Residential vs Commercial Address

When you first launch your business, administrative details such as choosing a commercial address vs residential may seem unnecessary. However, there are benefits to selecting a commercial rather than residential address for your business address.

Commercial address vs residential address

What is a Residential Address?

A residential address refers to a physical location where someone lives. If you're running a home-based business, you may assume you have to use your residential address as your business address. You can, and it works in some cases, but doing this poses a risk to your personal privacy. It may also have a negative impact on your brand and make it difficult to receive shipments.

What is a Commercial Address?

A commercial address is given to a physical location based on zoning, and often the site has either a loading dock or tractor-trailer access. This can look like anything from a warehouse in an industrial park to a stand-alone store, an office building or even a shopping center. 

Regardless of whether you run your business from a residential or commercial location, it's best practice to have a professional business address. This can be accomplished by renting space at a commercial location or by employing a virtual office solution.

Benefits of a Commercial Address

Here are a few reasons why using a commercial address can benefit your business. 

Appear more legitimate and professional

There are a lot of scammy companies online and customers have their radar up. Listing a business address is important, and using a professional business address makes it easy to build trust with potential customers. This is because they'll be able to tell that you're running a legitimate company when they Google your location.

Maintains your privacy

Being visible online is important for finding new customers and nurturing existing ones. Using your residential address as your business address could put you and your family at risk, since your location will be easily accessible online. Having a commercial address prevents customers from doxing you or showing up at your home uninvited.

Allows you to become an LLC

If you're running a business in the United States, you may want to become an LLC (Limited Liability Company). This structure protects businesses from certain liability and debt. However, without a commercial address you may not be able to realize the full benefits of an LLC.

Have a space for in-person meetings

Commercial spaces allow for in-person meetings, staff, deliveries and more. However, if you don't require a commercial location full time, a virtual office may be a better option. Most virtual offices allow you to book meeting spaces for in-person events, presentations, interviews and more.

How to get a commercial address 

If your business requires a physical commercial location, then leasing an office, warehouse or store front provides you with both the space to run your business and a commercial address for clients to access your products or services.

Another way to get a commercial address is by utilizing the services of a virtual office, coworking space or mail service. Depending on your needs, you may only use this address for your business’ online presence. However, over time you may decide they can also forward your mail or act as your receptionist. You also may occasionally rent meeting rooms for important presentations, or to secure a quiet place to focus. 

Can't I just use a PO Box?

Many people assume a PO box address is the same as a virtual address. The biggest difference between a PO box and a virtual address is the PO box is not a legal address and cannot be used for anything official, such as operating a business. The main benefit of a virtual office is you receive a physical street address. This gives your company the credibility it needs, as well as a secure location to receive important mail.

Whether or not you operate your business from a commercial space, it's a good idea to use a commercial address as your business address. This adds legitimacy and professionalism to your company, and allows you to maintain your personal privacy no matter where you actually run your business from. Get a professional commercial address today.


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