PO Box Vs Virtual Address

October 12, 2016 / Written by Corporate Suites Staff

New businesses, start-ups, and even major corporations are finding that a physical office just isn’t necessary. Digital offices are cost-effective and produce better work, but there’s still one problem: What is your address going to be? Whether it’s for receiving mail or legal purposes, your business will need a physical address, and that’s the one thing the internet can’t give us. Many businesses are settling for a P.O. Box, but this just isn’t the best option.

Therefore, something to seriously think about is a virtual office since it provides more benefits than just a mailing address. For starters, a virtual office can save you money, keep your business safer, and even boost your success as a whole. Let’s read on to find out about the benefits of a virtual office vs. a PO Box.

Difference between a Virtual Address and a PO Box

A PO box is a physical address that provides mail services for people and businesses. It is useful because it gives you an official mailing address to receive important documents, but there are some major drawbacks to a PO box to consider if you own a business. 

A virtual office is a service that provides a physical address and other benefits for businesses, but there are some differences between this type of business space and a PO Box. For example, you can have large packages delivered to the location, as well as receive important documents at no additional cost. 

Benefits of a Virtual Address

Many companies see a virtual office as an investment that brings them more clients and increases their revenue. From bringing your business more professionalism to allowing Google to advertise you, virtual offices bring you a good amount of benefits. Below are some of the top ones to bear in mind. 

#1: You’re Not Tied Down by a Physical Locale

If you travel often, being tied down to a single mailbox in a certain location means you have to either stay put or accept that packages are being sent back. Even more, if your employees work remotely, you could potentially be signing up for trouble making sure everyone has copies of the right letters or access to mail addressed to them. 

With a virtual address, all your letters will be scanned and forwarded to your email, where you can share them digitally with others or request that they are physically sent to your personal address.

#2: You Choose the Most Impressive Address, Not the Most Available

A prime address in the city shows status and success at a glance. With a virtual address, you can rent just the mailing address without the extra cost of the office, making it possible for even a small business to afford that shiny and impressive location to advertise on business cards or websites.

#3: It’s Like Having a Mailing Assistant

Running a successful business isn’t about being everywhere at once. It’s about making sure the right people are on the right jobs and saving you time. Virtual addresses have automated systems and with this system, personnel will scan full letters, forward them to you, manage packages and get rid of junk mail. 

#4: You Get the Benefits of an Office without the Cost

A virtual address can have amenities that a P.O. Box doesn’t, such as professional-looking conference rooms and office spaces to rent last-minute. This is where the high-end locale that you had in mind when you chose the address pays dividends. Also, good equipment, a convenient location and gorgeous city views might have a high price tag that would strain a small business budget if you didn’t have a virtual office.

#5: You Have More Privacy

PO boxes are much more private than a street address, which is good because when you’re having a party, a well-earned day off, or just don’t have to meet with clients outside of an appointment, having someone show up at your door is at best inconvenient. A virtual address protects your privacy, and the assistant that comes with it can inform you of a customer or other person that wishes to meet in. That way, you can arrange for an in-person appointment in advance and at a time that is convenient for everyone involved.

#6: Google Can Advertise You

PO boxes won’t get you advertised on Google since they show customers a post office, not an office or a storefront. The downside is that search engines will skip right over your business. 

A virtual office gives you a literal street address to place on your website or provides a reference for sites like Yelp that can give you a good review. The more popular the locale is, the higher it will take you up in the recommendations too. 

Even if a customer doesn’t plan on visiting your office when they search “the best businesses of your kind,” the closer you are to others, the greater your chances of Google advertising your company to them.

#7: No Time to Pick Up Mail? No Problem

If travel plans have you all over the place, or a crunch at work is keeping you busy, you may not have the chance to pop down to your P.O. Box and pick up the mail. If you forget about it altogether, you have urgent letters being ignored or packages getting sent back. And legal documents don’t take kindly to being ignored. 

A virtual address, on the other hand, leaves someone else in charge of making sure your packages are signed for and you’re notified when mail shows up. A simple email alert will keep you updated and for a small price will make sure you actually receive your mail as it arrives without fail. 

Have an important document that requires signing? You can even get legal support right at your door or office so no one has to drive out to your business when you can just ship it back.

#8: You can use Your Virtual Address as a Business Address

When you have a virtual address, it can also be used as your official business mailing address. This is the perfect way to separate professional and personal life when receiving mail or packages in general. 

#9: You Have a Real Physical Street Address

A virtual office has a real street address. Having an official physical business location is important in many industries, even if you don’t use it all the time for meetings or shipping purposes. It gives you a sense of legitimacy and credibility.

#10: You Have the Option to Switch if Needed

If your business grows, or you need additional locations for special events, virtual offices allow you to pick up an address that’s better suited for whatever purpose it is needed. You can also just change addresses without having to move lock stock and barrel to a new location.

#11: No Restrictions from Shipping Carriers

Virtual offices come with no restrictions from shipping carriers. If you’re ordering supplies, equipment, or important documents for your business and the package is large enough to require a carrier such as FedEx or UPS, then it can be delivered without restriction at any time of day. 

#12: Check Deposit Service

A virtual address allows you to use their check deposit service. Businesses need checks but often have problems depositing them at banks, which can delay payment or even bounce your account because of insufficient funds. 

#13: On-Demand 24/7 Access to Services

On-demand access to services means that you can get a virtual assistant or courier at any time of day. If your business suddenly receives an urgent request from a client, then there’s no need for you to be on-site in order to answer it right away with the help of someone else who is already working for you remotely

Questions around Virtual Addresses & PO Boxes

Here are some common questions that we are often asked by customers when it comes to virtual addresses and PO Boxes.

Is a PO box the same as a virtual address?

No. A PO box is a general term for any mailing address that you have that’s not at your home or office. With a virtual address, the main difference is that you have a real physical address. 

Can I use a PO box as a legal address?

No. A PO box is not a legal address and cannot be used as such for any official purposes, which includes signing important documents like contracts or affidavits. 

Should I use a virtual address for my LLC?

Yes. Virtual offices are perfect for LLCs or any other type of business you’re running through a legal entity with an official street address. This gives your company the credibility it needs when clients, customers and even potential investors see where they can contact you at all times.

Can you use PO Box for LLC?

No. A PO Box is not the same as a virtual address for an LLC or any other type of business entity you have registered with your state government. A physical street address allows you to use all on-demand services including 24/hr access, check deposit, and more while still giving your company credibility by having it associated with real estate.

How do virtual offices work?

Virtual addresses are businesses that will assign you an official physical street address where your company can receive mail, packages and other deliveries. 

On top of this, they also offer additional services including faxing or copy service, mail forwarding for important documents to be sent directly to the location of your choice at any time during business hours, package acceptance which allows you to pick up packages whenever it’s convenient for your schedule and a mailbox where customers can mail their documents directly.

What’s the difference between virtual office vs PO box?

The main difference is that with a PO Box, you have an address at a general delivery facility while a virtual office provides you with a real physical address. You can also use PO boxes for different purposes including residential or commercial delivery while virtual offices are primarily used by businesses that need to establish an official presence in their area of operation, which includes having access at any time during normal business hours and 24/hr. emergency courier service, should the need arise.

Is a virtual address safe?

Virtual office space offers a safe and secure place to receive mail, packages or deliveries from couriers. This ensures that all your company’s important documents get sent directly without having to worry about it getting lost in the shuffle of normal business operations because you don’t have a physical address for them yet.

How does a virtual PO Box work?

With a virtual PO Box, you will receive an official street address where your company can receive mail and packages –as well as other services such as faxing or copy service, direct mail forwarding for important documents to be sent directly to the location of your choice at any time during business hours and package acceptance which allows you to pick up any delivered packages whenever it’s convenient for your schedule.

Can you use a PO Box for packages?

Yes and no. The USPS only accepts packages that are light enough (less than 70 pounds) and fit in the cubby. If you are an LLC or any other type of business entity that is registered with the state government, you it is strongly recommended to use the physical street address that comes with a virtual office. 

With a physical street address, this allows you to use all on-demand services including 24/hr access, check deposit and more, while still giving your company credibility by having it associated with real estate.

Is there a cheaper alternative to a PO Box?

Yes, there is a cheaper alternative to PO Boxes, and it’s called virtual office space. Virtual offices are perfect for businesses that need an official street address but don’t have one yet or if you just prefer the convenience of having your company mail sent directly without having to worry about picking up packages from a general delivery facility yourself.

Does USPS have a virtual PO box?

USPS does not offer virtual PO Boxes, and as mentioned above, it’s strongly recommended that you use a physical address for an LLC or any other type of business entity you have registered with your state government. Virtual office space offers a safe and secure place to receive mail, packages or deliveries from couriers. This ensures that all your company’s critical documents get sent directly without having to worry about them getting lost. 

What cannot be delivered to a PO box?

The post office will not deliver to a PO box if the package is over 70 pounds or too large in size since they are unable to leave it at your door. Bear in mind also that FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. won’t deliver to a PO Box, even if the package is small.

What if a package doesn’t fit in my PO box?

If a package is too heavy or too large, it means that you would have to pick up all packages by yourself, which can be extremely inconvenient, depending on how far away from the business center you live. Most business owner’s time is already at a premium, so it is best to have the physical business address that comes with a virtual office to solve this problem and manage your time. 

Key Takeaways

As you can see, there are many advantages to virtual office vs P.O. Boxes, including a professional storefront address that requires no maintenance and has all the necessary equipment included in every package shipped! 

The more popular your business is online, the greater chance you have of being featured by Google advertising for your company. If you run a business with expensive equipment or you need to receive packages daily, a virtual office will solve all those problems and more.

Virtual offices allow you to avoid added expenses such as rent, utilities, supplies and maintenance contractors, while still offering a professional storefront business address for your customers. 

With a virtual address, not only are these things possible but they’re easy and affordable too! You never have to worry about mail being sent back or packages getting lost again with the added benefits of having a physical street address for your business as well as all those extra perks.

To learn more about the benefits of having your own address instead of P.O Boxes, contact our team today!