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Virtual Office Choices when You Need a Physical Address

Logo of Investopedia, which provides a definition of virtual officeMany of my startup clients begin with a virtual office, rather than a physical facility. They do this for convenience and to save money – or because the client is located outside the U.S. Sometimes, however, a physical address is required. This post discusses commonly-used physical address alternatives.

Definition of Virtual Office

The term virtual office can have different meanings in different contexts.

For this post, I am using the definition of virtual office provided by Investopedia:

A business location that exists only in cyberspace.

Need for a Physical Address

While a Postal Service mailbox suffices for receiving mail, sometimes a physical address is required.

In my experience, the need for a physical address arises most frequently for either of the following reasons.

Here are some of the ways my clients have obtained physical addresses for their virtual office businesses.

  1. Use a founder’s home address. However, some founders feel uncomfortable having their home addresses associated with their businesses.
  2. Rent a mailbox from The UPS Store or another personal mailbox service provider.
  3. Purchase services such as mail receiving, telephone answering, and private office rental from a company such as Regus. (Regus refers to these as virtual office services).
  4. Sometimes an accountant, lawyer or other professional service provider will let a client use its address.

In summary, although a startup can accomplish a lot via its virtual office, at some point a physical address likely will be required.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510 547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.