Your hobby has become a business, and you’re using our No-Nonsense Checklist to Starting a Business to make sure that you are dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s when it comes to getting everything squared away - legally. And, you’ve come to the decision that the cons of using your home address as your business address outweigh the pros, and definitely want to go a different route.
A great option that offers both professional credibility and safety? A Virtual Address service. These services give you a real address to use for all of your outwardly facing business needs, while also saving you from having to squeeze in trips to the Post Office each week.(Surely we aren’t the only ones that happen to forget to check ours, and end up with P.O. Box keys growing cobwebs …)
These services that offer virtual addresses for businesses will typically receive your mail, scan it digitally, email you what you’ve received, and then mail you the physical copies. That way, you can check your email fromanywhere in the world - anytime!
Sound too good to be true? They really aren’t - and we’ve done the research for you! We’re bringing you the pros and cons of 4 different virtual address options so that you can make this decision and keep working your way through that checklist!
iPostal1 seems to have been around the longest, and they are on the more affordable side with their lowest package starting at just $9.99 a month. With that package, you can receive 30 mail items per month, and your mail can be stored for 30 days for non-parcels, and 10 days for packages.
While this may be one of the most affordable options up front, be aware that there are many fees involved. Long-term storage fees (just like the other options) - as well as all inside scans and shredding fees - apply. In addition, some of the address locations charge pick-up fees for you to come get your mail. However, you do receive unlimited digital storage once you’ve had mail scanned.
Read our related post: Why You Need (& How to Get) a Business Address for Your LLC
This service is the one that The Contract Shop® uses, so we can stand firm behind their virtual address for business services.
At $7.98 a month, their starter plan comes in at the lowest rate of these options. With that $8, you receive 30 envelope scans and 10 content scans each month, with additional scans running $0.20 each. They also offer the longest non-parcel storage at 3 months, but the shortest package storage at just one week. After that, you must direct them on how to handle your mail or be charged a long-term storage fee. Shredding is also an included feature.
At $29 a month, Earth Class Mail is on the higher end price point-wise for this type of service. Especially because you can only receive up to 5 mail items a month at this service level. However, their second tier is $39/month, and with that one, you can receive up to 25 mail items each month.
The largest perk of Earth Class Mail as a virtual address for business is that they do not charge any extra for scanning (as long as the mail item is 20 pages or less). As you’ll see with the other options, most of them give you a limited number of scans before charging you. So, unlimited scanning is a major consideration if you plan to want a lot of your mail opened and scanned for you.
They also offer free shredding, and free unlimited cloud storage in addition to their free scanning. As for physical storage, mail items can be stored free for up to 30 days, and packages can be stored free for up to 10 days. After that, if you have not directed them on how to handle those items, you’ll be charged a fee per day.
Read our related post: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Using Your Home Address as Your Business Address
Stable has the highest starting point for monthly pricing, with its smallest package starting at $49 a month. However, they offer unlimited reception and unlimited scans. So, if you expect to receive a lot of mail and plan to have a large chunk of it scanned in, it might make sense to go with Stable for your virtual address for business.
Stable also offers free shredding and unlimited digital document storage. They also have the longest free package storage at 15 days for packages and 30 days for mail.
Deciding to use a virtual address for your business is a personal choice and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There are other options to explore instead of using one of these, but if you’re looking for a simple way to stay legal, look professional, and protect your personal information, these can be a great fit.
And if you’re ready to continue setting that strong legal foundation for your business, our No-Nonsense Checklist can walk you through each step you need to take!
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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