One of the requirements to form a limited liability company (LLC) is having a street address. Although states do not allow you to use a P.O. Box, they do allow the use of what is known as a virtual address to register your LLC.
Considering using a virtual address for your LLC, it’s important to know some key factors. This guide details all the benefits of a virtual address and how to use one in the formation and operations of your business.
What is a Virtual Address?
A virtual address is not a URL or online address but a real-world street address at which neither you nor your business resides.
A virtual address enables a business owner to delegate the sometimes arduous task of receiving and storing standard mail.
Mail will be delivered to the address, where a mail service will accept it on your behalf. Most virtual address providers charge fees for their services, typically monthly.
The service will typically scan all relevant documents and upload them to a cloud-based virtual mailbox. You can keep them there in your virtual mailbox or delete them.
Registered Agents and Addresses
You’ll need to identify a registered agent in most states when you form an LLC. A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept official government correspondence and legal, tax, or financial documents on behalf of the LLC.
Your registered agent must have an in-state physical address to receive official mail; a P.O. box or out-of-state location is unacceptable.
Registered agent requirements differ from state to state, so check with your state for details. However, a standard rule is that your appointed registered agent must be available at their address during regular business hours to accept official correspondence.
Virtual addresses are not usually used as registered agent addresses, as the two are meant for different purposes. But some companies, such as Virtual Post Mail, have begun to offer registered agent and virtual address services under one roof.
This dual service could be a serious time-saver, freeing the business owner from receiving any business or government-related mail, all of which will be available 24/7 in the cloud. Just be sure to research and ensure such an arrangement is feasible in your state.
Benefits of a Virtual Address
Many of today’s entrepreneurs run their businesses out of their homes. For them, a virtual address offers added privacy – as their home address remains unaffiliated with their LLC.
Virtual addresses are standard in major cities, which helps make your business more credible. Think about it, which would you trust more, an insurance company based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, or one based in New York City?
But the main benefit of a virtual address is convenience, as it eliminates the hassle of dealing with paper mail, which can be a huge chore to keep track of and store. In addition, with your virtual mailbox, your business mail is always secure and available in the cloud.
How To Register Your Virtual Address
Registering your LLC’s virtual address is a straightforward process that only takes a few steps. First, hire a virtual address provider and nail down your virtual address.
Then, when forming your LLC, provide the virtual address as your company’s official mailing address. If you’re forming your LLC by yourself, you’ll include your virtual address in the Articles of Organization document.
Next, you’ll complete US Postal Service Form 1583, an application for mail delivery through an agent, and have it notarized. Finally, you’ll need to provide two identification forms to register with your virtual address. Once these steps are completed, you’ll receive mail at your virtual address.
Relying on a virtual address is a smart, practical solution for many business owners. In addition to keeping mail organized and secure, it adds an extra layer of privacy. Consider consulting an attorney or advisor to ensure the virtual address works for you and your business.