By establishing an LLC, you give birth to an independent legal person. Just like an individual, it will have a name. In contrast to individuals, though, you can rest assured, a legal name will be unique within the state of formation. Besides, similar to individuals, LLCs need a registered address. You can’t file a limited liability company without specifying an address for registration. What is an LLC business address? Why do you need it? And how to get one? These are the issues we are going to consider below. So, keep on reading to learn everything you need to know about a business address for your future company.
What Is a Business Address?
A business address is where your company will be located or have its main office premises. This address should be also stated in your LLC formation documents to get those approved. Most states normally require a physical address specifying the street and building numbers. So, post boxes are usually not allowed for that purpose. Instead, you can use your home address, that of your family member, or any other physical address in your locality.
One thing you need to take into consideration when assigning a business address is that it will become a part of your LLC public record. In other words, anyone could find it if necessary. Thus, you put your privacy and safety at stake to some extent when using a home address for business registration. So, though it’s quite a common practice among home-based entrepreneurs and those running online businesses, it’s better to find some other options for a business address.
A Physical Business Address: Do I Really Need It?
Currently, more and more businesses shift online, not to mention freelancers and those working from home. Yet, having an official business address for your LLC is still important. And there are several well-grounded reasons for that:
- Smooth communications: Whether you open a bank account, register a domain name, sign contracts with customers and suppliers, create invoices and pay bills, or get licenses and permits for your business, you’ll have to specify your company address. And getting a physical address is a priority here;
- Enhanced business credibility and trustworthiness: You can’t but agree that when shopping online, you feel safer and have more trust toward companies with business addresses, i.e. streets with building numbers. The same is true for any company. From the client’s perspective, organizations with business addresses look more credible, eligible, and professional and have a better business image since customers could contact you directly and know where to find you. P.O. boxes won’t bring that feeling, of course. More than that, a P.O. box replacing an actual address could even look suspicious as if you hide something;
- Creating a proper business image: Despite the number of successful US businesses run from home, a business without a physical address is still perceived by many customers as less reliable or poorly organized. To break that common misconception and build a stronger and more professional business image from the start, it’s better to have a physical business address that will look more attractive on your business cards and contribute to a proper corporate image that will work for you;
- Getting the right impression when meeting with customers and clients: If a business model you have implies numerous personal contacts with potential and existing customers, meeting them in your own office rather than in restaurants, cafes, and hotel lobbies, you’ll make the right impression and gain more trust from your customers, suppliers, sponsors, creditors, and potential investors;
- Forming an LLC or Corporation: While law requirements to other businesses are less strict about getting a business address, to register an LLC or corporation, you must state a brick-and-mortar one for your future venture. For this reason, LLCs and corporations are required to have a registered agent with a physical address in the state of formation to serve as a communication point for formal communications and vital business issues. Notably, today, there are a lot of professional companies providing a registered agent service, thus, saving LLC and corporate owners the need to search high and low for proper candidates and resolving the address issue.
How to Get a Business Address: Options You Have
Most common options for getting a physical registered address include your residential address, a P.O. box (unless you form), and a commercial office.
Choosing a home address is the easiest way to go. It’s free of charge and is a great choice for freelancers and entrepreneurs working from their own homes. However, a home address is not accepted by the banks as a business address for bigger entities. Besides, it makes your privacy vulnerable by disclosing your personal info to the public. And, it will put your professionalism at risk. A nice option for consultants or specialists that work remotely an don’t require any permanent presence, a home address is not the best option for commercial businesses and service providers.
P.O. boxes deliver to simple business needs. Keeping your privacy protected, P.O. boxes will perfectly cover your mailing purposes. On the negative side, though, it’s not an option for LLCs and corporations. It’s unacceptable for financial institutions and state correspondence, not to mention the need to constantly visit the post office, which might be inconvenient.
With a commercial office, you’ll get all boxes ticked. Accepted by banks, state agencies, and merchant services, it will ensure decent privacy protection, provide a physical street address, work for your professional image, and ideally serve your business mailing purposes. The only downside to renting a physical office is that it might turn out quite expensive and hit your pocket. Luckily, there are a number of more affordable alternatives to it:
- Virtual Office: You’ll get a proper mailing address you can even use for business registration. Besides, most providers also offer receptionist services to stay in contact with your customers and anyone who would like to contact your company. When needed, you can even rent an office space to hold professional meetings;
- Mailbox Stores and Services: The so-called mailbox stores provide private mailboxes to businesses. Those postal boxes are usually placed in public areas like malls and business centers. And you can use the physical addresses of those centers as your business address. Besides, such services are normally delivered by shipping companies that provide many other helpful logistic services as well;
- Coworking Spaces: Along with a professional business address you can use for mailing purposes, coworking space also comes up with an actual office area where you can work. Usually, they create a comfortable working environment with all facilities and resources you need for work. And you can make use of their conference rooms to hold your business meetings or live online sessions with potential clients and suppliers.
All of the above options come at a cost. Yet, they have something to offer to any pocket. Besides, no business is possible without investments and contributions. It’s easier to ruin the business reputation and image than build those from scratch. And the right business address will support your professional business image, without a doubt.