquire and to renew these licenses, you need a physical address. A P.O. box won’t count, and depending on your state or city laws, a residential address may not count either. Even if you plan to be a home-based business, and have your home setup to be legal to run the business (like have enough room for everything, fit within zoning requirements), a professional business address may be the only thing that counts.

Access to Additional Business Services if Necessary

When starting out, or worrying about the core business, it’s sometimes hard to foresee future needs or even to prepare for current needs. One of the nice things about getting a business address, especially with a virtual office company, is that additional business services are provided at no additional cost, or on an as-needed basis. These services can include conference rooms, mail reception and forwarding, printing, faxing, copying, and even a live receptionist. It’s certainly a lot better than having to take care of all that itself, and it’s nice to know that those services are there as you grow.

P.O. Boxes Don’t Allow for Packages

Okay, you might not get a whole lot of packages. But, what if you make a business purchase online? Or, what if a customer wants to return something? Or, better yet, send you a small holiday gift? If any of those things happen, you can’t have them sent to your P.O. box. Meaning, you’ll have to divulge your home address, even though that was the point of the P.O. box in the first place. Knowing that a professional business address can handle packages, and will still prevent you from having to share your home address to people you’ve never met, is a good thing.

 It Simply Looks Better

Admit it, saying that your company is located in “Suite 800”, or on the “10th Floor” sounds fantastic. It sounds real, successful, serious, accomplishing; all attributes that you want to associate with your business and that you want others to associate with your business. That just doesn’t happen with your P.O box, or if you have to say an apartment number or a mailbox number. It really only happens with a professional business address. And, appearances count when it comes to building your brand and your business. Don’t take a chance with a P.O box, or making it clear your working from home, as both make you look like your small-time or just a hobby. Move up with a professional business address.