There are obvious frustrations that occur when running a virtual business at home. Confidentiality can be a big problem if you decide to register the business using a home address. Personal safety is another concern that often drives people to isolate their private lives from their business.
A virtual address is the intelligent and logical alternative. You rent a virtual office to receive business mail, and even have your calls handled by a virtual receptionist at the office you choose. This makes a lot of sense and it is not difficult to do, but there are some caveats depending on the region in which you live and work.
LLC Address Requirements
This information will apply in the United States. business registration rules, but most developed countries will be the same or very similar. The LLC registration requires the registration of a physical address for legal purposes. As already mentioned, a home address will satisfy your government, but it's not the smartest idea to expose your personal address to customers (not to mention the competitors!)
A regular post office box is an option in some states and provinces of the world, but you will need to check with your local and federal business registration authority to make sure it is authorized. However, a post office box is a bad idea in most cases because it is not the best way to enhance the legitimacy and trust of consumers. In general, a post office box at your local rural post office is not an option because it is not a physical address.
A physical address is classified as such if it meets the following conditions:
- Your home address or the address of any of your partners (for example, this may be sufficient as a registered agent provided that it is in the same condition as the Registered company).
- Mailbox service that provides a verified mailing address and provides a post office box number that can be listed on the LLC business address as a suite or unit number (for example, Address USPS mailing list for postboxes, mailboxes, etc.
- A coworking space is a better option than one or the other of the first two because it offers an official business address for the LLC registration, which also adds a layer of professionalism to your business.
- A virtual office service offering a street address, a reception service and a reshipment service is an even more advantageous option because of its lower cost than that of a coworking space and the possibility of to receive important professional mail.
The address of a registered agent that can accept important legal business documents is required for all options other than # 1. If you or a partner are willing to accept mail legal at your home, you can use a PO Box, a coworking space or a virtual office as the official business address of an LLC.
Assuming you have found this article because you want to register your LLC using a virtual address, here's how to get started.
Tips for Finding a Legitimate Virtual Office for the Registration of LLC
There are a number of virtual office services in the United States operating online. Not all are ideal for recording and marketing a business. Some services are outright scams, but it becomes easier and easier to sniff out counterfeits:
- Do business only with services that have existed for 5 years or more, or have an irrefutable reputation.
- Search Reviews – Zero reviews mean you have to keep looking.
- Check that the address is a real business address by performing a Google search.
- Look to see how many other businesses are registered at the same address – also look for individual businesses, to make sure that your business associated with the same space will not hurt your brand.
- Make sure you receive a number in addition to a mailing address – this is especially important if you want to get a ranking in Google My Business.
- For the same reason as above, you want to search for services that have staff onsite during opening hours – one or two virtual receptionists will be sufficient to meet Google's filing requirements.
- If you need other services such as mail transfer, reception or physical access to the office to meet clients and perform work occasionally, make sure this service is offered.
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How to start registering your LLC
Go to SBA.gov and learn all the steps and formalities required to successfully register the company as an official entity with your local and federal government, including the powerful IRS. If you are in another country, a simple search on Google can fill all the empty spaces.
If you want to save yourself a lot of reading, frustration and potential legal problems, you may want to find a local business lawyer or use an online registration service like Legal Zoom to make most of your work. Any type of business registration is not for the inexperienced or weak of heart. As most experts advise, it's just not worth saving a few hundred dollars trying to do all the research and paperwork on your own.
Training an LLC is a very rewarding business. A solution that will take your business to a higher level, while providing you with other benefits, such as reducing taxes and separating personal and business finances.