How to Get a Business Address
When Northwest Registered Agent forms your business, we also provide a business address (not a return address). Listing a physical business address on your formation documents is a requirement in most states. That requirement can present a real problem for anyone who doesn’t work out of a dedicated office or storefront and wants to keep their home address off the public record.
Our solution? A free business address. If you hire us to form your LLC, corporation or nonprofit, you can keep your home address private and spare yourself a deluge of junk mail. Using our business address can also help your business present a stable, professional image to the public. There’s no extra charge for a business address – it’s just part of what you get when you hire us. If you want to take it a step further, we offer different levels of mail forwarding and virtual office services in select states.
Business Address Options
Different businesses have different address needs. Find the best business address option for your business:
A Free Virtual Business Address
Hire us to form your LLC or corporation and we’ll list our address on your business formation documents for no additional charge. This option is best if you’re simply looking for an address to put on your articles of organization or formation.
Free Mail Forwarding in Every State
We offer free limited mail forwarding when you hire us to be your registered agent. When you receive mail in one of our offices, we’ll scan it and upload it to a secure account – that day. Our offices aren’t warehouses, though, so we cannot act as return depots for Amazon businesses or other online retail sellers. Clients in most states get 5 free forwards per year. However, if you’re in one of our high-traffic states (CA, DE, FL, ID, IL, MT, NY, TX, WA or WY), you get 10 free forwards per year. In these high-traffic states, you can also upgrade to our Premium Mail Forwarding Service with a unique suite number and unlimited forwards.
Premium Mail Forwarding
This is the best option for businesses that need a unique business address. For $20 a month, you’ll get your own never-before-used suite number. Your suite number will be attached to one of our local offices, all of which are high-end commercial buildings that we own. You can put this address on your letterhead, website, and business cards. You can’t, however, list our address as a return address if you’re an online retailer. We are not equip to hold items larger than regular packaged mail, like kayaks, futons, or t-shirts. We also can not accept Google Business Address Verification Postcards and Amazon Verification cards outside of CA, DE, FL, IL, ID, MT, NY, TX, WA, or WY offices. We’ll scan your mail and upload it to your account on the same day it shows up in the office. Premium Mail Forwarding is available in California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, New York, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
Virtual Office Service
Need an office lease? A business phone number? A conference room you can rent out for the occasional board meeting? Our Virtual Office Service is an ideal solution for businesses that want the secretarial perks of a traditional office but not the steep cost of keeping one. For $29 a month, you’ll get everything included with our Premium Mail Forwarding Service (same-day mail forwarding and a unique suite number) plus a real office lease and a business phone number with an area code in any state. Any calls made to your business phone number will be securely routed straight to your phone.
That’s just the baseline of what you get with our Virtual Office service, but we like to customize our services when we can. Need a professional space for an important meeting? Secretarial services? Call us. We’re happy to figure it out.
Looking to live more privately? Check out Live Privately with an LLC to learn how our business address, mail forwarding, and virtual office services can work together with the LLC business structure to further reduce your public profile.
Business Address FAQs
What is a business address?
When you file paperwork to form your business, you’ll need to provide a business address. Most states require you to list a local street address. Your business address could be the address of your office or storefront (if you have one) or even your home. However, your business address will become part of the public record, so anyone will be able to find it.
If you use our business address (free with registered agent service), you can keep your home address private.
Can I use your business address for my mail?
If you’re in one of the high-traffic business states – California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, New York, Texas, Washington and Wyoming – then, yes! Our Premium Mail Forwarding Service offers unlimited document forwards and a unique suite number for just $20 a month. Though note, we are not a return address service for your Amazon or online business. We are not responsible for the handling or care of return items sent to us by your clients or customers. You may pay to have the return items shipped to you from us, but we only hold items for 14 days and after that, they are destroyed or returned to sender.
Our free limited service, however, is only designed for occasional mail—not for use as your primary mailing address. We forward 5-10 items for free, depending on your state. After that, you can request additional mail to be forwarded at a rate of $15 per item. Additionally, our free mail forwarding service does not include a unique suite number.
Does Northwest Registered Agent offer virtual business addresses?
Um, sure. We just call it a business address, since there’s not really anything virtual about it. Our business addresses refer to real-life commercial offices we own – many of them in prime locations. They’re staffed with real, smart, friendly people. Call us up and see for yourself.
Can my business use the Northwest Registered Agent business address for members and managers or directors and officers on formation documents?
Yes. Most states require you to list addresses for members and managers or directors and officers. When you hire us, you can use our business address instead of home addresses. This protects the privacy of your members and managers or directors and officers.
What is the difference between a registered agent address and a business address?
When you file articles of organization or formation, you’ll have to list a registered agent address and a business address. Depending on who you designate to be your registered agent, you might list the same address for both. However, your registered agent address and your business address serve different purposes.
Your registered agent receives legal mail only. Think subpoenas, summons, and notices from the Secretary of State. That’s it. Bank statements, invoices, and postcards from your cool aunt should be mailed somewhere else. Sure, we’ll forward the first few regular mail items we get for free, but a registered agent address isn’t designed for all your mail.
The business address (sometimes called your principal address) that you list on your articles of organization or formation is where you’re doing business from – supposedly. It doesn’t have to be the place where you’re actually putting in the hours. It doesn’t even have to be the same address that you use on business cards or on your letterhead. In most states, it does need to be a physical street address (no PO boxes allowed). When you hire us, you can use our local office address as your business address, and in high-traffic states, take advantage of our mail forwarding service.
Can I use my home address for my business?
Yes, you can. In most cases, it’s legal. But that doesn’t mean you should. Listing your home address as your business address has some serious drawbacks.
For starters, you’ll sacrifice privacy. When you list your home address on your formation documents, your home address becomes part of the public record. This means that your home address will be posted on your state’s Secretary of State website for anyone to see. Once that happens, you’re going to start getting junk mail. A lot of junk mail. And it’s not going to stop. You can dissolve your business. You can move. You can fake your own death. But the junk mail associated with your business will find you.
Secondly, depending on where you live, you may not even be allowed to do business out of your home. Many zoning ordinances, leases, and HOA rules prohibit using your home as a place of business.
Lastly, using your home address as your business address can create headaches down the road. If you need to move and you’ve listed your home address as your business address, you’ll have to contact multiple parties – your state’s Secretary of State, the local taxing authority, the IRS, any licensing boards, and your customers/clients – to give them your new address. You have to update each agency separately, and some require filling out long forms and paying fees. In other words, it’s a pain. Plus, frequently changing your address can erode your business’s reputation as a reliable, stable operation – something that could cost you in the long run.
What are the benefits of using your address instead of my own?
To begin, using a separate business address guarantees your privacy. You’ll be able to keep your home address off the public record, fending off an onslaught of junk mail and the possibility of unwanted visitors showing up on your doorstep.
Then there’s the issue of your image. Even if the kind of work you’re doing doesn’t require you to keep a physical office, having a professional-looking business address can legitimize your company in the eyes of your customers – especially the ones who use Google Street View to scope you out.
Using a separate business address can also help build your company’s reputation as a stable, trustworthy operation. Even if you move a few times, your business address will stay the same, sending a clear message: you’re here, you’re stable, and you’re not going anywhere.
How do I change my business address?
Changing your business address is a pain. Just like changing your home address when you move, you’ll have to fill out a mail-forwarding request at your post office. But that’s not all. To change a business address, you’ll have to notify multiple entities at the local, state, and federal level. Unfortunately, there’s no streamlined process for contacting all of them.
If any of this sounds annoying, it’s because it is. Spare yourself the headache and hire us first. Your business address on your formation documents will never need to be altered if we remain your registered agent.
If you’re dead set on not hiring us and need to change your business address, you’ll have to notify your state’s Secretary of State to update your articles of formation or organization. Every state is different, but you’ll probably need to file an amendment to change your business address and pay the required filing fee. Then, you’ll need to update your local and state taxing authorities. Hopefully, you can do this online, but you’ll have to contact your local department of revenue to find out. You’ll also need to update your address with the IRS by filing form 8822-B.
If you have any businesses licenses, you’ll need to update your local licensing board. And, don’t forget about getting in touch with your bank – you’ll need new checks to reflect your updated business address. Finally, you’ll need to update your online presence, reprint business cards, and reach out to frequent customers or vendors to let them know you’ve moved.
Keep your home address private, guard your doorstep from junk mail, and spare yourself headaches down the road. Hire Northwest Registered Agent to form your LLC, nonprofit, or corporation and get a free business address.