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Your Home Office Questions: Can You Use Your Home Address as a Business Address?

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Stop. Before you give out your home address as your business address there are a number of factors to consider.

Is it legal? Will you be suffering tax and liability issues from getting business mail at home?

Don’t make the mistake of risking your business growth without knowing the consequences of using your primary residence as your main location for business mail.

Consider these factors first:

Take A Look At Your Lease or HOA

Before you officially decide to use your physical home as your business address you may need to take a step back. In some cases, it may be illegal to run a business out of your home.

Even if you are more productive working from home your landlord or homeowners association (HOA) may not allow it. With many people starting home businesses as contractors or consultants they may not know that it is against the rules in many cases.

Despite more people working from home than ever before, and many people starting their own businesses, many rules haven’t caught up. Your lease may prohibit running a business from your home.

Make sure you check your lease or HOA first.

You Can Still Use Your Home As Your Business Address

What happens if you discover your lease or HOA says you can’t run a business from your home? While it answers the question of where you can get your mail, it doesn’t help your business thrive.

It doesn’t matter if you get a PO Box for business if you can no longer run your business at all. For some new business owners leasing or buying an office space is too cost prohibitive.

In many cases, even if your HOA or lease says you can’t run a business you aren’t completely out of luck. You can apply for an exemption if you aren’t manufacturing items or storing inventory.

Funding a business is tight– make use of your home if possible.

Maintain Your Privacy

For some, the decision to use a home address to receive mail may boil down to privacy. As soon as you register your home as your business address you are sacrificing some amount of your privacy.

You may find that your address is used for marketing, sales calls, and other annoying situations. Even worse, what happens if a disgruntled employee, customer, or competitor shows up at your home?

Even if you use your home as your physical business location it may be wise to employ a different method to get your mail. That way you can maintain a certain level of privacy while receiving the cost savings of using your home.

Wade Through The Junk

Anyone who wonders if print advertising is dead hasn’t operated a business. One of the first things you will notice when using an address for your business is the amount of mail you receive.

While traditional media readership may be down many businesses still make use of print. And some business to business advertisements may be more than you want to get at home.

Using a PO box for an LLC can cut down on the amount of mail you receive at home that you don’t want. You can keep your home address as an oasis against the noise of business owners trying to get your contracts.

The Best of Both Worlds

If you are a business owner and find working from home extremely productive, you are not alone. Despite conventional wisdom, most people are more efficient at home when it comes to completing tasks and working.

How does that affect your decision to use your home for the address of your business? It shouldn’t at all.

You can still get all the benefits of protecting your privacy, adhering to your lease, and keeping your business separate while completing tasks at home.

Just because your address for your business is elsewhere doesn’t mean you can’t actually do work at home.

Using a PO Box as your address may give you the best of both worlds.

The Resources You Need

Another reason a home may be the best place to send and receive mail is it could eat away at your time. For many business owners and entrepreneurs, business success depends on keeping costs low.

You may end up acting in every role for your company. But do you also want to be chained to your home while waiting for the mail.

Using certified mail is a great resource. But if your clients are sending a parcel you will need to be home to receive it.

Instead, try using a PO Box or private mail enterprise to receive your mail. This works like outsourcing some of your office and administrative function.

You get all the resources you need.

Lower Your Liability

If you are among the business owners who develop an LLC you may need to rethink using your home as an address for your business. One of the main goals of an LLC is protecting you and your family from the liability of owning and operating a business.

Business ownership comes with risks. You can put yourself at risk for lawsuits, financial issues, and other hardships without liability protection.

But an LLC is of little use to protect you if your personal and business life are intertwined. You need to work to have a clear line, beyond the LLC itself, between your business and home.

Using your home as your business address works against the goal of an LLC.

Making The Most Of Your Home for Business

Making the most of your home for business doesn’t always mean using your residence as your business address. When in doubt you should consult your attorney and your accountant for insight into your personal situation.

You may find for tax or liability purposes your home is a less than ideal place to receive your mail for business. Many entrepreneurs don’t understand that the decision to receive business mail at home may make their residence the defacto headquarters for their company.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as productive as possible at home. Come find out more about how to renovate your home office for productivity.

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