What are the Differences between Virtual Mail vs. a PO Box?

Great Question!  A PO Box has been the traditional way to get a business address when you don’t have an office.  However, today there is another way that more and more businesses are turning to: Virtual Office Addresses with Virtual Mail.  So, what exactly is the difference between Virtual Mail vs. a PO Box? 

What ARE PO Boxes and Virtual Mail?

A traditional PO Box (Post Office Box), is just that, a physical box that you rent at a Post Office location.  You can rent by the month or year and choose the size box you want.  The actual address that you receive is a P.O. Box ###, City, State, Zip.  It is not a street address.

A Virtual Office Address, on the other hand, is an actual physical office building street address.  The Virtual Mail is the service of receiving your mail at that Virtual Office Address.  Often, this address is located in a prominent business location, such as Starthub’s Virtual Office address in Miami, FL. 

Using Virtual Mail vs. a PO Box means that you aren’t just renting a box.  Rather, you are renting a service and that service can include many features and benefits.  Some of these include mail management and digital mailbox services, a virtual receptionist, and even physical office spaces to use to work from.  To see more about the services that Virtual Offices can give you, read the article What is a Virtual Office?

Are there Limitations with Either Option?

While a PO Box certainly allows you to receive mail, it has some limitations. Bank and merchant services typically will not accept a PO Box as your main business location.  That means you would not be able to open a business bank account with only a PO Box. Most states will not allow you to use a PO Box when registering your business as an LLC or corporation, and they certainly will not let you register your business through your home address.

A Virtual Office Address can be used as a registered agent.  When you register your business with the state, you must have a registered.  If you only have a PO Box, you will need to find and pay fees additionally for a registered agent.  With Virtual Mail vs. a PO Box, the registered agent services are often one of the services offered.  This means that government documents, business registrations, and bank and merchant documents can be received at this mailbox location.

Which is Better for Credibility, Virtual Mail vs. PO Box?

First Impression

For many potential clients or customers, especially when you are selling a product, a PO Box can raise some red flags and deter business.  Unfortunately today, there are thousands of scams that are run directly from a PO Box. A Virtual Address reassures your clients that your business operations are located in the United States, so they can contact you anytime if issues should arise. After all, a confident buyer equals a long time buyer, and a virtual office can get you there.

Meeting with Clients

As mentioned, a PO Box is just a box.  You cannot have meetings with clients in the box nor can you sit in your box to get some work done.  Nope, it’s a box. So, if you need to have a meeting with a client, potential customer, or investor, don’t look to your PO Box for help. 

A Virtual Online Mailbox Address, however, is tied to a physical location.  So, you can bring your clients to a professional office location.  Many Virtual Office plans offer access to the space, so you can even schedule important meetings at your registered business address location. This lets your clients know that you are credible, legitimate, and reliable.

Listing Your Business Address on Google

Most potential clients look up new solutions to their issues via Google- and how can clients find your business if you are not registered? Google does not allow businesses to register on Google My Business with a PO Box, since a physical business address is required. Any listings that are not an actual location will be removed from Google. A Virtual Address is a real location, so you can use this business address to register your business on Google My Business. This improves your online SEO footprint, and helps you reach more clients.

Which Address Option is better for Packages, Virtual Mail vs. PO Box?

Do you love Amazon? We do too. With a USPS PO Box, you sadly won’t be able to receive any of the business supplies you ordered. A USPS PO Box does not accept mail from different carriers.  This is an obvious problem if you have packages coming through FedEx, UPS or DHL.

A Virtual Address can accept mail from any carrier, no matter the size or weight. Your packages can be held until you request a forward or are picked up.

What if I Travel and Can’t Get to my Mailbox?

If you travel a lot or are out of the country, getting mail from a United States PO Box can be inconvenient. A Virtual Office offers mail and package handling.  You can request a scan of important documents or have it forwarded to you directly. Tired of your mailbox being filled with junk? You can request a shred from anywhere.  No longer do you need to waste time on items that are already destined for the garbage can.


At Starthub, we offer comprehensive virtual office solutions. We’ll even give you your first month FREE. Just click here to get started.  You’ll receive a prestigious mailing address in downtown Miami, dedicated mail handling services from a talented team, and an innovative digital platform to receive and direct your mail. Plus, 24/7 customer support. For more information on why Starthub is the best choice for your virtual mailbox, click here.


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