How to Get a Virtual Address for an LLC

How to Get a Virtual Address for an LLC
How to Get a Virtual Address for an LLC
This article has been contributed by Jo Meunier, Editor, Alliance Virtual Offices.

Getting ready to set up an LLC? You’re in good company. There are approximately 21.6 million LLCs in the United States, and it’s one of the most common types of business structure.

That’s because LLCs are generally easy to form and require fewer formalities compared with setting up a corporation.

Most importantly, an LLC offers limited liability for owners. Unlike a sole proprietorship, an LLC business is considered a separate legal entity and is liable for its own debts. That means your home and personal assets should be protected if your LLC runs into financial trouble.

What Addresses Can You Use for an LLC?
A More Cost-Efficient Solution Is to Use a Virtual Address
How to Get a Virtual Address for Your LLC

What Addresses Can You Use for an LLC?

One thing you’ll notice about an LLC structure is that it requires a recognized address.

Technically, you can use your home address for your LLC. However, most LLC members prefer not to use their home addresses due to security and privacy concerns.

Few people are happy to have their home address and personal contact details published on the web; it exposes your home and phone number to scams and junk mail.

Add to that, information published online is 'sticky'. It tends to remain visible long after your details have been changed or removed. Even if you switch to an office address further down the line, your home address may still appear on web directories or outdated pages.

Plus, as a business owner, using your home address looks a little unprofessional.

A traditional solution is to rent a physical office space.

However, many entrepreneurs and small businesses operate remotely, especially since the pandemic, and carry out their work primarily from home or from job sites. An office lease is therefore unnecessary, and for the sake of an address, it makes the process of setting up an LLC incredibly expensive. Even a small office space can cost hundreds of dollars per month.

A More Cost-Efficient Solution Is to Use a Virtual Address

A virtual address, also known as a virtual office, provides a business address for your company. You can use a virtual address for LLC documentation as well as applying for licenses and permits, a business bank account, financial credit, and more.

Given that virtual offices typically start from as little as $50 per month, it’s far more cost-efficient than a traditional office lease.

It also solves the home privacy problem. Your virtual address will become your publicized business and mailing address, which means your home address remains private and safely off any marketing lists.

However, be sure your virtual address is located at a physical office building. You cannot use a PO Box for your LLC. It must be a physical location with a street address for your business to be compliant.

How can you tell the difference?

A reputable virtual address provider will provide detailed information and images of the location. If you’re unsure, check out the street address on Google Maps and look up the virtual office provider using review sites such as Trustpilot.

Better still, if you’re local, go and see the center for yourself.

Pro Tip: While you’re checking out the address online, consider that your clients and any future partners, investors, or new hires, will probably do the same. What are your first impressions? Is it a professional place where you would happily locate your business? Perception is important and can go a long way toward building trust and credibility for your business.

One recommended virtual address provider is Alliance Virtual Offices.

All their virtual office locations provide a recognized business address at a physical office with onsite meeting space, a professional staff, and secure mail processing and forwarding services.

How to Get a Virtual Address for Your LLC

Now that you know what type of address to look out for, here are 3 simple steps to gain a virtual address for your LLC:

  1. Choose a virtual office location: Select a virtual office location that is suitable for your LLC and customize your options. For example, you may wish to add mail forwarding or monthly meeting room access. At checkout, you will need to submit and notarize a CMRA (commercial mail receiving agency) form that authorizes your virtual office to receive mail on your behalf. If you buy a virtual address through Alliance, they provide an easy online notary service that’s included with your setup.
  2. Submit LLC documentation: Once you have completed the setup of your virtual office, submit your LLC documentation using your new virtual address on your Articles of Organization. If you are updating existing LLC documentation, use IRS form 8822-B to update your business address.
  3. Assign a registered agent. Every LLC needs a registered agent. This is a third party with the authority to receive service of process notices, and other official documents on behalf of your business. In most cases, states require that you have a physical address in addition to a registered agent to set up an LLC.

Pro Tip: Each state may use different regulations regarding LLC setup. We advise checking with your state, or with an appropriate tax advisor or lawyer, to help you best understand your options to ensure that your chosen address can be used for LLC purposes in your state.

That’s it! Now you have a virtual address for your LLC, it’s time to update your marketing documentation, business and tax records with your new address as soon as possible. This will help legally separate your business from your personal assets and keep your home address private, too.

Remember, most virtual offices provide professional meeting rooms and office space. Why not book a workspace for an hour or two and spend a little time working in your new ‘office’?

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