Why Your Business Needs a Mailbox Service
Why do I need a business address?
Among the various things you need to do when you start a small business or you start freelancing, one of the most important is to get a proper business address. You will need an address for one or more of the following purposes:
- Government filings such as LLC documents, or a business license
- Email marketing services (e.g. Mailchimp) – you are required to list an address at the bottom of mass emails
- A return address when sending out products or promotional materials
- Your website’s contact page
- Your website’s ICANN registrar information
- Clients or customers want to send you paper checks, paper documents, or other materials
If you have a physical store or an office separate from your home (including a coworking space that provides mail service), then you’re good. You can just use that. But if you don’t, you need to get a mailbox service. Even if you do have a separate location, you could benefit from a mail service, as we will discuss.
Can’t I just use my home address as my business address?
While you generally could use a home address for the above purposes, I strongly advise against it! You do NOT want the general public to know where you live. The world is crazy enough out there – don’t bring it into your home.
What are the options for business mail services?
There are several options for mail services, such as a P.O. Box from the US Postal Service, a mailbox at a UPS Store or similar service, or a virtual mail service. I personally recommend getting a virtual mail service, especially one that also includes a physical location where you can pick up mail and packages.
While a P.O. Box is generally not very expensive (around $10-20 per month, depending on location), many government filings do not allow PO Boxes to be used as the business address. A UPS Store mailbox can start at $20-30 per month, which is somewhat expensive.
As for virtual mail services, also known as a virtual mailbox or digital mailbox, these generally give you a mailing address where you can have mail sent. They usually scan the envelopes of any mail you receive, and you can then request for them to open and scan the full contents of the mail. You can then review the digital copy of your mail. Whether you are a digital nomad, or you just travel frequently, this feature is a game-changer.
You can also request them to forward the mail to your home or another address of your choice. Some virtual mail services also have locations near you where you can simply pick up the mail in person.
The pricing for virtual mail services are all over the place, but I recently found a great one for less than $9 per month! It’s called iPostal1, and it’s the one I would recommend.
Which is the best option for mail services?
We use a service called iPostal1. I love it and recommend it to anyone. (NOTE: Law Soup Media may receive compensation from iPostal1 if you use our link and sign up for any of their services. Thank you for your support!)
I’ll admit, at first I was put off by the name – it sounds a bit shady or just lazy. Maybe they tried to use iPostal but encountered a trademark conflict, so they just added 1 to the end. I’m just speculating, but anyway, the name doesn’t matter. iPostal1 is legit. They even partner with Staples, one of the most trusted brands in the country. You can select a Staples location as your mailing address and pick up your mail there.
Here are some of the great benefits iPostal1 offers:
- A real US-based mailing address – your choice of over 2,500 locations
- View and manage your mail remotely 24/7 – on the web or through the app
- Pick up mail and packages in person
- Free storage of mail for 30 days
- Free discarding of unwanted mail
- Mail shredding
- Document scanning
All this, starting at less than $9 per month. It’s honestly an amazing deal. Check it out at iPostal1.com.
See our full Guide to the Law for Business Owners.
See our Guide to the Law for Freelancers.