Using a P.O. Box address as a small business owner is a controversial topic. As a military spouse entrepreneur who experiences frequent moves, I prefer to utilize a P.O. Box address versus my home/office address for user ease and separation of “Church and State.”
The debate is ongoing about using the P.O. Box address versus your residence. Pros/Cons abound.
It’s an expense
There is the initial expense of opening the box and paying for two keys and the ongoing expense of keeping the P.O. Box active but the USPS (United States Postal Service) offers payment options (3 months, 6 months, one year). These options also give the military spouse entrepreneur flexibility in maintaining/renewing the P.O. Box as the next PCS (Permanent Change of Station) is always ‘just around the corner.’ In order to get your US Mail, you must go to the Post Office to pick it up but this mileage can be logged as a business expense.
Having your business mail delivered to your home/office is both a convenience and cost savings.
Having a P.O. Box provides a sense of security
Personal safety can also be a concern, particularly for the military spouse whose active duty spouse is routinely deployed. By using a P.O. Box address you do not have to publicize your home/office address.
While a trend is to purchase postage online, this can be accomplished by actually going to the US Post Office along with other mailing services such as certified mail, that your correspondence or package may require.
Confused about what size box to select?
POBoxCost(dot)com has an informative section in this article on choosing the proper size P.O. Box.
Preparing for my next move, I was able to secure a new P.O. Box online before the move to be able to provide a forwarding address to clients; as well as having a new address where to have mail directed. A quick call to the new Post Office merited the new P.O. Box number and zip. You must present in person to show proper identification to finalize the transaction and take possession of the keys to your new P.O. Box.