As you get ready to start your LLC or corporation, you’ll need to decide on a business address to list on your paperwork. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. Any information you include on your formation documents will become part of the permanent public record in your state, which raises a very real privacy concern for home or web-based entrepreneurs—or anyone who doesn’t enjoy receiving daily junk mail at their place of business.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to keep your location private while starting a new business venture. When you hire Incorporate Fast to form your company, we include a physical office address in your state. You can use this address on all of your official documents, keeping your own information completely out of the public record.
Privacy protection aside, there are a number of benefits that come from having the same office address on record year after year. Here’s a quick look at why you might want to use a ‘virtual address’ for your business, plus a few details on how it all works.
Your business address is the address that you choose to list on your legal documents when you form your company. It can be your actual base of operations—but it doesn’t have to be. You can use the office address of your registered agent instead.
All of our business formation packages include a free year of premium registered agent service with all the perks, including a stable office address you can use for the lifetime of your business. When we file your formation documents we list this commercial address—not your own—on your paperwork.
Yes. In every state you can list the street address of your registered agent as your principal place of business. You can also substitute this location for home addresses when listing the members/managers of your LLC. We automatically do this with every company we form.
Lots of business owners file their own formation documents and act as their own registered agent to cut down on start-up costs. Just know that it means extra paperwork for you, both initially and later on—and you may have to sacrifice some privacy as well. If your business is home-based, you’ll likely have to list your private address on public documents. If your business moves from one office to another (or if you move from one home to another) you’ll have to submit paperwork and pay fees to file a Change of Address with the state.
All legal mail for your business (approval documents, tax forms, service of process) will go to your official business address—our local registered office in your state. Your dedicated registered agent will open it, scan it to your client account and notify you that same day. Because we have local offices in every state, your important, time-sensitive notices won’t be routed through some giant distribution center, resulting in unnecessary delays. We’re close by, waiting to scan your documents to you in real time.
We don’t offer comprehensive mail forwarding, so you’ll still want a secondary address to receive your non-official mail: things like bank statements and supplier catalogs. The good news is that this secondary address won’t appear anywhere on your formation documents. It won’t become a matter of public record.
For residents of Delaware, Florida, Wyoming, Montana, Texas and Idaho we now offer limited mail forwarding: 5 pieces of ordinary mail scanned into your account each year, in addition to 100% of your legal mail, at no additional cost.
Wondering about junk mail? Don’t worry: we won’t count it towards those 5 pieces—we’ll simply recycle it for you.
‘Virtual business address’ is really just another way of saying business address. It’s a stable commercial address that you can use in your official business dealings rather than listing your company’s actual location. For many types of entrepreneurs, it makes sense to have a virtual business address—not only to protect their privacy, but also to add a level of professionalism to their interactions. A few examples:
• Startups that want the appearance of a physical location
• Mobile food trucks
• Home and web-based retailers
• Tradespeople who make house calls
• Remote workers
Here at Incorporate Fast we know that privacy is precious, which is why all of our business formation packages come with a free virtual address built in—this means a real office address in your state. When your customers put your address into Google Maps, they’ll see an office building, not your private residence.
But we do a lot more than just file your paperwork and set you up with a business address.
When we form your company you receive guaranteed same-day scanning of your incoming legal mail, helpful compliance reminders, free custom business documents and local customer support for the lifetime of your business.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question: it depends on what matters most to you right now in terms of your business. As we mentioned above, if you plan to be your own registered agent and you operate a home-based business, then you will likely need to list your home address on your state documents.
If you are thinking of using your home address to form your business, we recommend doing a little local research first:
• Are there any zoning laws in your city that would prevent you from operating your type of business out of your home?
• Will your bank allow you to open a business bank account using your home address?
What if you plan to start out with your home address and hire a registered agent later on? Your private address will not be removed from the public record, even after you make the change. Anything the state publishes in their records is permanent.
In short, we recommend giving serious thought to the question of whether you’re comfortable with your home address being permanently available to anyone who wants access to it. Privacy is an easy thing to take for granted, and it’s difficult to get it back once it’s been compromised.
Having a stable office address for your business carries a host of benefits. Here are a few of them.
This is arguably the biggest perk of having a commercial business address. You retain control over your personal information and avoid being subjected to endless advertising. You also prevent the possibility of disgruntled customers or vendors showing up on your doorstep.
Vendors, bank managers and lenders have evidence that your company has been in the same physical location year in, year out. You can move offices or homes countless times, and that won’t affect the way your business is perceived.
It can be hard for new businesses to build credibility, especially those that are home-based. Having a real office address can help you to market your company as a professional, legitimate addition to your business community.
Any incoming tax and legal documents for your business will be sent directly to your designated registered office. They’ll be scanned and uploaded to your secure online account, and you’ll be notified immediately. You won’t have to risk missing an important notice that has to be signed for, just because you’re not at home when it arrives.
Hiring us to form your company—and getting a business address in the process—will drastically cut down your paperwork. It’s not just about filing your formation documents. Having a physical office address in your state will help make the bureaucratic parts of managing your business, like opening a business bank account, run more smoothly. You also save yourself the hassle of submitting a Change of Address form to your state government every time you move.
Getting a business address is easy, and the potential benefits to your business are considerable. Our business formation packages include a real office address in your state.