20 September, 2022
PO Box in London: Discover How It Works and Why You Should Forget It
Thinking of getting a PO box for a small business? Read through to learn why a virtual address for the business is a better option than a PO box in London.
Are you a digital nomad? A worker who does not need the traditional, office-based 9-5? Maybe you work from any number of exotic locales, from the turquoise water and white sands of the Philippines to the rocky and snow-capped mountains of Switzerland?
If so, you no doubt do most of your business online, making your office calls over Skype and using collaborative apps like Google Docs and Dropbox for your group projects. But some things just can’t be solved by the internet, right?
With 11.1 billion items in circulation in 2017/18, dealing with a physical post is still necessary for most businesses. And that might mean having a professional address—rather than a somewhat tacky PO box address—to send all of your physical mail to. Wrong!
Here’s what you need to know about getting business virtual mailing addresses.
So What is a PO Box Address?
A PO box is a private, protected, and lockable mailbox. You can typically find it in the sorting departments or post offices, and its primary purpose is to allow the user to receive mail at an address that is not their primary place of residence or place of work.
Thus, a PO box is not just a box at the post office where mail can be delivered to you and used in postal addresses; but also one that allows you to create a particular and independent mailing address for business. Hence, all mail will be delivered to a separate post office and not to your home or work. By creating a PO box address, you as a business owner receive many benefits over using a home address for business, including:
- you can create a short and catchy address;
- you will have the option to remain anonymous;
- if you work from home, you will have an official work address;
- you can pick up mail at a convenient time for you;
- enhanced security features are available to you: collection requires excellent safety and ID.
Also, consider that the mail you receive at your home address can be forwarded to your PO box for a business address, allowing everything to be stored in one place.
So, a PO box address for business is an advanced and great solution for big enterprises, small companies, overseas organisations, UK expats, frequent travellers, bloggers and e-marketers, renters, online sellers, and everyone else.
How Does a PO Box Address Work?
PO boxes benefit many users and ensure that any mail sent gets to the local delivery office. All mail will be stored there until you can pick it up.
While almost all mail is delivered to a PO box, there are certain limitations. Thus, correspondence from other couriers will not be accepted, and any “do not forward” mail will be returned to the sender. It is also essential to be aware of the must-be signed mail and the card that will be left in the mailbox. It must be picked up within a week, or it will also return to the sender.
Getting a PO Box
If you would like to open a PO box, you must first complete an application form at your local post office or online at Royal Mail. In general, getting a PO box is very simple and fast. You must select a location, decide on the size, and choose the lease term. Once you’ve made your choice, you can share your new address and forward mail.
Major Disadvantages of PO Boxes
A PO box or post office box is essentially a box at a nearby postal or sorting office that can pick up your correspondence for you or your company if you do not have an address or do not want to send it out to, or do not want to give out your personal address.
Whilst it may seem the perfect option for those who have experienced the virtual office address advantages, in fact, there are several problems with business PO boxes that make them increasingly unsuited to the modern time:
- If you travel the world, then you have no way of opening your post. It is ok to have a PO box, but only if you are there in person to open it. If you are away travelling the world, you could be sent hundreds of items that stack up, and you only get to open them every few months.
- They look unprofessional and cold. If you want to get noticed today, then it’s the small things that matter. Nobody feels like they’re dealing with a faceless business. A PO box tells the person writing you nothing about where you are based or your corporate identity.
- It suggests straight away that it may be some time before you get back to the sender, as nobody usually checks their PO box every day, particularly if most of the people working for the business live some time from the address. Equally, it could mean that the sender is just one in hundreds, if not thousands, of letters and packages that you read in one go.
Virtual Address for Business Instead of PO Box
There are enough alternatives to a PO box in the UK, and one of the best solutions for a replacement is a virtual address. In short, this is the post box of an actual address you can rent, but not the entire office. Then the post is picked up or forwarded, opened, scanned and emailed to you and your fellow business partners or employees.
This solves several problems all at once.
Rent Any Address You Want
What looks better when advertising your services, a business address on Oxford Street, London, or a PO box in a small town near Milton Keynes?
Suppose image and appearance are everything for your business. In that case, renting a virtual business address in a prime location is a vastly more affordable way of showing off rather than spending millions renting an office in a fancy location that you probably will never use. Despite the so-called Brexit chill, property in central London remains eye-wateringly expensive.
It Can Boost Your Google or Yellow Page Rankings
For the purposes of security, Google and the Yellow Pages both like it if you have a physical address for your business. This makes you seem more credible in the eyes of potential customers and wary of being scammed, and Google rewards this by ranking you more highly in search results.
Customers can also look up your address on Google Maps Street View and check out your business address for themselves because you have a virtual street address. A PO box might show up with a post office, and if you use your own home personal address, all potential customers will see is your house and a row of others like it, which doesn’t tell them much.
Important Letters Actually Get Opened
If you’ve decided to pack up your physical office and move to the online world, then you’ve probably told most people who matter—like your trusted clients and your family - where they can find you. But what if you’ve missed someone?
Knowing you’ve missed out on a really good business opportunity when you open your post six months later must be painful.
The good thing about a virtual address is all your posts are opened for you, scanned, and emailed directly to you.
Hide Your Real Address
There’s always a chance a creepy person or someone you’d rather avoid might turn up at your virtual address. If you have an assistant who works in the reception or lobby, anyone coming to your virtual address will no doubt assume that this is your real address.
However, a PO box address immediately tells someone that this is different from your address. They can then do some digging and track you down more quickly than you think.
Embrace the Digital World
Almost nothing now can’t be done over the internet, and the post is no exception. If you want to reduce the costs of an office and have a jet-setting lifestyle, then getting yourself sorted with a virtual address for a business is a no-brainer.
You no longer have to worry about unanswered letters or packages; it can all be taken care of for you.
We’d love to help you with your business needs or answer your questions about a virtual address. So please do get in touch today.
What is a PO Box?
A PO Box is a locked mailbox that you rent from the post office to receive mail. It's typically used as an alternative to a physical mailing address, but it has several drawbacks.
Are PO Box addresses free?
No, PO Box addresses are not free. You will need to pay a fee to rent a PO Box from the post office. The fee may vary depending on the mailbox size and the rental period.
Do banks accept PO Box addresses?
Some banks may accept PO Box addresses as mailing addresses, but it's always best to check with your bank first. Most banks will require a physical mailing address for verification purposes.
How does a PO box work?
A PO box is a mailbox in sorting departments or post offices for receiving and storing your letters and packages at an address that is not your place of residence or place of work. It allows you to create a separate business mailing address, and all your mail will be stored in this PO box at the post office until you pick it up. In addition, mail can also be redirected to the PO box from other addresses to keep everything together.
Are there any benefits of having a PO box?
A PO box for business is very beneficial and profitable in many ways. It allows you to create a short and catchy address, have an official work address even while working from home, pick up mail at a convenient time, provide faster delivery compared to sending mail to work or home address, and offers advanced security features in terms of personal information and anonymity.
Why is a virtual office better than a PO box?
A PO box and a virtual address are somewhat similar, but generally, they are different. And a virtual office is, in many ways, a more efficient and optimal solution. Among the key benefits that a virtual address offers are: choosing any address you want without geographic restrictions; ranking higher on Google or Yellow Page; ensuring that all important emails do not go unnoticed—they are opened for you, scanned, and emailed to you; hiding your real address; advanced features of the digital world and full compliance with the needs of your business.
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