If you live in a foreign country and want to start an LLC in the United States without becoming a citizen, obtaining a U.S. address for your headquarters seems like mission impossible. However, acquiring a U.S. virtual address for your company can be a simple solution to listing an address for your business.
One of the most common misconceptions regarding foreign-owned businesses in the United States is that you must be a citizen and establish residency. You do need a U.S. address — but it doesn’t need to be a physical location.
Technically, a P.O. box alone doesn’t suffice. That said, thanks to a service offered by USPS, you can use the address of the post office that houses your P.O. box as your physical location. However, your company could reap multiple benefits if you get a business address in the USA.
After learning how to get a business address in the USA, you’ll discover there are several ways to go about this that don’t require a brick-and-mortar location. Using the physical street address of your post office box, renting virtual office spaces, using a mailbox service, or one of several other ways can help you get a U.S. address for business.
A virtual office space is one of the most straightforward ways of obtaining a physical street address for your company. This method provides a business address for USA entrepreneurs living abroad. It’s not a permanent physical office, but it does come with a physical business address, allowing you to obtain a U.S. mailing address for registering your company and opening a business bank account. If you’re willing to pay additional charges, you’re able to rent real physical office spaces and meeting rooms, as well.
Virtual office spaces usually come with additional services that might be useful for your organization. Mail forwarding services, access to real-time shipping prices, and other convenient receptionist-like additions are welcome bonuses in most cases.
Many companies that offer these virtual workspaces are global, allowing you to take advantage of the service in the U.S. and where you reside permanently. Benefits of using a virtual office include:
It’s important not to confuse these offices with a USA virtual address for business owners. Virtual addresses, or virtual mailboxes, provide a real street address to use for receiving pieces of mail.
These virtual mailboxes provide digital mail scanning into your online mailbox. Your digital mailbox service makes your scanned mail accessible from any device and location. A virtual address for LLC owners can provide most of the advantages with very few headaches or risks — but let’s weigh all the potential options first.
When you need to get a business address in the USA, you have several options to choose from. Consider each of the following methods to get a USA business address and carefully weigh the potential upsides and pitfalls for your organization:
There’s always the option of getting a post office mailbox address and using the street address of the post office as your physical address. While this does the job of allowing you to access postal mail sent to your U.S. business and establishes an address — it’s not technically a physical address. The lack of a physical street address could be a red flag for your customers, depending on the type of business you own. In addition, unless someone regularly checks incoming mail, you could pay a fortune in mail forwarding fees if you have an extremely active mailbox address.
Asking your family to use their address for incoming mail and a physical address for business might seem attractive because it’s free. However, using your family’s physical address could pose challenges during tax time. Normally, you’re not required to file state taxes if you didn’t reside in the state during the year in question. However, certain states, like South Carolina, Virginia, and several others, make it difficult to get out of the state tax obligation — even if you live abroad. Not only does this pose a potential headache for you but also for your family residing at the physical address.
As described above, a virtual office is one way of obtaining a real street address. However, if you don’t use many of the services that come with these services (like the physical office buildings, digital meeting space, etc.), many non-resident business owners might consider a virtual office a waste of money.
With a virtual mailbox address, you get all the perks, including a real street address, physical mail storage, online mail management, email notification when content scanning happens, mail forwarding service if you need physical copies of business mail, 24-hour access, and lots more. When deciding between a home address vs. a virtual address for an LLC, the advantages seem to favor the latter.
Our business formation experts can help you start an LLC without getting buried in red tape. We also plenty of other business services to help you run and grow your company, and our website is full of helpful information, such as how to move your LLC to another state.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Technically, yes. However, it’s important to understand the tax laws in the state where your business is registered. This could have tax implications for you — or, even worse, the friends/family who occupy the residential address you’re using.
If you operate as a state-registered business like an LLC or a corporation, you need a physical address to file your business documents.
A physical address is the best to use for an LLC for two main reasons. First, it’s usually required by law. And second, it makes your customers feel a higher level of security, making it easier for them to buy.
You can own a U.S. business if you live abroad, but you’ll need a U.S. business address to register your business and for tax and banking purposes.
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