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Legal Question Kickoff!

Okay sports fans (and by sports fans we mean law fans): we’re changing things up a bit on the blog, today. Starting this week, we’ll be answering YOUR legal questions. So, if you have a question, click here to submit it and we’ll add it to the queue to answer right here on the blog.

Today’s question: I work from home and I don’t want to make my address public, what are my options?

Whether you’re just firing up that business or recently transitioning to running your business from home, you’ll find there’s a whole slew of reasons you’ll be required to provide a physical mailing address (think state and federal requirements for your biz).

Side note: In addition to having a physical address, all businesses in the US must also have designated “registered agents.” Registered agents can serve a number of functions, but they are mostly there to receive important paperwork on behalf of your business, like court summonses (yikes!). Different states have different requirements for registered agents, and satisfying the physical address requirement doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve satisfied the registered agent requirement. So, keep that in mind as you consider the options below for satisfying the physical address requirement.

So what’s a business owner to do when they work from home but are required to give a physical address for their business? (‘Cause unfortunately, a P.O. Box doesn’t usually qualify as a physical address.)

Mailbox service
Regardless of your service provider, many mailbox locations will provide a street address that will accept your mail. So instead of the PO Box address, you’ll have a street name to provide along with the box number.

A service like Earthclass mail is also a viable option if they serve your city or a city close to yours that makes sense. This allows you to check your mail virtually since they’ll scan your mail for you. They can also send packages to you via Fedex (though that can get pricey if you get a lot of packages).

Coworking spaces
Many coworking spaces come with a mailing address as part of your membership. So check out the available options in your area to see what you have access to. The other nice benefit of a coworking membership is the space to work! As much as we love working from home, a change of scenery can be nice every now and then (plus it forces you to actually put pants on today).

While these options may solve the physical address requirement in one sense, they may not fulfill the registered agent requirement many states have so be sure to understand all the reasons you need to have a physical address.

Virtual Offices
Some virtual offices provide mailing service and optional registered agent service so if you’re in need of both, this is definitely something to consider. These often include access to conference rooms and workspace as well.

So all in all, you definitely have options other than just using your home address! Remember to consider the registered agent and mailing address requirements when deciding what will work best for you and your business.

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  1. Is a PO Box sufficient for a newsletter? I recall something about needing an address on your emails to an email list.

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