11 Reasons Why Your Small Business Address Matters
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding what address to use for your business. The gut instinct for many solopreneurs and small businesses is to use your home address. It requires no additional work on your part and not additional cost. This seems to make a lot of sense. After all, the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that about half of small businesses are managed out of home offices.
But there are some downsides, including legal issues, to using a home address. Let’s take a quick look at some of them:
1. Lease and HOA rules.
Some home addresses cannot be used as a business address. Apartment and condominium communities may have documented policies—built into lease and community agreements—that prohibit residents from operating a business out of their homes. Single-family home communities may even ban home offices in HOA regulations.
2. Privacy concerns.
Listing a home address on legal contracts and other agreements with customers exposes personal information many businesses do not want to reveal. Customers could even show up on your front doorstep.
3. Zoning restrictions.
Some cities may have municipality codes that restrict or prohibit homeowners from operating a commercial business from their homes. Or, in some instances, only certain types of businesses may be permitted.
4. Negating LLC and corporation benefits.
Business owners may lose the benefits they receive by forming a limited liability company or corporation if they use their home address. Many of the protections that come with an LLC or corporation only apply if the business and personal activities are kept separate. If the court system deems these are intertwined, then you could be personally liable for business debts, penalties, and obligations.
So, those are reasons why you should not use your home address for your business. Instead, many solopreneurs and small businesses are turning to virtual office addresses like Davinci Virtual Offices. Beyond eliminating the problems that arise with home addresses, virtual office addresses offer various features that translate into tangible value. Let’s look at a few of them:
1. Brand impression.
First impressions count, and it is very difficult to change initial perceptions. A home address, or one in a less-than-desirable location, often plays a pivotal role in shaping customer first impressions. With virtual addresses, businesses are listed in the lobby directory, providing you with more visibility and credibility.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO).
Digital channels are critical for businesses of all sizes today. Local search marketing campaigns rely on a local business listing. When the listing missing elements, SEO (being found) is directly impacted. A business address is a requisite in these instances. Once you have a business address, you need to ensure that your listings are completed on Google My Business, Facebook Professional Services, Yelp for Business, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Bing Places for Business, and Foursquare for Business.
3. Meeting places for customers and partners.
You cannot meet customers or partners at your home office. Coffee shops and hotel lobbies are terrible meeting locations for business meetings. Hotel meeting space is expensive and lack many of the business amenities needed for a successful meeting. Instead, business owners need to look for virtual address solutions that also have rented meeting space on-premises that come with everything you need for a successful meeting.
4. Registered agent.
Any business seeking to form an LLC, corporation, or limited partnership must have a registered agent address in the state where it is registered to conduct business. In a nutshell, a registered agent is someone designed by the business who can receive important papers such as legal notices, tax information, and other government documents related to the business. If a home address is used, then it is listed in public records.
5. Business expansion.
When your business expands into new locations, you need a flexible, cost-effective means for securing local addresses. Many of the same earlier benefits also apply for these new addresses—from rented meeting room space to brand impressions.
6. Mail receipt and forwarding.
Businesses can have their mail sent to their virtual address and either pick it up or have it forwarded on a scheduled basis to wherever they want. The latter can be particularly convenient for business owners who travel frequently and cannot wait to receive mail until you get back to your home address.
7. Lobby greeter.
When customers and partners show up at your virtual address, they are greeted with a lobby greeter who can answer their questions and direct them to on-site meeting space in the event you have a meeting with them.
The old adage, “Location, location, location” is quite apropos when it comes to your business address. And in today’s digital age, we also need to add, “Services, services, services” to the list, where things such as rented meeting space, mail forwarding, and lobby greeters are just as important.