Working from home is one of the greatest perks of entrepreneurship for many small business owners. No commute, no dress code, the ability to throw in a load of laundry throughout the day … it's no wonder that so many people are interested in working remotely, and entrepreneurs have the ability to guarantee permission from the boss.
But if you are newer to starting a business and haven’t quiteeee gotten all of your foundations set up (you need this free checklist, in that case) you might not have gotten to the point where you have to formally submit your business address. As you start getting things set up, you’ll notice there are alot of instances where you need to put down your business address.
👉 For your local business license
👉 For registering with your state
👉 For your EIN application
👉 For your bank accounts
And that’s just the beginning. You even have to put your business address in the footer of your email marketing system to be legally compliant! Which begs the question - if you work from home, does that mean you put your home address as your business address?
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Using your home address is certainly an option, and can have several advantages for business owners. Especially for those that run a completely online business and don’t need anyone to come see them for work.
Using your home address allows you to get your business mail directly at home. There’s also no need to commute to an office each day, which drastically increases your flexibility and work-life balance.
There are also quite a few financial benefits to using your home address as your business address. First, you’re already paying your rent or mortgage, and setting up your office within your home means there aren’t any additional expenses for paying for your office space. On top of that, you’re able to get tax deductions for using a portion of your home as your office.
Related Post: Why You Might Not Need Business Licenses
However, while there are some pros, there are quite a few cons to using your home address as your business address. You’ll want to carefully consider both the pros and cons before making a decision for yourself.
Depending on who your clientele is, and what industry you are a part of, using a home address could give others the impression that you are running either a less-established or less-professional operation.
There may be local regulations in place that will not allow you to use your home address as your business address. Before making a final decision, you should check with your HOA, if you have one, and also with your city's zoning to ensure that you can run your business from your home.
If your business requires inventory, equipment, employees working with you, or meeting space for clients, you may find that working from home just doesn’t provide the space you need. Or, even if it provides enough space now, you may want to consider the future. If you are looking to scale your operations, will you need more space in the long run?
Perhaps the largest concern with using your home address as your business address is privacy. By nature, a business address must be well-known and easy to find. If you’re using your home address, that meansanyone could find that address.
Frankly, we believe that the cons (especially the lack of privacy) vastly outweigh the pros in this situation, and highly recommend that you do not use your home address as your business address. Or, at least not completely. You have the ability to use your home address for official business (think taxes, business licenses, etc.), and then alternatives for other address needs that are outward facing (like on your website, and within your email marketing). So, what alternative options do you have?
Any of the above options can work well, and we’d recommend choosing one of those instead of using your home address as your legal address for your business. And now that you’ve made your decision, it’s time to start getting your legal foundation set up for your business! Our free No-Nonsense Checklist for Starting a Business will help walk you through every step - you’ll have a legally legit business in no time!
Amanda Warfield is a simplicity-focused content marketing and launch strategist, author of the book Chasing Simple Marketing, and host of Chasing Simple - a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their marketing and business. She traded in her classroom lesson plans for speaking and educating creative entrepreneurs on sustainably fitting content marketing into their business, without it taking over their business - so that they have time to grow their business.
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