When everything turns digital, one thing seems to not turn digital at all: business addresses & residences. Or do they?
In this blog, we will be discussing the importance of using a virtual address for business or for personal use. There are certain pros & cons you need to be aware of and understanding what your options are along with associated costs, will be important in your consideration of acquiring a virtual address.
What Is A Virtual Address
A virtual address is a physical address in a remote location, used as your own mailing address.
For example, let’s say you live in the suburbs of NYC but want to showcase your business being located downtown on Main Street. You would be selecting from a list of virtual business addresses located downtown NYC which could be used for your business registration, receiving & managing mail from your virtual mailbox that comes with it, and displaying that address on your business cards & website.
Another example (in the case of residential virtual addresses,) would be that you are located in Cleveland, Ohio and are about to move overseas for an extended period of time. That means there will be no one back home to pick up your mail, and you would still need to access your mail some way while overseas. Using a virtual address physically located in your former home town, will allow you to access all needed documents & snail mail from your smartphone or desktop device, through your virtual mailbox. An easy way to think of it, is “snail mail that looks like e-mail.”
All your documents will be scanned & uploaded into your virtual mailbox. From there you can decide to have the content of your envelope opened up & scanned, you can have it shredded (in the case of sensitive information such as bank statements or social security numbers,) and you can even have the real physical copy shipped to your location at up to 80% off of typical shipping rates.
Is A Virtual Address Important In 2020?
As with anything in life; it depends.
Here are some cases where using a virtual address will come in handy for you:
- Virtual Address For Business. Sure, you can always use your home address as your business address, but there are a couple reasons you would want to avoid that. For starters, using your home address for business is probably not the most professional thing you can do. An easy Google search will be a quick way for people to tell that you are operating your business out of your home. And even though you may be able to do some from an operations perspective, it still looks a bit “cheap” and you won’t a good first impressions from potential customers. Another more important reason for not using your home address as a business address however, is the fact that it’s in public display online. Whether on Google or online directories, everyone now (well or ill intentioned) knows precisely where it is you & your family live. So if you have grumpy customer or someone that is straight out an ill intentioned person (or criminal,) you are exposing the rest of your family to the dangers of them walking up to your doorstep and harming you and loved ones.
- Going abroad. One thing Americans are known for, is travel. Whether for leisure or professional reasons, there are millions of Americans that have moved overseas on a more permanent or temporary basis. They did not turn in their passports necessarily, but rather they have decided to be overseas for a little while. Certain US obligations still follow you however. The simplest thing that comes to mind, are IRS notices & US taxes. These will only come in via the mail. So being able to stay on top of these, will help you avoid fines & being able to pay your taxes or penalties in time. Additionally, other important documents or information will be sent to you; if you are retired, your social security check also comes through the mail. So getting it delivered to you, while overseas can be a very important reason to register a virtual address. Check out what a check deposit is and how it could be a great convenience in getting your bank checks deposited quickly.
- You want a virtual solution. When you consider the amount of time we spend in our vehicles every day, it is staggering and adds up to months or years over a lifetime. Why drive to the Post Office, just to stay in line to open an empty mailbox or one stuffed with junk mail? Many people are turning to virtual solutions, considering the ease of accessing all mail from your phone. You simply log into your account the same you would with Gmail, and check all snail mail online. It’s as easy as that!
- You are a frequent traveler. Many people need to move every quarter, either because their job requires that (i.e travelling nurse) or because someone has decided to become a full time RV’er. That means that every single quarter, you would need to complete a change of address with the USPS. Although I am sure some people have the time to do that, it’s probably easy to understand what a hassle that can be and how unreliable considering the flexibility required to align with your schedule. Registering a virtual address, means that you get to have a permanent US address, that follows you wherever you go. Just pick a city, complete your change of address and 1583 form, and you’re good to go. No more hassles, and access all paper mail online!
Virtual addresses are not for everyone. But they can come in handy for quite a large percentage of the population. Usually, a business mailing address will also be cheaper than a typical PO Box, considering that all that mail is stored in the cloud (instead of a real physical location) making it cheaper for the end user.
Whether you have decided that you are about to launch a new business, want more privacy and the convenience of accessing all your mail virtually without needing to drive weekly to the post office, or simply because you’re about to relocate – having a virtual address can come in handy.