A Post Office Box, or PO Box, from the US Postal Service helps you keep important documents confidential and your home address private. You won’t have to worry about packages and mail being delivered when you’re not home, and a PO Box also allows you to separate all of your business mail from your personal mail.
To find a PO Box near you, simply go the USPS homepage and look for the “Reserve a New PO Box” tab. You can then search by zip code or address to find the nearest location. You can reserve a United States Postal Service (USPS) PO Box with your online account or open a new account at usps.com/poboxes. Once you find a Box that fits your needs and reserve it, print the PO Box application: PS Form 1093. Then take it to your Post Office with two forms of photo ID.
After you complete the PO Box application, submit it at the Post Office, and pay your rental fee via credit card, you’ll get a Box number and two keys or a combination for your Box. If the USPS doesn’t provide mail services to your home, you may be entitled to a free PO Box. Check with your local Post Officeto see if you’re eligible.
A PO Box is affordable and allows you a change of address if you cancel. In addition to the above, a USPS mailing address gets you package notifications, 24-hour access, and text or call-in mail check. If a box or package is too large to fit in your Box, you will receive a notice to pick up your package at the counter during regular business hours.
If you decide to look into getting a PO Box for your business, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If you’re an LLC or a corporation, you are not allowed to use a PO Box as the physical address you list on your business license. So be sure to ask the postal service for a real address rather than a PO Box. For registration purposes, a business address must be a legally valid address — that is, a physical address or a virtual address.
Also, most USPS offices won’t sign for packages from the UPS or FedEx. However, if your PO Box is eligible for Premium PO Box Services, packages from any shipper can be held at a Post Office location.
And if you’d rather not stand in the long lines at the Post Office, you can set up automatic renewal payments online to pay your PO Box fees using a credit or debit card. Just log into your account and go to Manage PO Box.
Something else to keep in mind is if you already have a PO Box for your personal mail, you can switch to a business account online. However, if you have a business account, you cannot switch to a personal account. You’ll need to apply for a new personal PO Box.
Aside from the convenience of a PO Box, there are a number of other services you can get for your business such as Caller Service. This is for businesses that have more than five PO Boxes or receive more mail than can be delivered to the largest Box. You’ll be notified to come pick up your mail during business hours if your packages can’t be delivered to your Boxes.
Another service is called Reserve Service. This is designed for business owners who send out lots of promotional mailings. This service helps you distinguish between promotional mail and standard business mail.
A PO Box is a good option for many small business owners who don’t want to use their home address as their business address. Your mail is secure, you can access your mail during USPS business hours, there are a range of mailbox sizes to choose from, and the rental periods are priced fairly.
So when considering whether a PO Box is right for you, consider the benefits as well as the limitation to decide if its the best choice for your business.