As a sole trader or freelancer, there will be times where you need to provide an address. In these scenarios, you may not want to or be able to provide your personal address. Find out how virtual offices can help.
A PO Box, or Post Office Box, is an ever-present part of postal systems worldwide. For many years, post offices have provided these mailboxes to give individuals privacy and provide them with an address they can use for mail communications.
We’re often contacted by businesses who have heard of the term PO Box and want to understand whether it would work for them.
The short answer is that PO Boxes aren’t suitable for businesses. However, there is an alternative solution in the form of a virtual business address.
Why are businesses turning to virtual addresses?
Virtual addresses provide businesses with more flexibility and cost-savings, helping them manage their physical post digitally. Many different types of companies utilise virtual addresses for various reasons, with some examples being the points below.
Use as your company’s address
Your business will need to provide an address while trading. Whether this is on invoices, at the bottom of your email or website, given to Companies House when registering your business, or anywhere else - there will be a time when an address is needed.
If your company does not have a UK address, you don’t wish to use your home address, or you’re moving from the office, a virtual address will offer everything you need, such as:
- Correspondence address - for all business correspondence
- Business trading address - to use on your marketing materials and stationery
- Registered office address - the public address given to incorporate your business
- Directors’ service address - the address of the directors of your company
- Returns address - for e-commerce returns
Suitable for all business types
Virtual addresses are suitable for every UK business type. Even if your company changes legal status as it grows, your address will still be suitable for your needs. Some examples of the types of businesses using virtual addresses include:
- Sole traders
- Limited company
- Limited liability partnership
Privacy at home
Many companies will use their home address when starting out, which can pose risks to the privacy of their address. No one wants unexpected visitors turning up or knowing their home address, regardless of the business size. A virtual address offers extra protection and security and ensures your home isn’t compromised.
Using a virtual address may be a more cost-effective way of fulfilling your business's address needs. Office and mailroom costs can be extremely high in prime locations, and a virtual address may allow you to say goodbye to the office and transition to a remote way of working.
A professional image
Small businesses can and do compete against their much larger counterparts. In fact, big corporates go as far as actively looking to bring the small business mentality into their companies. They see the personal touch, flexibility and understanding of local communities as desirable traits, and looking at some of the big bank's TV ads will show you how much these big businesses yearn to appear “small”.
Conversely, small businesses want to appear bigger and more professional, and a virtual address in a prime location can help with this. More than just offering a protective shield at a home address, a virtual address removes the nagging insecurity many micro businesses have, that they look small. A virtual business address gives them the confidence to go into more significant customers and opportunities, knowing that where they’re based won’t affect the chances of a sale.
Access to remote mail management features
You’ll also receive access to mail management services when you purchase a virtual business address. These services allow you to take complete control of your physical mail from anywhere in the world.
Online mail management
Our platform is just like having a post office in your pocket. You’ll have access to every tool you need to read, manage and store all of the mail your business receives. Some examples of the services you can utilise include:
- Letter scanning - when you receive mail, we can scan the contents for you to read online before deciding what to do next.
- Mail forwarding - we can forward your letters and parcels to any other address across the globe.
- Send letters online - if you need to send a letter, upload a document, tell us where it’s going, and we’ll handle the rest.
- Store physical & digital copies - decide whether you want to store the physical copies of your mail or keep a digital version for your records.
- Organise mail - create folders, add tags and move business mail around to help you stay organised.
- Integrate with cloud services - integrate our service with platforms such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Evernote and Dropbox. When you receive mail, you can have it automatically shared and stored in your existing cloud storage systems.
We’re here to help
We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service, and we think our high Trustpilot score reflects our efforts in this respect. Our UK based team, is always on hand to speak with new and existing customers, answer their questions and look to solve any potential problems they may have.