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Virtual Business vs. Home Business Address: What’s Better?

Virtual Business vs. Home Business Address: What’s Better?

29 October, 2018

When it comes to business, it’s difficult to know whether your virtual office address or home business address is better for your needs. Click here to find out.

In today’s economy, hustle is king.

People are picking up side gigs like they’re gorgeous and alone at a bar, and the ever-expanding realm of technology is only making it easier to start a business. Far from needing the mahogany desk in the corner office, these days, many entrepreneurs are starting businesses out of their living rooms.

But when it comes to giving clients an address to meet you at or ship to, is giving them your home address the best idea?

It may be simple to keep operating your business out of your space, but there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to your business address. Read on to learn more about the realities of running a business out of your home and the possibilities of a virtual business address.

Legal Considerations

Starting a business means dealing with a lot of red tape on a whole variety of issues. There are codes and laws and policies you have to follow. It may not surprise you to learn that all those codes and policies come into play when it comes to the question of using a home address or a virtual business address.

The first person you’ll need to check with when looking at using a home address is your landlord. In many cases, leases will specify that you can’t run a business from that address; it has to do with liability, which we’ll discuss more later. If you own a home, your homeowners’ association may have similar restrictions in order to preserve the quality of the neighborhood.

Zoning Restrictions

If you’ve gotten past your landlord or homeowners’ association, the next people you’ll need to talk to are your city governments. Most cities have zoning restrictions that restrict what businesses can operate in residential areas. This helps them more easily manage building codes and the like.

In many cases, cities will not allow you to run a business out of your home; if they do, there will likely be restrictions on the kind of business you can have. This may limit the industry you can work in, or it may place a cap on your profits. As a growing business, you don’t want to have to worry about becoming too successful and losing your home.

Liability Issues

Finally, even if you’ve gotten clearance from all the proper authorities, you’ll still have to deal with the possibility of a liability issue. If you’re starting a small business, there’s a good chance that you’ll be starting a limited liability corporation, which means liability for anything that happens in your business extends only to your business holdings. The bad news is if you’re operating your business out of your home, that limited liability protection goes away.

“But wait,” you say, “my business is just developing web pages! There’s no way a web page could injure anybody, so why do I have to worry about this?” Well, if you’re meeting with a client in your home office to discuss some changes to their website, and your bookshelf falls over and fractures their skull, that’s an injury that happened on your business premises and you’re liable.

Privacy Concerns

The issue of privacy is one that may already have occurred to you in looking at running your business out of your home. Having your house be your base of operations means that all your customers will know where you live. Even if you run a completely legitimate, prim and proper business, that’s still a lot of people knowing where you sleep.

Having a virtual business address gives you an address unconnected to your living space that you can use to meet with clients as needed. If you run a counseling, legal, or other similar business, you already know the value of a neutral space. And besides, do you really want to have all your customers looking at your baby pictures on the way down the hall to your office?

Professional Presence

On the subject of baby pictures, another major issue with having a home business address is that it makes it very hard to maintain a professional presence.

You can be wearing a three-piece suit and discussing contracts in all the legalese from behind a desk, but if your client had to dodge your cat and your running shoes on the way in the door, it isn’t going to leave a very good impression. In our society, business people are not supposed to seem like they have a personal life, and running your business out of your home inextricably merges the two things.

Having a virtual business space allows you to present yourself and your business better. Your clients will feel more secure coming to a designated meeting space, even if it isn’t one you own. You’ll remove the element of the personal and leave a much better impression on your clients than if they just saw exactly how many seasons of Frasier you own.

Business Growth

Remember those caps on business growth we talked about a little way back? Well, operating a business out of your home doesn’t just put a cap on the financial growth for your business. It also limits the physical space that you can dedicate to your business.

If you work out of a virtual office and your business outgrows the space, you can always upgrade to a larger space or even look into getting a warehouse or a traditional office, depending on your needs. But if your business outgrows your home office, it’s much harder to add on a new wing of the house. Your partner isn’t going to appreciate you having stock all over the living room, and you don’t want your business growth to become a source of stress.

How to Get a Virtual Business Address

If you’re looking for virtual business address options, visit the rest of our site at Hoxton Mix.

We can give you a prime London business address with 10-minute setup and no postage fees! Contact us today to get your new business address set up

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