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What Is A Virtual Office

If you have been through the business registration process before, you have surely contemplated whether you want the actual physical space, or just the address and occasionally drop in. Virtual offices have become more relevant as people & businesses turn to digital & remote work places. And why wouldn’t they? Getting a virtual office will cost a fraction of what you would typically pay for physical office space. 

 

Which leads us to the question: 

 

 

Women working at her desk

 

What Is A Virtual Office Space?

 

Virtual offices are remote workspaces that give you the perks of a physical office (e.g technology, phone system, secretary, prestigious address,) at the fraction of a cost of leasing or owning a physical office.

 

The concept of a virtual office is actually quite old, starting back in the 1960’s but becoming more popular in use, with the integration of virtual business solutions (communication, digital storage etc.) Customers of a virtual office will typically select from a subscription plan. The most common professionals that opt in for a virtual office address range from solo entrepreneurs all the way up to larger corporations. The ability to work from anywhere is something that appeals to much of the workforce that conducts their work through a computer device. Typical amenities include: conference rooms, a phone line (with answering machine,) a virtual office assistant or receptionist, conference rooms, mailboxes, printing/fax, office supplies & a desk. From a software perspective, virtual offices will often come with cloud storage, web hosting & e-mail services. All office/conference rooms & business services are maintained & operated by the virtual office company. 

 

Employee working on her computer

 

History of Virtual Offices

 

The first ever office space was offered in 1962 by a company called OmniOffices Group. Ever since, throughout the remaining decades leading up to 2020, everyone from law offices, to University scientists, to conductors & entrepreneurs have used virtual offices or aspects of one in some way or form. Many, helped transform and improve the industry leading to a very improved & advanced concept that we can enjoy today. 

 

Virtual office space

 

Virtual Office Services

 

When thinking of a virtual office, it is best to distinguish between the physical & digital services that come with it. After all, knowing in advance the bells & whistles you want for your virtual office, will help you best pick a plan that suits your needs. 

 

Physical Services include:

 

  • A virtual address
  • Conference rooms
  • Mail services
  • Notary services
  • Desk & private office
  • Printing, copying, binding, faxing, scanning, shredding etc
  • Storage space 
  • Receptionist & answering machine
  • Registered agent

 

Digital Services

 

  • Phone number
  • VoIP
  • Virtual assistants
  • Website domain & company e-mail
  • Video conferencing
  • Online cloud storage
  • Cloud integrations (Google Docs, Office 365 etc)

 

Employee working from a virtual office

 

How Virtual Offices Work

 

Once you sign up for a virtual office, one of the first things you will need to make sure you complete is your 1583 Form. This will allow the virtual office company (CMRA) to process your mail and register your name under their address. It is very likely that you will be asked to notarize the document, prior to sending it in. Next, you will want to call into the company you are working with, to figure out the conference room schedule, ensuring that you have setup proper call forwarding & making sure there are no other loose ends that need to be handled on your end.

 

From this point on, any call that you receive will automatically be forwarded to the number of your choice, or answered warmly by a receptionist on staff. All incoming mail will be scanned & uploaded into your virtual mailbox. If there is any package that needs to be shipped to your address, typically you can get up to 80% off shipping rates. If you bundle your items, most likely you’ll be able to save even more on shipping. 

 

 

virtual office space

 

Why You Need A Virtual Office

 

There are some industries and professionals for whom a virtual office would make sense, and for others for which a virtual office would not add much value. It is safe to say, that anyone who desires to register a virtual business address and wants the ability to be able to book a conference room once in a while, would find great value in a virtual office. When you consider the list of services that come along with a virtual office subscription, you quickly realize that getting a virtual office could make sense just for a specific sub-service offered by that location. 

 

For example, let’s say that you are not interested in booking the conference room and only want to leverage the mail & phone service; virtual offices would come very handy. Just pick a plan that excludes conference room bookings. If on the other hand you change your mind down the road, you are always eligible to take advantage of more premium features like physical office space. Another perk worth considering, is the ability to drop into any virtual office location worldwide, using your existing subscription plan, to use the conference room of that office. Let’s say that you are on a business trip in New York, and originally had a virtual office in Philadelphia; virtual office services will allow you to drop into a new city’s office & book the room for a few hours (or as long as you like) given that that address is on their network. So even if you are always on the road, you can rest assured there will always be a quiet office space where you can crawl into and get your work done.

 

The one word that would best describe virtual offices, is flexibility. You do not need to use all services that come with them; you can use all, some or non. In any event, having a business address registered, is a much better alternative to using your home address as we have discussed before. So many security reasons why you want to separate home from business. Even if you never use the phone line that comes with the address, or virtual mailbox system, having your business registered at a prestigious location can only work to your advantage. The best part is, a virtual office costs a fraction of what you would typically spend to lease office space.

 

blue chairs in a virtual office

 

Virtual Office VS Physical Office

 

As mentioned earlier, virtual office’s middle name is flexibility; you can sign up at any time and cancel at any time. There are no long term leases that you need to abide to, nor one specific location that you are allowed to drop into for your office meetings. With a virtual office, you can pick based on different pricing plans & monthly terms, depending on how long you’d like to use the office for. Different virtual office services will try and sell you all the bells & whistles that come with a virtual office (for an extra fee); you are not obligated to take on all the add on features that they offer you. Pick what is right for you. You can always downgrade or upgrade at any time into the future, based on what it is you are trying to achieve with that office location.

 

From a practical perspective, getting a virtual office means that you save a ton of time commuting back & forth, needing to comply to typical office hours and of course having to deal with neighbor offices that may be noisy or crowded. Another benefit of a virtual office, is that you can pick from a variety of offices you are looking to use. For example you may need a co-working space instead of an executive suite. Or you may just need to drop in once a week for board meetings (using the board room.) You are able to pick from a greater variety of office types, while being able to utilize its features remotely.

 

Another perk that you won’t find with a physical office space, is all the add on cloud technology that is offered to you with a virtual office. Think of your mail; when you get a virtual office, all your mail gets digitized and uploaded into your virtual mailbox. That means that you can, remotely, access all snail mail information. If you were physically located in that office, there would have been no reason to do that, resulting in piles of paper that you need to sort through. Also, when it comes to telecommunications, using a virtual office means you can have someone from the office building act as your remote secretary to answer your phone calls. That beats the cost of hiring a full time secretary, if you had a physical office.

 

Finally, the ability to move any place and at any time, is another feature of virtual offices that people consider. Depending on what virtual office you end up signing up with, you will probably be given the ability to drop into any office space from their network in the country and even abroad. That is, if you are based in a specific city but anticipate being elsewhere for a few days in another city, assuming your provider has office space in that other city, you are most likely eligible to use it. Just make sure to book the dates in advance and communicate with the office staff so they anticipate your arrival.

 

employees interact through a virtual office

 

Virtual Office For Business Registration

 

When someone wants to register a new business, they will be required to display a permanent address that will be used for the business. Many people, especially the ones with home-based businesses, will just think of adding their home address. As discussed multiple times already, that is a terrible idea for so many security & privacy reasons.

 

Virtual offices can come in handy for business registrations, because you are not obligated to have a long term contract in place to use their address. Rather, you can just sign up for a single month to register the business. Of course, there are so many more perks to using a virtual office, than merely to register a business. But if that is your sole purpose of using a virtual office, it beats the alternative of getting into a physical office lease or using your home address.

 

cost of a virtual office

 

How Much Do Virtual Offices Cost

 

When considering the cost of a virtual office, one must consider the different features that come with it, along with the fact that you do not need to sign up for all of them. In other words, you will be picking from a pricing plan that best fits your needs, therefore adjusting the expected cost of your virtual office. Another important thing to consider, is the city and specific address where your virtual office is located in. A more prestigious location, will come with more premium pricing.

 

Another thing to consider, is that there are several companies that offer a virtual office solution. So the price will vary depending on who you decide to work with. Doing proper due diligence during which you consider what comes with each plan and the associated cost, will help you navigate through this virtual office hunt of yours.

 

Typically, for a good virtual office service, you can expect to pay between $50 to $200 per month. This will include services such as a local phone number, a receptionist, physical office space (meeting rooms) and of course your very own virtual address.

 

Person being productive in a virtual office

 

Increasing Productivity With Virtual Offices

 

According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, when employees at a travel website were given the option to work remotely from a virtual office setup, they were both more satisfied with their jobs and more productive.  It sounds like the opposite would be true, but graduate students Nicholas Bloom & James Liang concluded that given certain caveats (and the fact that not all people will be more productive across the board,) allowing responsible employees to leverage virtual offices, will only help achieve corporate goals and company morale.

 

Virtual office network

 

Conclusion

 

We have covered quite a vast range of topics surrounding virtual offices. Regardless of whether you are a fan of the concept or opposed to it, one thing is for sure; it has disrupted a blue chip real estate industry. Companies like We Work have given traditional real estate a digital spin to how we function as corporate entities and a corporate work force. Whether this is for better or worse, will be seen in the coming years. In the meantime though, happy virtual office scouting!

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5+ Reasons Your Business Needs A Virtual Mailbox

Businesses and individuals alike, will oftentimes contemplate if getting a virtual mailbox, is the right choice for them. Ever since the early 2000’s and the boom of the Internet, there has been an increase in demand for virtual addresses; platforms that will upload postal mail in a digital format. 

 

Some of the primary reasons why someone would want to sign up for a virtual mailbox service, differ depending on the size of the company and nature of operations. 

 

For small businesses, one of the primary reasons they want to leverage the use of virtual mailboxes, is due to the associated virtual address that comes with it. For larger companies & corporations however, registering a virtual mailbox is more than just about getting a fancy looking address or registering a new LLC with the State. For larger companies, it’s all about outsourcing mail & digitizing the mail room

 

Here are 5 reasons why your organization needs a virtual mailbox for business. 

Ribbon cutting for a new business

 

You Own A Small Business

 

When you decide to start a new company you will be required to not only file with the secretary of state, but also receive government mail pieces from that point on. What happens, especially in the case of startup online businesses, is the owner usually wants to run their business from home, without exposing that residential address online. 

 

Using your home address for the sake of a business registration, in addition to security risks, will create a wave of incoming mail (in addition to what you’re getting already.) Depending on the complexity of your operations, it will always be something getting in your way that takes your attention & time away from your job of running operations. 

 

Another reason to consider a virtual mailbox for your small business, is that showcasing a home address as the address of your business, will reflect negatively on you as a business owner. Everyone knows it’s more convenient and cheaper to use their home address for business purposes; but it does not look professional. If maintaining a professional look to your brand matters, then you should consider distancing home from business. 

 

Snail mail going into a computer and smart phone

 

You Need Streamlined Mail Management

 

As mentioned earlier, larger corporations tend to lean on virtual mailboxes for the sake of a more streamlined mail management system. When you consider payroll, maintaining physical storage and the headache of dealing with paper mail, you quickly realize why companies such as Shell & Netflix, look for a virtual mail processing experience. At the time of writing this blog, Covid-19 has also set in as a reality, with several areas of “offline” life going virtual, with the flip of a switch. 

 

Handing mail online is more than just avoiding to deal with paper however; a virtual mailbox platform will typically allow for several users to manage mail from a single account. Think of it as “seats.” Depending on the size of the company and the amount of mail you receive, you can have 1 or more people manage all mail virtually. And it can be some assistant remotely located from your corporate offices (if you have hired from abroad.) Finally, taking mail virtual from a corporate perspective, allows for business management & cloud storage tools to document important files and keep everything in one place. 

 

virtual check deposit

 

You Want To Complete Check Deposits Virtually

 

An often overlooked perk of using a virtual mailbox, is the added feature of an in-account check deposit. What that means is, you get to request some bank check be deposited to your bank of choice, from your desktop or smartphone device. Examples of companies that benefit from a feature like this, are property management companies. The amount of mail they need to deal with as well as checks, can sometimes become overwhelming for office staff to handle. Or simply, these firms would like to have their staff focus on activities such as showing units & maintaining high occupancy rates. 

 

Being able to deposit bank checks remotely, comes very handy if the person in charge is in an out of state location and it saves that employee several trips & time to the bank. 

 

Virtual addresses

 

You Want One Virtual Address For Life

 

Registering a virtual address, means that regardless of where you decide to relocate, your mailing address stays the same. Think about it; if you decided to move to some other office location, would you change your phone number?

 

Registering a virtual mailing address is similar to getting a phone line; you are not location dependent and can move anywhere without leaving your mail behind. The alternative is keeping track of all mail correspondence and contacts that will need to be updated on your address switch (that includes online directories, your website, Google etc.)

 

Maintaining a permanent address shows consistency as well; if the nature of your business is such that you need to move occasionally, then being able to show that you are staying put in one location will only help the image of your brand. 

 

Google postcard verification

 

You Need A Physical Address For Marketing & Google Verification Purposes

 

When you have an online business or a business that does not require a physical location, it is very tempting to use a home address. However, as mentioned before, doing so puts you into so many liability and privacy risks that really do not make it worth it at all. Another reason you may want to distance your home from your online business, is for the purpose of marketing and getting the Google postcard. If you are trying to rank on Google Maps, as your marketing advisors probably recommend, getting a Google Postcard sent and verifying your Google My Business listing is an essential part to ranking on Google Maps.

 

You do not need to actively operate out of that address location, since you have the option of selecting Google’s “phone driven business” option. It’s basically one of the ways of setting up your Google My Business account, so that customers do not actually drive to your location (which would be virtual) but still get to see that you are local to their city. After completing a Google Map verification, most likely you will also be picked up by a bunch of other directories online in their effort to push your brand forward into a larger audience. Using a home address in cases like that, means that your location (residence) will be seen by a lot more people than you would like, online. Therefore using a virtual address for your business, can come in handy with protecting your home while marketing your business online effectively.

 

A map with the zoning of a city

 

Complying To Address Zoning Laws

 

Zoning is a process via which land is divided into zones in which certain land uses are allowed or prohibited. Other factors like the sizes & placement of buildings may also be regulated. Essentially, areas of land are divided into zones as a technique of land-use planning which is a tool for urban planning.

 

One of the biggest problems a local business will run into, in using a personal home address as their business address, is the zoning laws that are in effect for your county. There are certain parts of your county that are designated as residential or business. What that means is, you cannot operate a business within a residential district and vice versa. Therefore, if you happen to be located in a “residence only” area and you are trying to register a business with that address, it probably won’t be as easy as you’d think.

 

Something to keep in mind, is that zoning laws change all the time. And especially if you live in a city with no current zoning in place (e.g Houston) this could be subject to change. So you may find yourself a few years down the road, where it wasn’t a problem having a business in a particular side of town, but then due to a change in zoning laws you have to deal with a series of legal battles.

 

Physical mailboxes

 

It’s Faster To Get A Virtual Address Than A PO Box

 

When you consider your alternative options in dealing with the registration of your business and the address requirements that follow, you are only left with a PO Box. But signing up for a PO Box is not exactly an instantaneous type of process. First you will need to fill out paperwork,  as well as select the people that are authorized to access your box and of course pick up your keys. Getting a PO Box also means you need to stay on top of mail, so it does not reach the box capacity.

 

When you get a virtual mailbox instead, you are able to receive mail, pretty much right after sign up has occurred. And then you have mail clerks who work on your behalf to sort through the junk mail and only deliver mail that is important to you. Additional perks of course include the fact that you do not need to head to the post office every week, but you can rather check all your mail online with the click of a button.

 

physical mailboxes at a postal center

 

Virtual Mailboxes Are Cheaper Than Physical Mailboxes

 

Think about it; all your mail is stored in the cloud which means that the postal center does not need to save all your files physically nor have that many physical mailboxes. That results in lower lease expenses which extend to lower prices for you as a consumer. In short, getting a virtual mailbox is a cheaper alternative to a physical mailbox (usually half the price) and the cancellation terms are usually more favorable to you as well without any cancellation penalties or fees.

 

Depending on what company you decide to work with, you can select from a variety of virtual mailbox terms and extend the subscription once your term is up. A typical physical mailbox will ask you to sign a contract on a longer term agreement; something that you cannot opt out of as easily. The other advantage of course, is that everything can be done virtually from anywhere in the world and you do not need to walk into any physical office to sign these agreements. You will be sent an electronic agreement (think docu-sign) and you’re good to go. Some companies do not even require an agreement. You just sign up from their website and that’s it!

 

People networking online

 

Networking Opportunities With Virtual Mailboxes & Virtual Offices

 

Many companies that decide to sign up for a virtual mailbox for their mail, can easily opt in for a virtual office. These are co-working (or private) spaces that you can physically attend and book throughout the week, with an on site secretary to handle your calls while you’re away (and much more.) If you are in a particular industry that requires ongoing expansion of your network, getting a PO Box with the Post Office will only give you some life long friends with the clerks there. But when it comes to growing your business and interacting with other people, it won’t do much for it.

 

Some companies, have virtual offices and virtual mailboxes integrated as one. Although a virtual office may be a bit more expensive, it’s something you can easily upgrade or downgrade from at any time. This can be very helpful for people that are on the fence as to what type of a structure they want to their business (online versus in person or a combination of both.) You can sign up for a virtual mailbox, and if you see you want the in-person benefits, moving over to a virtual office is a piece of cake. But you would never be able to transfer from a physical mailbox to an in person office. And completing a change of address when you come to that realization to switch from physical mailbox to virtual office, can be quite the hassle (not to mention confusing to clients.)

 

an envelope in a postal mailbox

 

In Summary

 

The common point that connects all 5+ reasons for getting a virtual mailbox, is convenience. Being able to handle check deposits from your desktop or mobile device, having someone virtually manage mail on your behalf & the sense of 24/7 on demand access, just allows you to focus on things that matter to your organization.

 

The larger your company is, the more moving pieces and pressing issues that you need to focus your attention on. Mail should not be making your top 20 list of things that you need to look out for.

 

To learn more, navigate through our enterprise mailing solutions and if you need a custom proposal for your company, you can send us a message here. 

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Why Small Businesses Need Mail Forwarding

Own a business? You probably need to deal with lots of mail too. Streamline your mail management by having all packages & snail mail forwarded and managed online.

 

Running a small business is never an easy task; depending on what industry and customers you are catering to, you have to deal with complex operations, HR, state regulations (and the list goes on.) What is more, is that there are several administrative tasks that require the attention of an already very busy owner. 

 

At the time of writing this blog, Covid-19 has set in as a new reality. Remote work places, social distancing and stay at home orders, have disrupted literally every business. The ones that were able to go online, were able to get through the storm and operate under new circumstances. Local businesses such as restaurants that were not heavily invested on digital alternatives, had no option but to shut down. 

 

Being able to pick up the mail, became critical; with everyone working from home, who is going to visit the office just to pick up the mail? Very inconvenient and a great time killer. 

 

Virtual address on a map

 

What Is Mail Forwarding? 

 

When you would normally receive mail at your business location, with mail forwarding, you are notifying the USPS to redirect the mail delivery and instead of sending to your former location, it forwards all mail to the new one. The best way to think of this, is if a business re-locates: what happens to all contacts who only know your former address? You would have to go through the list of all friends, business associates & customers, to inform them of the address (something not practical at all.)



With mail forwarding, all your mail gets redirected from your former location to your new location. All you need to do to get this process underway, is completed a change of address with the USPS. And within a few days, you’re all set to go. 

 

How to Forward Business Mail

 

Now, before we get on to the best way to start forwarding business mail (i.e. by signing up with a virtual mailbox service), let us take a look at how to just use the United States Postal Service to change your business forwarding address.

 

The first option that the USPS offers is opening a PO box. So, without further ado, we are going to get right into the details.

 

USPS PO Boxes for Business

 

PO boxes are offered at many local post offices and can be used for both personal and business use. They are secure, accessible, and easy to open online. But, it is worth noting that you still have to visit the post office once or twice a week to collect everything that came in; for some, this is enough to put them off.

 

Before you make up your mind, we will have a look at the pros and cons of using a PO box as your mail forwarding for business service.

 

The Pros of PO Boxes

 

  • It’s a secure way of receiving mail while you’re not in the office.
  • You don’t have to worry about packages sitting on your doorstep.
  • It is easy to keep confidential documents safe and private.
  • You can travel to your PO box whenever is convenient for you.
  • Some are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

The Cons of PO Boxes

 

  • You have no choice but to go to the physical box once, twice, or three times a week.
  • It isn’t as secure as a virtual mailbox since it is right next to everybody else’s box.
  • If your office moves far away, you will have to change your PO box as it won’t move with you.

 

USPS Business Mail Pickup

 

This option is for those of you who receive a lot of mail (or numerous parcels and packages that are too big for the largest PO box).

 

How Does It Work?

 

The post office will receive all of your business address mail forwardings once your office has moved or you have started working from home full time. Then, you arrange a time to collect all your letters, parcels, and packages, turn up, gather them up, and you’re all set!

 

How Do I Get Started?

 

If you’re interested (although we’d advise you to check out the pros and cons below before you settle), here is how to set up business mail pick up. It won’t take long, you will just need to supply two forms of ID and fill in a form.

 

  1. Find the PS Form 1093-C online.
  2. Print it out.
  3. Fill out the “Application for Post Office Caller Service” section.
  4. Take your completed form and two types of government-approved US identification. For your primary form, you can use one of the following (ensuring they are either federal, state, or tribal issued):
    1. State driver’s license
    2. Non-driver’s ID card
    3. Uniformed Service ID card
    4. US Armed Forces card
    5. Corporate identification
    6. US passport
    7. US passport card
    8. US university identification
    9. US permanent resident card
    10. Any ID card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
    11. US certificate of naturalization or citizenship
    12. Tribal identification card

For your secondary ID document, you can bring one of the following:

  1. Lease agreement
  2. Mortgage agreement
  3. Deed of trust
  4. Voter registration card
  5. Home insurance policy
  6. Vehicle registration card
  7. Utility bill
  8. Form I-94
  9. Vehicle insurance policy
  10. Decide which service option you want. This could be 1 year or 6 months.
  11. Pay the fee. Make sure you do this at the post office where you’ll be using this service is located. You can pay with a credit or debit card, cash, check, or money order.
  12. Pick up your business mail whenever you need to.

 

The Pros of Business Mail Pick Up

 

  • You can receive large items without worrying about whether they will fit in your PO box.
  • If there aren’t any PO boxes available, this is your chance to get an even better service.
  • You can pick up your mail whenever is convenient.
  • Your business can easily scale up without fear that it won’t be able to cope with the influx of mail.

 

The Cons of Business Mail Pick Up

 

  • You might not want to pay for a mail service that lasts a year or 6 months, especially if you are a start-up as it restricts you to one location.
  • You still have to travel to a specific location to receive your mail.
  • Could be quite time consuming depending on travel time.

 

Okay, now that you are familiar with the mail forwarding business address services that the USPS offers, it is time to show you where you should really put your money!

 

Why Does Your Small Business Need Mail Forwarding?

 

There are plenty of reasons why your small business needs mail forwarding! We are about to go through each one in turn but, if you haven’t got much time, just scoot down to the end of this section where you will find a quick-glance list.

 

So, if you are still with us, let’s jump straight into all the benefits you’ll reap once you set up a virtual mail forwarding service.

 

Convenience

 

When a package is shipped to you, and requires you to be around to pick it up, it can be problematic if you happen to be out of the office, visiting a job site or simply too busy to receive your parcel. What business owners end up doing, is signing up for a PO box to receive all packages and mail. That gives birth to a new problem; you need to allocate a certain day of the week to drive to your local post office location, stand in line, and get your mail. But what if you had someone sign for your package only with your authorization, and at the fraction of the cost of having your secretary do so? What if you could request that package is shipped on demand to your location, for up to 80% off typical shipping rates? The time saving and shipping costs advantage to this is pretty obvious.

 

Virtual mailbox on desktop and mobile

Mail Security

 

When you get mail at your location, it can usually be accessed by pretty much anyone who wants to get their hand on it. From ID theft, to mail theft and everything in between, having mail sit at a location without supervision or while you’re away, is probably not the best idea. When you have your mail outsourced, all packages are stored in a warehouse with 24/7 surveillance systems, and on-site security personnel. There is no safer place to store your snail mail, than at a mail forwarding facility. 

 

Security lock

Look Sharp

 

As a company, there is nothing worse than looking unprofessional, right? Well, if you are an online business, or have simply decided to register it under a PO Box or your home address, that comes with a number of issues.

 

Not only are there added security concerns that you need to consider (angry customers knowing your place of residence etc,) but your business does not look professional at all. A business registered with a post office box, surely does not look as good as a business registered under a real physical address.

 

business address location

Home Privacy

 

We already touched on this a bit, but when you decide you want to use your home address for business mail, you are exposing that address to literally every ill-intentioned person online. Angry customers, employees or investors, can know of yours and your family’s whereabouts with a simple Google search. Registering your business with a real physical address that is not your home address, keeps your privacy and family protected.

 

Crook spying on home

Permanent Address

 

What happens if you decide to move the location of your business? You need to keep updating all your contact info, informing customers of a move, and completing change of address forms with the USPS. When you register for a virtual address, this address is yours for life, regardless of where you are physically located. Think of it; do you change your phone number whenever you move? Why would you therefore need to change your mailing address when you do so? 

 

Streamlined Mail Management

 

When you sign up for a virtual business address, all employees are able to digitally manage incoming mail. There is no requirement of someone being on site, and virtually, from the comfort of their own office or home, they can make a few clicks and handle mail online.

 

The Quick Glance Pros and Cons

 

For all of you busy bunnies who don’t have time right now for our fully-fledged conversation, here is a speedy summary of everything we talked about above.

 

Ready? Let’s go!

 

business people shake hands

 

The Quick Glance Pros

 

  • Convenience — you don’t need to be around to pick up your important document or package, an expert mail handler will do it for you.
  • Mail security — all your mail will be held in a secure facility complete with 24-hour video surveillance and more. You won’t find anywhere safer than this!
  • Look sharp — having your home address as your business address does not look very professional. With a virtual mailbox, this problem is solved.
  • Home privacy — using your home address for business can get messy. Angry customers, unhappy investors, and raging employees will be able to find you and your loved ones incredibly
  • Permanent — you will never have to go through the hassle of changing your mailing address every time you switch offices!
  • Streamlined mail management — all your employees can access your office’s mail from a smartphone app or their computer. No one needs to be onsite.

 

Okay, so what are the cons here then? Everything has a downside, right?

 

Well, yes, but the advantages of signing up for a virtual mail forwarding service drastically outweigh the potential disadvantages. Regardless, we will chat briefly about the things that aren’t so good about a virtual mailbox system. (Hint: when we said “things” we meant “thing” as there is only one potential downside)!

 

The Quick Glance Con

  • Extra cost — this especially applies to start-ups. We have found that many new companies do not want to incur the extra cost that business address forwarding proposes. However, it is important to remember that a virtual mailbox will bring you a huge return on your investment (looking at the advantages above will tell you that!).

 

The Bottom Line

 

To summarize; using a virtual mailing solution for your small business can be a big time and money saver. The convenience, security and savings it provides you with makes all the sense in the world to test out — yes, even if you are a start-up company.

 

If you need to reach out with any questions about business mail forwarding or get a proposal, contact us here.

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Does A Virtual Address Matter in 2020?

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. 

 

Person checking snail mail on a tablet

 

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.

 

Virtual mailbox on a mobile device

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.

Alongside this, you need to protect all the important documents your business will receive. You can’t do this with a home address. You need a virtual address for proper security. Otherwise your legal contracts, licenses, permits, correspondence with suppliers, vendor contacts, statements, payments, bills, invoices, and contact information could fall into the wrong hands. Remember, your 4-year-old tot counts as the wrong hands! You never know, you might come home to your taxes covered in purple crayon and apple juice. That wouldn’t look so good, would it?

 

Plus, you get immediate access to your mail with a virtual box. Regardless of the device you use — smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, you name I — you can access your mail as soon as it comes in. It doesn’t matter where you are; you just need your login details and your received mail pops up. This can be fantastic if you’re awaiting that all-important order your business needs or you are currently talking to vendors about potential contracts. Things like that can’t wait for you to get back from your travels.

 

Finally, a digital mailbox presents a paperless, seamless document management solution. You can set up it to automatically perform functions that you would otherwise have to make time for — think getting rid of junk mail and shredding certain items. You will never fall short with record-keeping ever again. Imagine that!

 

Person standing in front of a business plan on a white board

 

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!

 

For all you digital nomads out there, the benefits of a virtual mailbox solution don’t stop here.

 

With a virtual address, you are guaranteed the utmost security. The mail handlers who work at the facilities are incredibly well-trained and have nothing but the safety of your personal information and mail in mind. The data is encrypted and uploaded to your dashboard so nobody could even dream of hacking it. Plus, any packages you may receive while you are globetrotting are professionally handled and kept in secure, remote locations.

 

Additionally, depositing checks is now a breeze. Yep, regardless of what currency! When you get a paycheck, your virtual mailbox service will send you a notification. Then, you can use the app to deposit it to any bank in the United States of America. This way, the money will appear in your account as quickly as possible. You shouldn’t have to wait for your money when there are so many experiences to be had out there!

 

At an airport about to board a plane

You Are an Expat Looking for Seamless Solutions

 

While moving to another country is super exciting and you’ll be pouring your heart and soul into making a life for yourself there, you still have to manage your life back home. You will still need a permanent address in the United States of America. Why? To ensure you acquire all the necessary correspondences, receive packages, and shop securely — all without the risk of your mail getting lost.

 

A virtual mailbox allows you to relax with the knowledge that your parcels, packages, letters, and business documents will get to you in one piece. There are tons of advantages for you, an expat, and a digital address.

 

For starters, you will be able to stay connected. A virtual mailbox ensures you have a permanent address, regardless of how many times you move around. It is incredibly simple to forward packages to your current residence from here. Plus, you can still shop at all your favorite US stores without having to worry about whether or not they will actually reach you.

 

Additionally, you can deposit checks (in any currency) easily, without visiting a bank. All you need to do is go on the app, hit deposit and you are well on your way to seeing your cash.

 

Oh, and you will never miss important documents. Since you will get instant access on any device to the contents of your mailbox, you don’t need to worry that you will miss payments, tax returns, invoices, and more. You can even set up notifications that will let you know when there is mail you need to check out.

 

The Benefits of a Virtual Address

 

If any of the above apply to you, you’ll know a lot about the benefits of a virtual address already. However, if you still feel like you are in the dark, let us walk you through the benefits, step-by-step.

 

1. Permanent Street Address

 

A virtual address is mostly globally accepted as a permanent, American street address, unlike a PO box. This saves a bunch of time because you won’t have to make your way to your physical mailbox every day (or week).

Plus, it will allow you to receive parcels from pretty much all couriers. For this reason alone, it’s a win-win kind of deal.

 

2. Deposit Checks Quickly

No more having to visit the bank when checks come in the mail. With a virtual address, you just have to go on the app, ask to have it deposited into your bank, and it’s done! This way, you get your money within one working day, rather than waiting 3 to 4! Not to mention that you can be in any country while this is happening.

3. Flawless Record Keeping

At the moment, you probably have a huge binder full of all your important, previously mailed documents, right? Well you can kiss goodbye to that with a virtual address. It allows you to store files for as long as you need. Whether that’s 5 seconds, days, weeks, months, or years — it can handle it all. This will save you a lot of space in your home too, so you’ll have more room for storing things that bring you joy.

4. Auto Admin

 

When the mail comes in, you can decide whether you want each piece shredded, held, or shipped to your current location. Everything can be done from within the app and takes a matter of seconds!

But that’s not all.

Thanks to new technology, the app allows you to search through the uploaded PDF scans of your mail. Again, this will save you time as you won’t have to trawl through everything you’re mailed. Instead, you can focus on your business, your significant other, and your family — you know, all the truly important things in life.

 

Documents being sent to a computer

The Bottom Line

 

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.

 

Talk with our award winning customer support team today, and see if a virtual address is right for you.

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What Is A Permanent Address

The 21st century has been indeed one of rapid digital transformation. The amount of time people spend online, is getting greater & greater, while shifting from traditional areas of attention such as the TV, spending time with friends, socializing in the “real” world etc.

 

This has led to a whole line of new businesses, that just cater to people online, as well as existing industries that have been disrupted & moved their services & offerings online.

 

Additionally, entire corporations are now banking off of the fact that we spend so much time on a computer & or mobile phone screen. Companies like Amazon, Ebay & Google, will keep us busy shopping online, instead of offline.

 

There is an interesting trend, that was especially noticeable after the crash of 2008, of businesses going online for the purpose of slashing expenses; indeed maintaining an office or building, is a lot more expensive than working out of your own home.

 

So in today’s article, we will be covering the topic of permanent addresses, and how these can be used for the registration of your business, helping you avoid many of the unnecessary expenses businesses had 20 years ago.

 

A residence with the street number 237

 

What Is A Permanent Address?

 

A permanent address is a physical street address that is under your name. Examples of permanent addresses would be a home or office address.

 

Such addresses can be transferred over & changed by completing a Change of Address form with the USPS.

 

Permanent VS Physical Address: What’s the Difference?

 

As you have just discovered, a permanent address is the physical street address which is under your name. Again, this could be your home or your office. You can use it for both personal and business needs. However, there are two address standards in the United States of America: permanent and physical.

 

A physical address is a valid street address which you can use for business and personal. However, it isn’t necessarily where you live (or work). Sometimes, it is referred to as a mailing address.

 

Unlike a PO box, it won’t have any restrictions. You will be able to receive unrestricted mail from all carriers such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, and more.

 

Even though it is generally business owners who use physical (or mailing) addresses, they are quite popular among travelers, students, and people in the military.

 

Employee on a computer analyzing data

Is A Permanent Address Required for Business?

 

Depending on the filling of your business, you would need a permanent address or a registered agent address. Such examples are LLC’s and LLPs. Having said that, you may well need a business address for your small company too. It all depends on what services or products you offer.

 

So, What Is a Registered Agent?

 

A registered agent is a person, agency, or other business who you appoint to be your “mail receiver”. In short, it ensures you never miss an important document (taxes, summonses, and more) ever again.

 

Examples of a registered agent would be the address for a business partner or your very own home address. The alternative to using your home address (and having it being in public display with the State and online,) is getting a regular office address out of which your business operates.

 

Due to the fact that office space generally costs more though, and not all businesses require that the business owner (or employees) be physically located there, startups will use a home address as a cheaper alternative.

 

A neighborhood with homes

 

Using A Home Address For Business

 

It is reasonable to want to preserve capital, at the launch of a business. For some people, it makes a lot of sense, using a home address in order to save on office expenses.

 

However, considering the affiliated risks that come with displaying publicly on the web, your family’s home as well as the solicitations you will get, you may want to re-think this.

 

Another reason you may want to avoid using a home address is due to the unprofessional look that it will give your business. Especially if you are just starting out and looking to make a good impression, showing people that you went the extra mile to setup your business properly and professionally, will pay off well in the future. Yes, it may cost you a bit more in the beginning, but it is definitely worth considering a registered agent as supposed to your house. After all, you wouldn’t want your kids getting hold of your taxes now, would you?

 

But there is a more practical reason why you should not use your home address, for business purposes. As you grow the business, you will notice that more pieces of mail will come through your mailbox and at some point, will create a chaotic paper mess for you and your family. Additionally, at some point you may decide to move to another residence. That can cause a serious disruption to the location your business is registered in, and potentially a lot of confusion for clients as well.

 

Black residential mailbox

Alternative Physical Address Ideas

 

So if getting office space is not in the books, and using your home address is not a safe or practical solution, what can you do to register a business? Keep in mind that a PO Box would not work as a physical address so you need some better alternatives than just that. Therefore, we’re going to discover how you can go about finding a business address that is not a PO box.

 

But since we are discussing permanent addresses (and not necessarily physical ones), here are 4 alternatives to a permanent address (which are definitely worth your money):

 

  1. PO Box Address: Using a PO Box will allow you to receive business mail as well as fulfill the address requirement for your business registration. Registering a business using a PO box is probably not the most professional way to go about it, but it is definitely a lot safer than using your home address.
  2. Pack and Ship mailbox: These are independent postal centers that will receive and process mail for you. Every neighborhood has them, and it’s a good way to register a new business. One potential hurdle could be that you are dependent tied down to lifetime of that business. So if for whatever reason the center goes out of business or relocates, you will be dealing with a change of address all over again.
  3. Virtual offices: We already discussed how your startup costs could go up with the lease of a real office space. However there is always the option of going virtual, and having a secretary answering your phone calls for you (and taking messages) as well as receiving your mail. Virtual offices are a cheaper alternative to a real office, but they’re still going to cost you a few hundred bucks per month.
  4. Virtual Mailbox: Think of this as “PO Box meets the Internet.” You get the perks of having an address that is distant from your home address, with the security you would expect from a postal service center, and rates that a Post Office store would give you. It is the ideal situation for any new business registration. There is an additional perk of viewing all mail online of course which should not be neglected. From the comfort of your own couch, using your phone you can access all snail mail online. From there, just click to scan, shred or mail forwarding an item.

 

How to Get Mail Without a Permanent Address

 

Of course, there is more to life than business needs. With that in mind, we need to talk about how to get personal mail with no permanent address.

 

Thankfully, it is possible. Whether you are a digital nomad, travelling for a living, or moving house without knowing where you’re actually going to end up, you can still receive letters, packages and parcels.

 

There are a few solutions that the United States Postal Service has devised that are fantastic options for you. Let’s get into the specifics.

 

Get a PO Box

 

Granted, this may not be that great for those that are travelling as you’d have to stay around the same area to access your mail. However, if you are planning to move to a location but don’t have an address yet, PO boxes are definitely the answer.

 

They tend to be located in the lobby of post offices so they are easy to access. In fact, some places offer extended opening hours for PO box owners (sometimes even around the clock access 7 days a week).

 

You won’t need to worry about security either as each box is locked by a code or key. Just bear in mind that there can be only one named key holder. So, you can’t have your partner’s name on the file too, unfortunately.

 

Snail mail entering a computer screen

General Delivery

 

If you are going to be staying in the same city for a decent length of time, or you know that you will be moving to that area shortly, you can use general delivery. Going with this option means your letters, parcels, and packages will be forwarded to one of the mail offices in the city.

 

Don’t stress, you won’t need to rush off there every time a piece of junk mail comes in. They will hold all your mail for 30 days. Bear in mind that you will need to pick it up in person and bring a valid, government accepted photo ID. This could be a driver’s license, student card, or military identification.

 

The great thing is that it doesn’t take long to set up when you need it. Although, if the city you’re in is quite big, the process will take longer. Why? Because you will need to call someone to figure out which post office to forward your items to.

 

Temporary Address Change

 

Of course, these options won’t suit everyone. So, you can simply ask a trusted friend or relative to collect your mail for you. Then, they can send it to your new address when you have figured everything out. Alternatively, you could save them a job and pick it up!

 

We mentioned earlier about the Change of Address forms. You will have to fill one of these out if you want to ensure your mail goes to your loved one. As we said, it’s easy to input all your information and submit it. Here’s how to do it:

 

  1. Go to the USPS website.
  2. Locate the Change of Address page.
  3. Click Temporary.
  4. Pay $1.05 so the online platform can verify your identity.
  5. Fill out all the information on the form.
  6. The United States Postal Service will send you a confirmation code. Make sure to keep this safe as you will need it if you want to cancel or adjust the information you provided.
  7. A welcome kit will turn up at your temporary address.
  8. All your mail will be sent here until you make a permanent change (or a different temporary one).

The Bottom Line

 

Using a permanent address does not necessarily mean that you need to put your home and family at risk. Distancing business from residence is good for so many reasons beyond security and privacy. Having control of business-related mail and keeping it separate from your individual mail will allow you to stay on top of things. It’s a pretty win-win situation, don’t you think?

 

There are several options available to you when it comes to using third party addresses to register a business. By far what we would highly recommend, is the consideration of the virtual mailbox, which gives you the advantage a PO box would give you, along with the convenience and ease that comes with a digital mailbox system.

 

Virtual mailboxes allow you to shred, scan, deposit, and ship your mail, all from within the app. Not to mention that our mail handlers are more than trained to give you a high-quality, secure experience. Trust us, it will feel like you’re living in the future!

 

US Global Mail is proud to be leading the way, in the virtual address world. With over 80,000 customers since 1999, our proven track record and success with handling your mail, has allowed us to continue with the same passion and dedication that we had 20 years ago. Just look at all the amazing customer feedback we have received over the years. We are proud to be backed by such brilliant people.

 

For any questions feel free to reach us here. We are always happy to relieve your concerns and queries you may have before you commit to our virtual mailbox.

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Can A Non-Citizen Open a Bank Account in The US?

It seems so simple: move to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, start a business, and open a US bank account.

 

Except, as it turns out, it’s not so simple at all. Despite the ease with which American citizens can open multiple accounts, foreigners have a different experience. What takes a minute for Americans can take weeks—even months, or years—and still never come to fruition. So we are asking the question:

 

Can a non-citizen open a bank account in the U.S.?

 

The short answer is “yes”. But it is difficult—and getting more difficult as time goes on.

 

Bank Of America tower

Why is it so hard?

 

Opening a US bank account offers security and helps individuals build a stronger credit score. Similarly, having a bank account allows us to conduct business, get paid, and pay others. Unfortunately, restrictive algorithms mean we are unable to enjoy a seamless account setup on U.S. soil.

 

Firstly, foreigners, non-residents, expats and travelers can absolutely open a bank account in the U.S.—it’s just really complicated. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, traditional lending institutions can contract with non-resident persons. Banks—which operate as independent businesses or part of a corporate chain—are entitled to make their own decision on these matters. Since many banks believe that offering bank accounts to foreigners is a high-risk practice, they either don’t offer the service, or avoid it wherever possible.

 

Secondly, after 9/11 changed the international landscape forever, the Patriot Act set strict rules for foreigners opening bank accounts, or entering into financial transactions in the U.S. The regulations were set up to help stamp out money laundering, tax evasion, and the funding of terrorism. One of these regulations is the verification of our identity. Because many countries don’t offer our high level of ID verification, these countries are deemed unsafe.

 

Finally, U.S. laws require that all account holders have a U.S. postal address, or an ITIN number.

 

With so much going on, it’s no wonder opening a bank account in the U.S. is almost impossible.

 

So who needs a U.S. bank account, anyway?

 

For starters, anybody who operates a business in the United States of America. Small to medium-sized businesses are already thriving, but may struggle to expand if they have to rely on international transfers.

 

Any individual who offers a product or service—whether as a freelancer or as a larger corporation—can appeal more to a U.S. audience by using local payment methods, supported by ACH transfers.

 

International students are another part of the core demographic of people needing to have a U.S. bank account. To streamline tasks like family travel, homework, and socializing with friends, a locally based bank account can work wonders. Frequent visitors to the United States, tourists, and those on short-term work visas can all benefit from an American bank account.

 

Finally, online shoppers can benefit in a big way. Many online stores will only accept U.S. banking options. To avoid extra fees and breakdowns in the way currency is exchanged, a U.S. bank account could be the pivot-point in your online shopping experience.

 

Best US Banks for Non-Residents

 

Before we move onto taking a look at how to actually open a bank account in the United States of America as a non-resident, let’s dive into the best bank in USA for foreigners. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

 

Wells Fargo

 

You can usually rely on big, branded banks to give you an account as a non-citizen or resident. However, not all employees are aware that they can offer you one.

 

Many people who have contacted Wells Fargo and spoken to a customer service representative who has said “no sorry, we don’t offer accounts to non-residents. But this isn’t true. It shouldn’t put you off, the person you spoke to could have been new, not fully clued up on their bank’s policies, or just having a bad day. All you need to do is try again.

 

Of course, you could always have a crack at it online. This will potentially be a lot quicker than trudging through countless call center operators.

 

Chase

 

Chase is another large bank in the United States of America. They offer a multitude of account options for non-residents. Thus, we couldn’t resist listing them as a great provider of US bank account for foreigners.

 

Bank of America

 

We have heard of people having a fair amount of problems with the Bank of America. However, in our knowledge that tends to be down to the employees certain people dealt with.

 

Since the bank is so big, they see somewhat little risk in offering an American bank account for foreigners.

 

TD Bank

 

TD Bank seems to be the easiest, simplest option as a non-resident or citizen.

 

All you need to supply is a passport and a mailing address within the US. Yes, that means you will need to have somewhere you can receive mail in America. Whether that be a friend, family member, or a third-party agency you employ as a registered agent for yourself, it doesn’t matter. But you do need one.

 

HSBC

 

Since HSBC is an international bank, regardless of where you are, you will be able to open an account. They have an entire page on their website dedicated to supporting you through the process of opening an overseas account. Here, they go over why you should choose them, setting up your account before you travel, and what documents you’ll need.

 

To help you out, we will give you an idea on the documents they suggest so you don’t have to flit back and forth between Google tabs:

 

  • Identification (this could be a driver’s license, military card, student card, and more)
  • Proof of address (whether you’re in the USA or not, they still want to know where you reside)
  • Income proof (pay slips or invoices)
  • Potentially other documents too (this depends on local law and regulation changes)

 

Do You Need a Social Security Number to Open a Bank Account?

 

To tell you the truth, it all depends on what bank you choose to go with. For some, you will definitely need a social security number but for others, you won’t. With that being said, it’s nicer to have the documents and not need them, rather than need them and not have them.

 

However, as long as you prove who you are, you should not need a social security number to open a bank account as a non-resident.

 

Cartoon figure carrying a bank of money to the bank

How Top Open A Bank Account In USA

 

There are several effective methods when it comes to opening a U.S. bank account. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll explore here.

 

1. Open US bank account online

 

This is by far the least efficient solution, as it involves a long processing time and doesn’t necessarily translate to success. If you don’t have sufficient ID, for example, your online application is likely to be declined.

 

Although each bank has its own set of qualifying conditions, one common factor to all is that you have an ITIN. The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, in conjunction with other photo ID, will increase your chances of successfully opening a US bank account online.

 

Person checking logging into his online bank account

2. Go to an international bank.

 

International banks—like HSBC and Barclays—have branches both in the U.S. and around the world.

 

Not in the States yet? Head to your local branch and submit an application to open a new account. By verifying your identification and data in your home country, you may smooth the path to creating a US bank account later.

 

Executives often use this method to open accounts in the United States prior to travelling there. It tends to be a successful option, although many believe visiting a U.S. bank in person is the best way to achieve our goal.

 

Building of an international bank

3. Travel to the US

 

The third—and most common—option for opening a US bank account is actually being there. It is easier than most methods, and virtually guaranteed to be approved at this stage. Certain banks can push through this application quickly, and painlessly, especially those like Wells Fargo and Citibank, who have a robust foreign policy.

 

American airlines plane flying into Washington

What are the requirements to open a US bank account? 

 

Security measures across the United States are stringent. Some banks, no matter how progressive they seem, may even require a full background check in order to approve your account application.

 

You’ll need to come prepared, with:

 

  • Two forms of photo ID. Your passport & driver’s licence should be effective.
  • Immigration documents. These are used to establish the length of time you are likely to remain in the United States.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is assigned to each foreign business by the IRS.
  • An initial deposit amount: A minimum deposit is required across most banks. The deposit amount might be $10, or it could reach as high as $100.
  • A U.S. postal address. Not having a permanent address in the United States is likely to be your biggest problem. Banks insist—and rightly so—on you providing proof of residency and identity, in order to offer a stable guest environment.

 

How Can a Foreign Company Open a US Bank Account?

It isn’t very easy to open a US bank account as a foreign company. Sorry, but we needed to get started right away with the truth blow — we don’t want you to be disappointed by the time you realize it isn’t just going to fall into your lap.

 

Yep, and it’s time consuming too. Hopefully, your business is big enough to have a financial team to sort all this out. Otherwise, you might be spending less time working on expanding your business, and more on opening an overseas bank account.

 

With all that in mind, let us just assure you that it is possible. And we’re going to show you how!

 

The most important thing you need to know is that your business needs to be registered in America. The USA’s banking laws are extremely strict so, even once you have registered in a state, you will have to go and prove who you are in person. Again, this is time consuming. Not to mention that it costs a fair amount of money (depending on where you are in the world).

 

Additionally, when you open an American bank account, you are signing up to be part of the United State’s tax system. You will have to deal with all of these fees and consequences as a result. This means that your company will have to file US tax returns every year to ensure you comply with their standards.

 

Why Would You Want a US Bank Account as a Foreign Company?

 

Usually, you will want your business to have a US bank account because it makes working with American clients a lot easier. This way, you won’t have to put up with currency exchange rates — and neither will your customers!

 

Before you get too ahead of yourself, however, you must realize the implications of this account. When you eventually exchange your US dollars into your local currency, you will pay an exchange fee which may or may not set you back a few hundred coins. And, as we mentioned earlier, the tax consequences you will face if you don’t submit American tax returns properly.

 

Bank teller helping bank employee

The Bottom Line

 

The laws that govern bank accounts for foreigners are federal, although they are applied locally. Be sure to check the various document requirements and processes, and try to stay patient as you work to secure your US bank account. After all, no one said opening a US bank account for non-residents was easy, did they?

 

But don’t worry, we promise that we can help you in some way, shape, or form!

 

While we can’t offer a solution to every piece of the bank account puzzle, we can help you secure a virtual street address. You’ll gain a street address and virtual mailbox immediately, and any mail will be sorted to a secure mail facility where highly-trained handlers will scan and upload each of your letters onto your dashboard.

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How to Get a Mailbox with a Physical Address

Deciding to get a mailbox with a physical address is one of the smartest choices you can make. There are so many advantages (which we will get into in a moment). However, if you’ve never done it before, renting mailboxes can seem like quite a daunting, confusing task.

 

That’s why we are here to help you out.

 

But before we get into the specifics, we just want to make you aware of all the benefits getting UPS PO boxes (or whatever “rent an address for mail” service you choose to use) can bring you.

 

Ready to get into it? Let’s go!

 

The US flag on top of the globe

The Advantages of a PO Box With a Real Address

 

While there are more benefits than the 5 we are going to talk about, these are the main ones (in our humble opinion, of course).

 

Letter and Parcel Security

 

Since PO boxes and other UPS personal mailboxes are safely stowed within the post office, you won’t have any parcels or packages left on your doorstep. Ultimately, this alone ramps up the security and decreases the likelihood of your mail being swiped.

 

However, it runs deeper than this.

 

Even though the UPS mailbox rentals are inside an already super-safe environment, they are individually locked too. Sometimes, this will be via a code, but more commonly, it’s a key system. Just bear in mind that there is only one primary key holder per PO box. (Not that this should make much difference, to be honest)!

 

You Acquire a Permanent Mailing Address

 

Are you moving a lot? Are you flying your whole life overseas to start another life in a new country? Or are you living in an off the grid type of situation? Whatever it is, with a UPS mailbox address, you will have a stable place for friends, family, and companies to send you parcels, packages, and letters.

 

Keeps Your Home Address Private

 

It isn’t a great feeling when you think about how many businesses, customers (if you run a company), and people know your home address. You are putting trust in multiple locations when, in actual fact, you don’t know a quarter of them!

 

With a PO box, you can give registration forms and such this address so you don’t run the risk of having your privacy invaded by unprofessional, unethical fellows.

 

Quicker Mail Delivery

 

All UPS private mailboxes are already inside a postal facility. So, your parcels, packages, and letters will be delivered quicker than if you used your home or business address.

 

Great For Your Business

 

Business mailbox rentals are becoming increasingly popular too! Why? Because they’re cheaper than renting office space, some professionals don’t want their customers knowing they work from home, and clients can rest easy thanks to the company’s fixed, UPS business address.

 

Okay, we’re sure you were already convinced before you clicked on this so we’ll move along now!

 

UPS Store Mailbox

 

With a UPS personalized mailbox, you get so much bang for your buck. We’ll talk specific costs in just a moment but first, let’s have a gander at everything you’ll receive.

 

For starters, you will acquire a mailbox with a street address. Not only does this look more professional if you run a business, but it also won’t cause registration forms to glitch.

 

Plus, you can receive packages from all US mail carriers, not just the USPS. You don’t tend to find this with other private mailbox rentals. And, you can pick up your letters or parcels whenever you can! No really, we mean it. Regardless of the time, you can access your mail since UPS is open to their renters 24 hours a day.

 

Oh, and everything in the facility is managed, maintained, and guarded by UPS store certified experts. You will feel right at home when you walk in the door.

 

We think they are pretty great (if you hadn’t guessed).

 

How Much Does a Mailbox Cost?

 

It is quite hard to give you a hard and fast rule where UPS store PO box prices are concerned. Why? Because there isn’t a hard and fast rule! It all depends on where you live — the state and the city. Although, we can say that they usually range from $20 to $25.

 

PS: UPS mailbox prices run a lot cheaper than your traditional PO box, which only gives you a number and not a valid address.

 

A location pin on a map

Can I Use a PO Box as a Legal Address?

 

In short, no. You only get a number when you rent a PO box. However, acquiring a UPS street address and mailbox will allow you to use it as your legal address.

How to Rent a PO Box

 

If you’ve come this far, you’re serious about getting a PO box. You must be itching to know exactly how. Well, you’re in luck because we’re about to scratch that itch for you!

 

Step One: Location

 

You need to get a PO box somewhere that suits you. Whether that’s near your office or home, it doesn’t matter. Just know you’ll need to go there pretty much every week.

 

Step Two: Choose a Size

 

Typically, post offices will have boxes in the following sizes:

 

  • Extra small
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • Extra large

 

These all come with different price tags (naturally). Our advice is to ensure that you are comfortable with the cost before you dive headfirst into this whirlpool.

 

Step Three: Register Your PO Box

 

 

You have two options here — to register in person or online. It’s your choice.

 

These days, internet registration methods are used more frequently than the other. So we’ll focus on this one:

 

 

  1. Go to the USPS website.
  2. Search for a branch near you by typing in your zip code
  3. Choose your preferred box size
  4. Pick a payment plan (3, 6, or 12 months)
  5. Click on “reserve now”
  6. Travel to the branch you selected and
    pick up your keys!

 

See? It’s easy when you know how!

 

A BBB award in a desk

Is There an Even Better Solution? You Bet! Take a Look

 

Even though we live in a world that increasingly relies on digital communication – text messages, email, direct messaging, etc. – there’s still a need for a mailbox with a physical address, especially if you are running a business.

 

At the same time, there are a lot of drawbacks to using a traditional PO Box through the USPS, not the least of which is the fact that you are going to be physically restricted to a single location where you’re able to pick up your mail.

 

Thankfully though, with a service like our own here at US Global Mail, you won’t have to worry about the headache and hassle a PO Box brings to the table while still taking full advantage of all the benefits a mailbox with a physical address has to offer.

 

Below we highlight just a few of the advantages you’ll get leveraging our service, the perfect mix between a PO Box and a “virtual mail solution”!

 

Say Hello to Your “Forever” Address

 

When you choose to take advantage of our mailbox services you get a physical street address that you can use as your “forever” address, completely separating your mail from your business or your residence.

 

This eliminates a lot of the headache and hassle that a change of address with the USPS inevitably involves but also guarantees that none of your mail gets “lost in the shuffle” when you are changing addresses, either.

 

Combine that with the extra security and anonymity that this kind of mailing set up affords you and it’s easy to see why so many people are taking advantage of services like ours.

 

The outside of a post office building

Never Drive to the Post Office Again

 

Another of the biggest advantages you’ll enjoy when you set up your mail service here at US Global Mail is never having to drive to a physical post office location ever again.

 

Instead you’ll be able to create a physical street address to receive ALL of your mail and packages, establishing a central “collection point” for your mail that can then be rerouted and sent to you directly no matter you are. Considering that people spend over 500 hours annually behind a wheel, this can be a big time saver for everyone.

 

Do Virtual Mailboxes Have Unlimited Storage Space?

 

Traditional PO Boxes can get pretty expensive, especially if you are expecting a daily flood of mail (like you might if you are running a business).

 

Larger sized PO boxes in particular are very expensive, but the average rate of a USPS mailbox it’s anywhere between $25 and $40 – and you’re always limited to the size of the box that you have rented.

 

With our private mail acceptance service, though, you don’t have to worry about any of those issues any longer. We offer a variety of flexible mail service solutions that include unlimited incoming mail acceptance, guaranteeing that you don’t have to worry about important pieces of mail getting returned to sender just because there wasn’t enough space in your box.

 

Combine that with all the other benefits we provide here at US Global Mail and it’s easy to see why so many people choose our services time and time again.

 

Paper mail and a mailbox on a computer screen

Effortless 24/7 Access to Your Mail

 

You are always in full control of your US Global Mail virtual mailbox, too.

 

Not only will you have 24/7 access to your mail and your packages through our virtual service, but you’re also going to have access to images of all envelopes and boxes as they come in.

 

Every single time a new piece of mail comes in for you a picture will be taken of the outside envelopes/packages, a message will be forwarded to you via email or text directly, and you’ll know exactly when your mail has arrived (almost in real time).

 

We can digitize any mail that you request to have digitized so that you have instant access to those letters and those documents, can pick and choose the mail that gets forwarded to you in the mail that gets shredded and disposed of, and can even have checks deposited into your bank account (at your instruction and your discretion) without you having to run those kinds of errands, too.

 

Reliable Mail Forwarding

 

Because of the relationships we have with global shipping partners we can help you save upwards of 80% on retail shipping fees when you want your mail forwarded to you.

 

We can set up regular mail forwarding that make sure you get the mail that accumulates at your US Global Mail box on a regular basis, with many of our clients choosing to take advantage of weekly or monthly deliveries that make their life a lot more organized.

 

We also accept packages from all shipping partners (USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) and can guarantee that you’ll get your packages when you need them without delay and without having to spend a small fortune on shipping, too. In fact, you can calculate your shipping costs here.

 

Handshake with a security lock symbol above

Final Verdict

 

At the end of the day, it’s been our mission to make sure that the process for taking advantage of all that a virtual mailing service has to offer combined with a street address is as simple and as straightforward as possible.

 

We are proud of the reputation that we’ve built up offering our US Global Mail solutions to more than 80,000 customers and are continuously looking for ways to add even more value to our mailing services.

 

If you’re interested in leveraging the benefits we provide, or just want more details about how to make the most of the mailbox with a physical address services we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

 

 

We are based out of Houston, Texas and you can reach us through our online chat and support tools or can drop us a line through our toll-free number (1-866-596-8965) during our normal business hours.

 

Be sure to have a look at the different mailing services we offer, with a range of plans designed to accommodate individuals, small families and organizations, and larger businesses that aren’t satisfied with being handicapped by a physical PO Box.

 

For more details, reach out to us today!

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How To Register An LLC With A Virtual Address

Deciding to start a new business, is stressful of its own. You probably put together a business plan, have hired some industry experts & consultants, and probably poured in a decent amount of money already.

 

The last thing you need to focus your attention on, is the bureaucratic side of filing your Limited Liability Company (LLC.) And as much as we all like free enterprise and streamlined systems, the law is the law, and you can’t argue with “uncle Sam”

 

You may be asking yourself; Do I need physical address for LLC?

 

You will need to have a registered agent address, if you are registering a Limited Liability Company (LLC,) a corporation or a Limited Liability Partnership.

 

Business people budget planning on paper

 

Let’s go through this step by step:

 

What Qualifies As A Business Address?

 

Any address that can receive the paper work that will be sent from the secretary of State, can be used to register your LLC.

 

You may be thinking of big tall glass buildings in the middle of a metropolis, but the reality is, most businesses don’t necessarily fit the description of a service that would be located in a high rise building. And there are many virtual businesses as well (eCommerce is big these days if you haven’t heard.)

 

Many people will decide to use their home address as their business address. Although an option, it is probably not the most viable one. Consider the security risks you are putting yourself (and your family) into, with telling everyone online where you live.

There Is A Better Way

 

Security concerns are not the only reason you would want to avoid using your home address; it also does not look very professional. Some businesses decide to register a PO Box which makes things even more complicated, when trying to explain to customers why your office is in the Post Office building.

 

All kidding aside, there is a big need for actual physical addresses that do not compromise your privacy and still make your business looking sharp. The first option to consider is actually renting out office space. If you do not plan on being on location however, you probably would like to opt in for a Virtual Address.

 

Location on a map

 

What Is A Virtual Address?

 

A Virtual Address is a physical address that you are able to receive mail to, without actually being physically present there.

 

Paper mail arrives at that address and from there is scanned & uploaded into your virtual mailbox. Making it easy to access all your mail online, from your phone, with the click of a button. It is a bit similar to e-mail in a way, with the advantage of having your mail items shipped to your physical location, stored to be accessed at another time, or even shredded if you desire to get rid of sensitive information.

 

Virtual addresses give you the power of handling your mail, remotely.

 

Can You Register an LLC to a PO Box?

 

While you definitely have the opportunity to register your LLC to a PO Box (most states throughout the US) – any address that can receive mail and the paperwork necessary to finalize the registration of your business is allowed – there are a lot of issues that can arise should you choose to go down this road.

 

For starters, some states and some municipalities are heavily going to encourage you to use your physical, residential address if you were going to otherwise use a PO Box to get that LLC up and running.

 

This is a bad idea for a couple of different reasons, the least of which is having all of your business and residential mail sent to the same location, mixing things up and causing headache and hassle that way.

 

You also lose a lot of privacy when you take this approach. Having your physical address attached to an LLC that you own eliminates any of the potential anonymity that you would have enjoyed with traditional LLC protections, but it also opens up the potential for unhappy or dissatisfied customers (for a variety of different reasons) to know exactly where you live just by looking up the address that your LLC is registered to.

 

Registering your LLC to a PO Box also ties to that PO Box address and limits you to receiving mail at that specific physical location. All of your business mail, packages, and parcels are going to have to go to that PO Box and that postal office – and some post office is aren’t going to be all that excited about you spending a small amount of money on a small PO Box but having a huge volume of mail come flooding in a day-to-day basis.

 

You might also want to move shop later down the line in your businesses life, and having that address changed is going to take a little bit of extra time when you go the PO Box route. You’re much better off having a more traditional business address for LLC sign up – even if that means moving forward with LLC virtual address options like the ones available through US Global Mail, for example.

 

This cuts down significantly on the hassle and the headache that you would have had to contend with otherwise. You’ll be able to streamline your business registration process, you’ll fill the need a business address (physical address) would have left otherwise, and you’ll be able to rapidly move through the LLC registration process in a way that a traditional USPS PO Box have made possible.

 

Person sitting on a chair with a dilemma

 

Can I Use a PO Box for My LLC?

 

As far as using a PO Box for your LLC is concerned – not necessarily registering your business to that address but instead just using that PO Box to receive mail – there are a lot fewer issues or hurdles to clear here.

 

Lots of business owners choose to register their business under a specific, physical address but then have a separate mailing address – almost always a PO Box or a virtual business address for LLC purposes specifically – to avoid having unhappy or dissatisfied clients and customers show up on their doorsteps.

 

There’s also a lot of extra anonymity that a virtual business address for LLC purposes provide, especially if you choose to incorporate your LLC in states like Nevada or in the District of Columbia – or even potentially overseas.

 

You wouldn’t want to use a physical address that is paper trailed to you and your identity in those cases, just another reason to consider moving forward with business addresses for LLC operations that are attached to PO boxes or virtual addresses.

 

Virtual address options from a company like US Global Mail do open up a world of flexibility and customization that you wouldn’t get with a traditional PO Box business mailing address.

 

You’ll be able leverage all of the scanning and recording solutions provided by a company like US Global Mail, you’ll be guaranteed to be able to accept packages and parcels from every delivery service imaginable, and you’ll have a lot more control over what happens to your mail – as well as how and when it is delivered – than you would when working with the United States Postal Service.

 

Those are just a couple of reasons to consider choosing a company like US Global Mail when you need a business address service.

 

How Do I Create a Virtual Business Address?

 

The step-by-step process for creating an LLC virtual address for your business is rather simple and straightforward, but it really all starts with you first figuring out what type of address you want to create, how important anonymity is, and where you want your virtual address to be “located”.

 

For starters, there’s always a lot more legitimacy, a lot more credibility, and a lot more confidence built right into physical street addresses as opposed to PO Box numbers.

 

If you’re going to create a business address for LLC purposes it’s a good idea to make it a street address whenever possible, especially if you’re going with virtual services like those from US Global Mail.

 

Secondly, you’ll want to consider the value and importance of anonymity where the very least the ability to separate your business from your personal life as much as possible – and that all starts with the business mailing address you choose for your operation.

 

Even completely legitimate business owners understand the importance of separating your business and your personal life.

 

Whenever you have products and services to sell there’s always the potential for customers to become disgruntled through absolutely no fault of your own, especially when people are handing over their hard-earned money and have very specific expectations about what they are going to receive.

 

There isn’t a person in the world of business (including attorneys and accountants) that would recommend you use your personal, physical residential address when you need a business address for LLC purposes.

 

Instead these professionals are almost always going to recommend that you choose a business mailing address that is totally separate from that, with enough “distance” from that address to your physical residential address that they cannot be easily linked together with one another.

 

Lastly, because LLC virtual addresses can be created for almost any city or state in the US you’ll want to think about how the location of your new “physical address” is going to impact the perception of your business.

 

Choosing a virtual address in a major metropolitan city lends a certain amount of credibility to your address for sure, especially if your ideal prospects or customers are based in a similar geographic region.

 

Basing your new virtual business address for LLC purposes in a smaller town or rural community may lend a bit of a “smalltime” kind of feel to your operation, and if your ideal prospects or perfect customers do not fit that kind of mold you really handicapped yourself quite a bit.

 

Think about how you want your business mailing address to add to the legitimacy and credibility of your business and then choose an address that makes the most sense. Companies like US Global Mail can help you navigate that landscape easily and efficiently.

 

Location pin on a map over california

How To Register An LLC With US Global Mail

 

There is a simple 3 part process to this:

 

  1. Sign upWhen you do so, you will receive a physical address in the US. That can be used for your business as a mailing destination and an address that can be displayed on business cards and other marketing brochures.

 

  1. Complete the 1583 form. Mail fraud in this country, is growing at a rapid rate and doesn’t have any plans of slowing down. Ensuring the security of our customers, is of utmost significance and a top priority here. Completing this mandatory form, will grant us permission to receive & process mail on your behalf.

 

  1. Access your mail anytimeNo more rushing to the post office, standing in line, just to open up a mail box that is an empty. Using your virtual mailbox, you can check everything online and have any action taken (such as scanning, or shipping) with the click of a button.

 

At the end of the day, those that need a business address but do not necessarily want to deal with the headache and hassle (and lack of control) that a PO Box at the local USPS postal office involves are going to want to take a much closer look at LLC virtual address options.

 

US Global Mail is an industry leader in the nontraditional mailing service business, trusted by entrepreneurs and business owners all over the country to give them far more control flexibility, and utility out of their mailing needs than the USPS ever could.

 

You’ll want to have a close look at the options available for a virtual business address from US Global Mail ASAP. There are a variety of different solutions available to fit your needs and your budget, helping you build the perfect mailing solution for your business without any real extra effort on your behalf whatsoever!

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Travelling Mailbox VS US Global Mail

In this blog, we will be taking about Travelling Mailbox.

If you have been following this thread for a while, you will have noticed our effort to take a deep look into all the available mail forwarding & virtual address companies, and help people understand some of the core differences, companies you can consider and companies you’d like to stay away from.

 

Here at US Global Mail, we are confident we offer the best service & at the lowest price on the market (guaranteed) & have proven to be the leader in mail forwarding, for over 20 years. With over 80,000 customers under our belt, US Global Mail is the largest virtual address & virtual mailbox firm in the US.

 

Today we will be looking at another service; Travelling Mailbox.

 

The main difference between companies like iPostal1, Post Scan Mail (etc) and US Global Mail has to do with whether mail is being processed in-house, or outsourced and independently owned pack & ship stores. Additionally, companies such as iPostal1, target a market of people focused on acquiring prestigious locations for their businesses, or conveniently located places where they can go and pick up their mail.

 

Travelling Mailbox is no different than any of the aforementioned services, and in fact they too offer several addresses throughout the country. In an effort to avoid repeating ourselves as to “why” that’s a bad idea, read the full explanation here.

 

To dig in deeper, we will see in more detail a great number of reasons why Travelling Mailbox is probably not your best option when it comes to mail forwarding.

 

Paper mail being delivered across the world

 

Shipping Rates

 

The advantage of working with a Virtual Mail company, is the fact that usually such services, process a good number of snail mail and ship an even larger amount. That essentially means, that shipping companies such as the UPS, are able to offer more favorable discounts to the company itself, which is passed down to the customer.

 

If you decide to move forward with Travelling Mailbox, unfortunately they do not share those savings with the customers but instead, simply offer retail shipping rates. If you are unsure what you should be paying for shipping, or looking to compare prices, check out our dynamic & accurate shipping calculator.

 

US Global Mail saves a lot of money when working with companies like FedEx & the UPS. And because we really care about offering the best bang for your buck, we pass on those discounts to you. It is an accurate estimate, that when forwarding your mail with us, you get up to 80% off on shipping costs. Travelling Mailbox unfortunately, not only does not come anywhere near those types of discounts; they don’t offer any discounts at all.

 

Shipping calculator price comparison

 

The monthly fee 

 

Why pay $15 per month, when you can only pay $10?

 

US Global Mail has a lower monthly fee, but it gets better; we also offer more perks than Travelling Mailbox does.

 

Here’s a short list of the additional benefits you get, when working with US Global Mail:

 

  • UNLIMITED incoming mail
  • UNLIMITED forwarding addresses
  • FREE letter storage for 180 days
  • FREE package storage for 30 days
  • FREE insurance up to $100 on every shipment
  • Consolidation & Repackaging on request*
  • Pick-up of documents on request*
  • Automatic forwarding options
  • Form 1583 Online Notarization Service
  • Wind-down option for easy account closing
  • Customs Paperwork Assistance

 

When everything is said and done, you are getting hundreds of dollars of additional value per month, not given to you by Travelling Mailbox.

 

And…even our monthly fee is 35% cheaper!

 

List of additional features offered with the signup of a virtual mailbox

 

Additional Fees

 

Unfortunately, so many mail forwarding & virtual mailbox companies, find a way to nickle & dime you for every bit of the service. As an example, Travelling Mailbox charges handling fees of $0.25/item after their limit, while US Global Mail offers unlimited handling with no fees at all.

 

Here’s another example: handling fees per box you receive.

 

US Global Mail doesn’t charge a dime, while Travelling Mailbox will charge you $4.95 per package.

 

We could go on and on: check deposit fees, shipment processing fees, low caps on letter storage and additional charges above those caps, limits on the number of users per account (unless you upgrade) etc.

 

The bottom line is: US Global Mail has transparent, straightforward pricing with no hidden charges that “miraculously” only show up after you have signed up for an annual plan already. What good would it be to us, to have people signing up for our service, and then cancelling the next year because we’re treating them with such ripoff tactics?

 

No.

 

We want to work with you, and help offer a streamlined virtual mail system that can help you keep track of all your snail mail, and the fraction of what you will pay the common mail forwarding service.

 

A torn out piece of paper with a note under neath that says: no hidden fees

 

Reviews

 

Speaking of customer service, we are the epitome of customer service in this industry. One of the biggest areas of our budget as a company, is spent on our customer support personnel. And we are glad to pay that kind of money! We are vigorous in hiring the best talent in the marketplace. Which is why we consider such employees as investments, rather than expenses.

 

We want to offer all customers, the best possible experience. And that can only be done if we employ talented & well treated customer service people. If they’re happy with our workplace environment, that will transfer over in your phone conversations or e-mail correspondence with them. It’s a win, win, win situation. And we couldn’t be prouder!

 

Below you will get a clear picture of who has the most well reviewed service on the market – both in qualitative and quantitative terms.

 

Trustpilot review comparison between US Global Mail & Travelling Mailbox

 

These reviews come from Trust Pilot, the most reputable review platform online, where every reviewer gets to be confirmed & verified as a genuine customer of the service.

 

Let’s analyze some of the data real quick:

 

Not only does US Global Mail have the highest review scoring, but in every single rating category, from “Bad” to “Excellent” – we outperform everyone; the smallest number of “Bad” reviews & highest number of “Excellent” reviews. And Travelling Mailbox does not seem to have enabled this customer review platform as part of their program, or at least it’s not ranking anywhere in the top 4 mail forwarding services.

 

When it comes to streamlined mail management & virtual addresses, the choice is simple!

 

For any questions, you can contact us here.

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Earth Class Mail VS US Global Mail

In today’s blog, we will be reviewing Earth Class Mail.

 

We have covered extensively the reasons why offering virtual addresses in several locations and outsourcing your mail for customers is a terrible and immoral idea. 

 

As a refresher, here are the top 3 reasons:

 

  • Increased security risk when it is outsourced to a smaller subcontractor
  • Mail theft & warehouse security
  • Location is irrelevant for virtual mailboxes; mail is uploaded to the cloud – so the location of your virtual address does not practically matter. 

 

Virtual mailbox displayed on the screen of a mobile phone

 

In today’s blog we will be exploring another Mail Forwarding company that you may come across; Earth Class Mail. 

 

Like iPostal1, they too advertise the “hundreds and hundreds” of locations they offer. 

 

As mentioned before, this is nothing better than a Cable Company (TV) pitching you to switch provider & get 1000 more channels that you’ll never watch.



Unlike iPostal1 though, in the case of Earth Class Mail things become even more problematic…

 

Here is an example of a location offered on their website.

 

Map showing the location of a pack & ship store for Earth Class Mail

 

“The Perfect Portland Address” they say..

 

Read the address again and you’ll see it’s nothing more than a PO Box…

 

Your virtual address is now a PO Box in Portland; very professional if you’re looking to register your business there (irony.)

Were you also interested in setting up a Business Listing with Google? 

 

There’s an issue with that…Google does not accept PO Boxes for the postcard verification. 

 

So what exactly is the value in offering a PO Box as a Virtual Address? 

 

No value really as:

 

  • It doesn’t look professional for business purposes
  • You can’t use it on Google
  • You can simply register a PO Box yourself and avoid the upsell
  • Earth Class Mail charges an arm & a leg, compared to what the Post Office will charge you.

 

Hand holding paper mail exiting through a computer screen

Pricing

 

Since we did bring up pricing, it’s probably worth going over the exact details on that. Objectively speaking, no matter what Mail Forwarding & Virtual Mailbox competitor you ask, the most expensive service is offered by Earth Class Mail. 

 

The lowest price you’ll ever get with Earth Class Mail is $39/mo and that does not include additional fees that come with the service. 

 

US Global Mail on the other hand only costs $10/mo and with a ton of Free Perks that Earth Class Mail will upsell you for. Here’s a list of those perks US Global Mail gives you:

 

List of perks & services offered with the signup of a virtual mailbox

 

So why is there such a big difference in pricing? 

 

For one, Earth Class Mail is a service strictly focused on business customers. Examples of those would be large law firms, accounting firms etc – that have a big volume of mail coming and need streamlined mail management. 

 

Another reason is the fact that US Global Mail is a larger company and with a lot more customers, meaning that we’re able to offer discounted rates not only on our monthly membership, but also when it comes to shipping (carriers will give greater discounts, the more mail items you send through them.)

 

Person tracking mail packages in a warehouse

 

Reviews

 

It’s easy for someone to tout their own horn. But what if you have an objective market-place in which people call out the best service? 

 

What is more transparent than reviews from customers who have signed up and used the service? 

 

Here is how we compare to Earth Class Mail (and even other services.)

 

Review comparison board for 4 mail forwarding companies

 

As you can see, we have far better ratings than anyone in the industry!

 

Additionally, Earth Class Mail has only received 2 reviews, compared to US Global Mail which has received over 700 reviews at the time of writing this article.

 

US Global Mail has been around since 1999, has over 80,000 customers under its belt and has been proven to be the leader in virtual addresses and mail forwarding. We do not take such an honor lightly and treat every customer as if it were our first!

 

For any any questions, you can message us here.