Virtual Business Address vs. a P.O. Box: What Does Your Business Need?
P.O. boxes are a popular option for business owners who don't want to receive mail at home, but are they the best solution for your business?
While P.O. boxes can be a solid choice for some, there are legitimate downsides to choosing this service over a virtual business address. Read on to learn why virtual addresses are superior, how they can help grow your brand and how to find the right service if you’re currently unable to leave the house due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The main differences between P.O. boxes and virtual addresses
Before we dive into the details, let’s look at some of the main differences between P.O. boxes and virtual business addresses.
A P.O. box is simply a locked mailbox located at a postal office. They’re most often used to keep home addresses private. Since the box is physically located inside of a post office, it’s also a secure way to receive mail.
A virtual business address, on the other hand, is attached to a street address in an office building. This is an important distinction if you own an LLC or corporation — in some states, P.O. boxes cannot be listed as your main business address. Virtual business addresses have additional benefits, too, so let’s explore them below:
1. Virtual business addresses are an affordable way to boost your brand
At Intelligent Office (IO), we ask potential members who are considering a virtual address one simple question:
Would you love to put a prestigious address on your business cards… without the price premium that comes with long-term commercial leases?
This question gets to the heart of what makes virtual business addresses so useful. Each virtual address is attached to a well-known commercial office building, which lends instant credibility to your company. With a P.O. box, anyone who sees your address will know that it’s not attached to a dedicated office building.
Simply put, virtual addresses make your company look more professional and polished.
2. With a virtual business address, you don’t have to leave the house to get your mail
As millions of people across the globe shelter in place, we are all adjusting to new routines and ways of doing things. Despite all of these changes, the mail is still being delivered, and you may be expecting important documents.
With a P.O. box, you still need to visit your local post office to pick up mail. With a virtual business address, you can access your mail without leaving home. Your local IO will continue to receive and process important mail and other deliveries during this time. Some of the services available to members include:
- Mail Check to check your mailbox for something specific.
- Mail Scan, where your mail is directly scanned to you.
- Mail Consultation to keep you up-to-date on your mailbox’s contents.
- Mail Forwarding directly to your home address.
- Check Deposit, where checks are deposited on your behalf.
3. P.O. boxes come with specific challenges
As we mentioned earlier, most states do not allow P.O. boxes to be used when registering a business. But, there are even more logistical challenges to consider:
- Many banks will not accept a P.O. box as the main mailing address when opening a business bank account.
- P.O boxes are not accepted by all courier companies. For example, only specific types of FedEx deliveries can be received. With a virtual business address, however, no such limitations exist.
- P.O. boxes typically offer a bare-bones service, meaning they only receive your mail. With a virtual business address, there’s always someone at the front desk who can sign for a package or let you know when an important piece of mail is delivered.
Additionally, because virtual addresses are attached to virtual offices, you’ll have access to other professional services that can help you grow and manage your business. Virtual assistants, virtual office space, conference room rentals, and so much more are all available under one roof — get in touch with IO to learn more!