For many small businesses, the business address is also the home address of the business owner. There are several reasons why this happens. First, it’s simple to just keep your business at home when it's so small and just starting out. Second, having the business in your home does not cost any extra money.
In many cases, the use of a home address as the business address is not a huge problem. However, for SEO purposes, it’s always best to have a separate business address that you can use to connect with your online content. And in some cases, there can even be downsides and legal consequences for using a home address for your business. Let’s go over some of the issues to consider if you have a home-based small business:
Liability and Safety
Any LLC or corporation should think long and hard about using a home address for its business. A major benefit of having a business entity is the limited liability for business debts and activities. You should know that this protection only applies if you keep your business and personal activities completely separate. If you do decide to use a personal address for your business, you could hinder that limited liability and end up personally liable for any business debts and obligations.
Trust and Credibility
There is a chance that if someone finds your business and they see no contact address or even a PO box, they may steer clear of using your services entirely. Some people feel that without a physical address for the business, it’s going to disappear quickly.
Based on what your business is, it may be beneficial to present your potential clients with a physical address where they can contact you or set up a meeting. Having a physical address that is dedicated solely to your business and nothing personal helps your business build up trust and credibility with both current and future clients.
A physical business address also adds to your credibility online. As soon as you set up a location, you need to register and verify it with all of the online maps and location services, like Google Maps. You also need to register the location with social media sites like Facebook. Once these steps have been completed, you should see a spike in your SEO statistics, as your business becomes more established online with one simple change!
A Meeting Place for Clients
Sure, you can meet your clients out somewhere for lunch or even meet at their office, but what if your business changes its focus? What if you need to set up client meetings more and more often? You may eventually want to have your own place of business to start holding these meetings. Having a single place where you can meet your clients will also help your business on the path to building trust and credibility. Overall, it will enhance your business's professional image to others.
The U.S. Census Bureau released findings in 2011 that more than half of the businesses that responded to the survey of business owners were home-based businesses. Home-based business is alive and well, but there are times when it can be very difficult for a home-based business to shake the negative images. Many people envision home-based business owners chilling out in their pajamas while they relax and work from bed.
Having a physical address and location can help provide your business with a more professional, polished image for incoming clients.
How to Get a Physical Business Address
There are many places out there that you can rent as office space for your business, and they will all come with some type of cost to you. Here are a few different ways you can get a business address:
Mailbox Services - If you rent a mailbox at a service that is offered at places like the UPS store or Mail Boxes Etc., you can use the store’s street address with your mailbox number as a suite or office number. If you are a business that does a lot of shipping, you get the added bonus of being able to make use of the other services these locations offer.
Virtual Office Space - These spaces are also known as virtual business addresses. They can provide you with a professional-looking mailing address as well as offer other features and facilities. Some locations even offer receptionist services and meeting spaces that can be rented out when you need them!
Coworking Space - This is like a virtual office space in that it gives you a professional looking business address as well as the use of meeting space and conference rooms. The other thing a co-working space offers you is a physical space to actually work in along with use of shared resources like a Wi-Fi connection.
Office Space – If you want your own business space to work in and don’t want to share, you will probably just need to find a regular office space. This does not mean renting out a whole building or floor. Most towns and cities will have small spaces for rent or sale that can be used by small businesses. Keep an eye out on the listings!
No matter if it is for legal reasons, your stress level, or looking more reputable for future clients, there are many things to consider when you are looking at an actual business address. If your business is growing and you don’t have a separate place to call your own, it’s probably time to get into an office space and take your business to the next level. There are options available that can work for nearly any business budget.
If you want more information on how to get your business established online, check out Virtual Market Advantage’s blog on improving your online advertising and marketing here!