Many 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.
- A governmental filing, such as a corporation’s annual information statement required by the Secretary of State.
- Opening a bank account.
Here are some of the ways my clients have obtained physical addresses for their virtual office businesses.
- Use a founder’s home address. However, some founders feel uncomfortable having their home addresses associated with their businesses.
- Rent a mailbox from The UPS Store or another personal mailbox service provider.
- 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).
- 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.