Can I use a virtual office as my business address?
A virtual mailbox offers all the essential features of a virtual office such as an address for mail, business address, and a local presence in a specific city or area. The main difference is that a virtual mailbox does not provide meeting spaces and business-center services.
Virtual Office Advantages
A virtual office comes with a professional business address, mail-handling services, a local phone number, call-handling/receptionist services, and meeting and conference spaces that can be rented out.
The other attractive feature of a virtual office is that there’s no office lease, no utility payments, no hardware, and none of the associated costs that come with having a traditional office space.
Virtual Office Disadvantages
One of the main issues is that a virtual office is costly. While it is a good alternative for those looking to save time and money in recruiting business resources, it is more expensive than other business address services.
Another downside is the lack of flexibility. A virtual office doesn’t let you rent the services you need and you’ll end up paying for all the services the provider offers, including the ones you don’t need or use.
And finally, there’s the issue of use of space. Any time a business owner is at home, vacation, traveling, the office space is empty and underutilized. You can’t use the physical space to do work on a daily basis. Also, there is generally a maximum amount of hours of meeting time in day offices. This isn’t a cost-effective solution if you don’t need the physical space and you only need a business address.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Virtual Office
- People who want a “home base” for their business locally.
- Individuals who need the services and professionalism of a real office, such as a receptionist, without the cost of hiring one.
- Those who need a physical conference space to meet with clients.
Virtual Mailbox Advantages
In contrast to a virtual office, a virtual mailbox is a much less expensive alternative if you’re looking for the following for your business.
A permanent business address. If you move virtual offices you will have to update the address on business licenses, LLC registration, registered agent address, etc. A virtual mailbox will give a permanent address you can use for years, even if you move or change location.
You need mail handling and mail-forwarding services. Virtual offices offer mail scanning and mail forwarding at an extra and higher cost compared to a virtual mailbox.
Another advantage of using a virtual mailbox over a virtual office is versatility.
Check depositing - Never go to a bank to deposit a check. Use your existing bank accounts to receive and deposit checks remotely through your virtual mailbox. Virtual offices do not offer check depositing services.
- Digital storage - Digitize all your incoming business mail for ease of record-keeping and hassle-free paperless filing: Digitally archive and manage all physical mail. Easily search mail for important documents and access all of your documents for as long as you need it. Virtual offices do not service this feature.
Forward packages anywhere in the world at affordable prices. Virtual offices charge an extra fee for package forwarding and the prices may not be competitive compared to a virtual mailbox service.
Virtual Mailbox Disadvantages
You should be aware of the additional costs incurred by having to forward mail compared to picking up mail.
Who Will Benefit Most From a Virtual Mailbox
- Those wanting to convey the appearance of having a physical office without the need to have a commercial office space.
- Home businesses wishing to keep their personal information private.
- International companies looking to have a presence in the United States.
- Those who run a small business remotely.
- People who travel often for business.