The Benefits of a PO Box for Small Businesses

I have several small businesses that I operate outside of my day job. For each of those, including a flash mob company and blogging business, I use a PO Box for my address instead of my home address. I think that is an important protection and I encourage all business owners that don’t have a physical office to do the same.

Personal Security and Privacy

The biggest reason to keep your personal address confidential is for privacy and personal security. I don’t imagine an upset customer would ever show up at my door, but you never know.

I would much rather use a PO Box for the public domain registration address for my websites and for billing and correspondence than my home.

New business filings are also public, and filling out forms with some companies may get you added to a bunch of mailing lists. Would you rather the junk mail come to your home or a remote location? I know I don’t want that coming to my house.

You also get the perk of keeping an address even if you move in town and the post office holding all of your mail if it overflows while you are out of town.

Mail Security

If you get checks and contracts in the mail, it is much safer for them to go into a locked box inside of a post office than a mailbox in front of your house.

One of the most common sources of identity theft is mail stolen from a mailbox. Keep your business safe by sending your mail to a locked box.

Professionalism

Customers may find your business more professional if you have a physical office instead of working at home. However, renting office space may be expensive and something you are not interested in.  Just like renting a professional meeting room for meetings or other events, getting a PO Box can make a lot of sense for looking professional to your clients.

A PO Box is a happy medium. It is much more affordable than an office, starting as low as $28 per year. With PO Box, you are showing that your business is legitimate and is more than just a hobby you run from your home office.

Get Out More Often

Full-time work at home professionals often complain about the isolation of working at home every day. A PO Box gives you another reason to get out of the house, enjoy some fresh air, and possibly even experience human interaction.

If you live in an urban area, you might even luck out and get a PO Box close enough to walk to!

Bonus Benefits

  • If you don’t get mail very often, the post office has a cool feature that may be useful. Every time you get mail in the PO Box, the post office can send you an email letting you know you’ve got mail. That way, you don’t have to check in too often for no reason.
  • If you have an employee, you can give them a key to pick up the mail without giving up home security.
  • Street addressing is now available. Instead of using PO BOX 12345 you can use something like 1000 Main Street #12345, making your business look more professional and less PO Box like.
About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

Comments

  1. Getting a PO Box is so important if you don’t have a physical office outside of the home. I love that my post office offers a suite address. They also have an option where you can have FedEx delivered there (that wasn’t always the case). You fill out a form and leave your signature on file.

    The email alerts are an awesome time saver as well. Most of the time. Unfortunately I get a bunch of garbage mail as well as mail from the last box owner which sends me email alerts. Still, it’s a lot better then wondering if there’s new mail there.

  2. I wish there was a way to get an inexpensive virtual po box that would just forward everything to your home address.

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