Post Office Boxes vs. Virtual Business Addresses
Postal boxes, also commonly called Post Office Boxes or PO boxes, are frequently used by small business owners and entrepreneurs who don’t have a dedicated office address.
However, there’s a better way to receive important mail: A virtual business address.
Before you register for a postal box, make sure you understand these six key reasons a virtual address is a better fit for most businesses.
1. Postal boxes don’t give your business an actual street address
Since a PO box is located inside of a post office building, it doesn’t give your business a physical street address. That means you can’t use a postal box address when filing government paperwork or on a Google My Business listing (which can make it very difficult for potential customers and clients to find you when searching online).
A virtual business address, on the other hand, provides your business with a real street address. You can use it on official paperwork, in online search listings, and elsewhere.
2. Postal boxes have size limitations that may not work for your business
There are some serious size limitations with postal boxes. The XX-Large boxes are approximately 600 mm x 280 mm x 360 mm. That’s only big enough for most letters and “various sized parcels.”
For many businesses, that’s simply not enough space to accommodate larger packages and shipments.
3. You can only receive mail sent via Canada Post approved services
If you want to receive mail at a postal box, it needs to be shipped through a Canada Post approved service.
This may not sound like an issue at first, but it can certainly cause problems for certain businesses. For example, if your legal practice relies on private courier services for sending and receiving important documents, a postal box won’t suffice.
4. Postal boxes don’t offer mail forwarding services
If you travel frequently or can’t make it to your postal box for some reason, you don’t get your mail. You need to visit a Canada Post office to retrieve anything that’s been sent.
Virtual business addresses, however, offer mail forwarding... and so much more.
5. With a postal box, you have to do all the work
Virtual address providers give their customers full-service mail handling for incoming and outgoing mail.
What does full-service entail, exactly? The terms of service will vary depending on the virtual address service but might include email notifications when something arrives, the ability to have mail scanned and emailed to you, check depositing, assistance sending outgoing mail, and more.
This means you spend a lot less time dealing with mail-related tasks.
6. Postal boxes don’t give your business a professional image
When it comes to running a successful business, your image and reputation matter. A postal box simply doesn’t convey the same image as a real, physical office address.
Virtual offices are generally located in prestigious commercial areas, often in well-known office buildings. This lends instant credibility to your business and brand.
You can use a virtual business address on your business cards, on your website, and in marketing materials. The best part? It’s far more affordable than leasing a dedicated commercial office space.