Living in a digital world, we can run nearly any type of activity online and even handle pretty much any formality remotely via the Internet. However, we still can’t skip paper mail for good, especially when it comes to legal documents and official business correspondence. How often do you miss important letters or essential formal notifications? We bet more than once. If this sounds familiar to you, a virtual mailing address is a great way out. Missing letters from the state might have adverse consequences for your company, and this type of postal address can save you a lot of trouble and help you maintain your enterprise compliant with the state.
A Virtual Mailing Address: What Is It?
Straight off the reel, it’s not something pertaining to the digital space and Internet technology, at least, not to the extent you can imagine. In other words, it’s not a web-based box only but a real location that can physically receive your mail, be it personal letters or any business-related papers. Different from your residential or permanent office address, this place still has a street and building number and can be safely used for business purposes. It’s a sort of rental or abstract address meant for mail processing only. Linked to a specific physical location, it can serve as your main business address, as a registered agent address for an LLC, or it can even be used for registering a company.
The first prototypes of virtual mailing addresses are rental PO boxes in USPS post offices. However, modern virtual addresses are certainly a bigger update to them. Not only do they come with real addresses in convenient districts and respectable commercial or business centers but also they offer added services we’ll talk about below.
A Virtual Mailing Address: Why It’s Necessary and How It Works
If you think that a fictitious mailing address is redundant, below, you’ll find a number of reasons that might make you change your mind and show you that it’s quite a useful option both for personal use and for business:
- Your activity is about frequent business trips and constant city commutes, and you regularly miss some mail pieces or packages that require to be personally handed;
- You are in search of a reliable address to promote your brand or level up your company profile;
- You need an alternative to your home address to register a venture and shield your personal privacy at the same time;
- You want to keep a close eye on your correspondence and deliveries without being constantly present under a certain address;
- You’ll have access to your mail on a daily basis, no matter where you are at the moment;
- You can have several mailing addresses in different places and will be able to control them from a single virtual postal account.
To get an even better understanding of why you might need a virtual mail address, let’s take a closer look at how it works:
- Normally, you’ll have a digital postal box you’ll be able to access via your smartphone, tablet, or PC;
- This digital mailbox will be linked to a real address with physical facilities suitable for receiving and storing not only letters and envelopes but also packages.
- Via an online mailbox or a special mobile app, you’ll be able to view all incoming items in your real postal box. As soon as you get a postal item or a package, you’ll receive a push message, so, you won’t miss any crucial or important deliveries;
- The best thing about a virtual mailing address is that online access to your physical mail also gives you full control over your correspondence. You can see scanned copies of incoming documents, discard unnecessary and junk mail, forward papers, and packages to any other address, or stock up postal items for consolidated shipping to save on delivery costs.
With that, an abstract address is a great choice for those who travel a lot, live abroad, and still have a registered US address, RV owners who tour around the country and spend a lot of time on the road. Likewise, a virtual address is a real find for online businesses and home-based entrepreneurs who don’t want to make their home addresses available to the public and seek a functional tool to manage their mail in a more efficient way.
Pros and Cons of Having a Virtual Mailbox
Now that you know why you need an abstract mailing address, take a look at the advantages it offers to you and your business and the minuses you have to bear in mind.
- Consistent Mail Control: With this type of address, you won’t be bound to any location while having permanent access to your mail from anywhere;
- Convenience: Though receiving and checking the mail don’t look like a big deal at a glance, companies usually have to tackle tons of letters, papers, and packages. Besides, as the business grows, organizing the mail flows gets more difficult as well. A virtual mailbox allows sorting out and even forwarding packages and papers remotely saving you a lot of time and effort. Besides, mailbox service providers can process your mail, recycle, or shred it, and even store your correspondence and deliveries until you pick them up personally or forward them to another address;
- Keeping Junk Mail at Bay: The piles of mail your company will receive will contain a whole lot of garbage you can actually disregard. However, it’s easy to miss vital pieces among those numerous letters. With a digital mailbox, differentiating between those two types of mail won’t be a problem;
- Improved Delivery Opportunities: A virtual mailing address will function pretty much like any residential or office address. While receiving regular mail and USPS packages, it can also accept deliveries from all commercial shipping companies to store and forward them to you or any other address you deem necessary. It’s a great chance for online sellers to handle their deliveries and returns in a quick and cost-efficient manner;
- Privacy Protection: With a virtual mailbox, you don’t have to disclose your home address or real office address to the public and can skip unwanted customer visits;
- Solid Business Image: A company with a real street and building address looks more credible and trustworthy to customers than those with a PO box or no address at all. Thus, a virtual mailing address will greatly contribute to the professional image of your venture and help maintain a solid market reputation;
- Scaling Potential for Your Business: If you want to expand your business yet are not eager to open affiliate offices in different locations, you can register multiple virtual addresses and manage them via a single digital mailbox.
- Extra Costs: That’s by far the only disadvantage a virtual mailing address has to it. Typically, the service is payable and comes at monthly or yearly fees. The final rates will depend upon the services you choose. We must admit, though, that solely mailing services are quite affordable and will fit even limited budgets. However, added expenses such as virtual office costs and redirect shipping costs might appear to be on the higher end.
How to Rent a Virtual Mailing Address
First and foremost, you need to choose a service provider to rent a postal address. An optimal choice is the one that will perfectly match your mailing needs and comes up with flexible pricing plans to suit your current business situation.
The next step is to select a postal address. The reputed companies normally offer multiple mailing addresses in different locations. So, you can pick a prestigious address in an office building or commercial center in some respectable district or choose a simple address in the most convenient place.
To make use of the chosen mailing address, you’ll have to fill in the USPS Form 1583 to confirm the identity of a commercial company that will receive your mail on your behalf. It should be noted that this form should be notarized to make it eligible and acceptable for the USPS service.
The final step is to inform your new mailing address to USPS if you want all your correspondence to be redirected to it. In this case, you should file an official Change of Address form. Yet, if you need a virtual address only for business purposes, it’s enough to let all your senders know your new business address.