- Decide on a PO box size (extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large).
- Decide on a rental period (3-month, 6-month, 12-month).
- Fill out the USPS’s online application form or visit your local post office to inquire about PO box rental.
- Pay the rental fee and pick up the keys to your PO box.
What Is a PO Box?
Before learning how to get a PO box for a business, it would be good to know what a PO box actually is! It’s a postal address provided by the post office. You can rent a PO box from them, and you’ll get a key to open your mailbox. Daily mail will be delivered to the box, where you can pick it up whenever it’s convenient for you.
What’s the Point in Opening a PO Box for a Business?
A PO Box can be beneficial for a business in two ways. First, it can help to keep your physical address private. Second, it’s more affordable than renting office space. Thanks to them, owners of start-ups and small businesses that don’t have a physical building can still receive business mail outside their home.
What Are the Disadvantages of a PO Box?
Before discussing how to get a PO box for a business, let’s weigh the pros and cons. While they provide added convenience and privacy, customers may not find them as credible or trustworthy compared with physical street addresses.
Additionally, you need to be aware that certain institutions like banks or government agencies won’t approve of using one when sending out documents or payments. Lastly, remember USPS is the only carrier that can deliver mail there (unless you use the Street Addressing service as well) so plan accordingly!
Think of a PO box as a way to organize your business mail and as a tool for privacy. If you don’t want to publicize your actual address, opening a PO box will solve your problem, but be sure it works with all the services you require. Some companies, like UPS or FedEx, may not be able to deliver packages to your PO box if they don’t meet the USPS standards.
How to Get a PO Box for a Business
Now that you know the benefits and disadvantages of a PO box, let’s discuss how to go about getting one for your business.
- Decide on the size of PO box you will need. PO boxes range from extra-small to extra-large. Consider how much mail you expect to receive and choose a size accordingly.
- Visit your local post office and inquire about renting a PO box for your business. You’ll need to provide proof of address and fill out an application form.
- Pick a rental period. PO boxes can be rented for a 3-month, 6-month or 1-year period, with the option to renew.
- Pay the rental fee and pick up your key!
The process can also be completed online on the USPS’s website.
Are There Different PO Box Sizes?
PO boxes come in a variety of sizes, ranging from mini 3″x5″x16″ versions suitable for minimal daily correspondence up to 10″x13″x23″, ideal if you expect high volumes. Before deciding on the right size, check with your local post office – they’ll be able to give advice based on how much mail you receive each day and provide details about any larger options available.
What Is a Virtual Business Address vs. a PO Box?
Now you have an answer to “how to get a PO box for a business?”, but how does it differ from a virtual address? Let’s compare the two.
A virtual business address is an online service that gives you a real street address. In contrast to PO boxes, virtual mailboxes don’t require you to lease space from the post office. Instead, your mail will be sent to an off-site location, where it will be scanned for you to access via your online account.
FAQs About PO Boxes
Can I Use a PO Box for My Business Account?
Unfortunately, no. To open a business bank account, you need to assign a physical address to your business. PO box addresses don’t count according to federal banking regulations.
Can I Use a PO Box for My EIN Number?
No. Your EIN number, or employer identification number, must be associated with a physical address. PO boxes are not allowed, but virtual addresses are, if you don’t want to use your home address.
Are PO Boxes Free at USPS?
If USPS doesn’t deliver mail to your physical address, you can apply for a free PO box. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a fee according to the size of the PO box. For example, a small PO box might cost $4.5 per month, and an extra large one – $20 per month. The exact prices depend on your location, though.
Do You Need a Permanent Address to Start a Business?
The IRS requires you to provide the physical address of where your business is managed and operated from. This is important for filing taxes, opening bank accounts, and more. But does it have to be permanent? Not really. If you want to start a LLC or corporation, you can use either a permanent address or a registered agent address (which can be virtual). For other types of businesses, changing your address is easy if you need to later down the road.
What Is the Best Address to Use for an LLC?
A permanent address, such as a physical building or office space, is the best option. Even though you can use a registered agent’s or virtual address, it’s beneficial to have your own location for mail, filing, and other documentation. Since it will be separate from your home, it can also help preserve your privacy. Finally, having a formal office space makes the process more streamlined and effective if you ever need to file paperwork with the state or federal government.
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