“Persist – don’t take now for an answer.  If you’re happy to sit at your desk and not take any risk, you’ll be sitting at your desk for the next 20 years.”

-David Rubenstein

If you’re starting out, you need a place for your mail to go but you don’t have a lot of money to throw around. The temptation is to use your home address for your business mail.  While this is not the worst choice you can make, it is not the best. It does have real drawbacks.

Let’s look at some choices you have for your business mail.

Your choices for your mailing address are:

  • Your home
  • The United States Post Office
  • A private mailbox
  • A virtual office
  • Mail Forwarding Service/Virtual Mailbox

Your Home

This may seem like the best choice.  It is free. That is good.  It is also easy, you are already there.  In so far as they go, those are good reasons.  But there are drawbacks for you to consider.

For example, you are going to have to publicize your new business address. If you don’t want your home address spread around, that will be a problem. Further, your residence might not be zoned for business, which could get you in trouble with local officials.  You also won’t always be home to sign for packages (where other alternatives will have this option available for you).  And finally, all those business documents you completed will have to be changed if you have used your home address and decide to move.

The United States Post Office

A Post Office box may seem like the most logical choice you could make, but it is the worst option.  First, there are many places that simply will not accept a PO Box as an address.  This can hang you up on getting various business and real estate licenses and even in registering your business with the state.

Also, the USPS will not accept packages from other carriers such as UPS and FedEx.  You will have to use another address for them anyway.

A Private Mailbox

This is your best low cost option.  A private mailbox at a location like UPS, Mailboxes Etc or Pak Mail can go for as low as $15 a month.  For that low cost you get a real street address, one that you can use on licenses.  You can also make it look like you actually do business there, you need only use the word “Suite #” rather than “Box #”.

A private mailbox service will also sign for packages from all carriers during normal business hours and you do not need to change your business address if your residence moves.

A Virtual Office

The Virtual Office is a great alternative if you have a little bit of extra money to spend.

This address option can cost you from $100 to $300 per month.

For that price you get the services of a private mailbox.  You will have a real street address and someone will be there to sign for packages for you.  You can also leave your business address the same if your residence changes.

The virtual office offers, however, an extra level of service.  They can provide you with office space should you need to meet a client, or even a meeting room.  They will also provide virtual receptionists.

We recommend Davinci Virtual Office Solutions.

Davinci offers virtual office locations and virtual office services worldwide. With professional business addresses in over 850 prime locations, mail forwarding, lobby and directory listings, access to conference rooms and day offices, catering, administrative services, virtual assistants, business support centers, resident agent services, license hanging and more.

Be sure to mention Smallbusinessy.com and get a $75 check after 45 Days.

Mail Forwarding/Virtual Mailbox

This is a great option for folks on the go, or others that are sick of paper mail.    With a virtual mailbox, you can easily manage your mail from anywhere in the world.  Documents are scanned and emailed, or forwarded to your desired address.  Plans range from $14.95 to $49.95 per month.  Go to mailboxforwarding.com  and signup for your appropriate plan, select your desired address in Los Angeles, Grandville, MI or Pompano Beach, FL.   You’ll also be able to receive faxes at this number along with depositing checks.