While a virtual mailbox gives you a smart and convenient way to manage your postal mail remotely, sometimes you may want to just get a local PO Box for personal reasons.
A PO Box is the best choice if you have basic needs for a mailbox service that will protect your privacy or for keeping an address that you will use for mailing address purposes.
In this article we explain 5 good reasons for renting and getting a PO box.
What is a PO Box?
A post office box, or commonly known as a PO Box or a Postal Box, is a lockable mailbox located in a post office station. PO Boxes are traditionally used to receive mail when you live in areas where mail is not delivered directly to your home. These days, PO Boxes can be used for other purposes other than necessity.
What are the Advantages of a PO Box?
PO Boxes offer a wide variety of benefits that will appeal to many people. Here are just a few to consider:
- You get a permanent address.
- Privacy of your home and personal address.
- Mail security a PO Box is physically located inside a post office and is securely monitored in the location. It is also locked and accessible only with a key or lock combination.
- Fast delivery of mail and packages because PO Boxes are hosted by the Post Office mail get delivered faster.
What are the Disadvantages of a PO Box?
A PO Box may suffice for more personal reasons, however a PO Box has many disadvantages for a startup.
- PO Boxes do not provide a professional business image.
- A physical street address is required for your registered agent for an LLC or corporation and PO boxes are not accepted.
- A PO Box can only receive mail delivered through USPS and not other carriers such as FedEx or UPS.
- You will have to stay on top of your mail to make sure that your PO Box does not overfill.
- You have to be careful with packages because if a package does not fit in your PO Box it will be set aside by USPS.
- Mail forwarding and package forwarding from a PO Box is not cheap. USPS charges extra fees to perform these services.
- You have to physically travel to your PO Box often.
Why Should I Rent a PO Box?
Now that you know what a PO Box is and its advantages and disadvantages, let’s dive into those 5 reasons as to why you should rent a PO Box with all the information currently at your disposal.
Reason 1: Mail Security
A PO Box is physically located inside a post office. It is locked and accessible only if you have the right key or lock combination. Selected Post Offices have extended business hours and/or 24/7 lobby access so you can pick up your mail at any time. Mail stored in your postal box is also more secure compared to mail inside your mailbox at home because mail is often left in an unlocked mailbox that's easy for strangers to rummage through.
Reason 2: Fast Delivery
Because PO Boxes are hosted by the Post Office, mail typically gets delivered faster to a postal box than to a residential or business address. There is no waiting for the postman to drop mail off at your home or office. You new mail is usually available before 12pm. This is convenient if you need to get particular mail that requires same-day mail-out.
Reason 3: Privacy
Another primary reason why people rent a PO Box is to protect their privacy. There are certain times when you don't want certain people to know where you live. By getting a postal box, you get another mailing address that you can use for selected contacts and transactions.
A great example for using a PO Box is for receiving rent on real estate properties from your tenants. There are good reasons for not wanting your tenants to know where you live, especially when there comes a day that eviction is required.
Reason 4: Affordable Prices
Fees for PO Boxes are normally inexpensive. Depending on the box location and size, a 6-month term starts for as low as $10. However, you need to make sure that you get the proper box size that fits your incoming mail volume.
Reason 5: Permanent Mailing Address
A PO Box is great for people who move constantly. If you've ever relocated, you know the pain you go through - changing mailing address for bills, bank statements, and magazine subscriptions, updating personal information with the IRS and the government, and sending email or emailing friends your new address. It's very easy to miss updating an important service. Next thing you know, you end up with identity theft because someone happened to get his hands on your personal mail. A PO Box reduces this problem by cutting down the frequency required to change your mailing address every time you move.
When Should I Get A PO Box?
If you have simple basic needs for a mailbox service such as protecting your privacy or for keeping an address that you use for mailing address purposes, a PO Box is a smart and affordable choice.
You can learn how to get a PO box in our article 3 Easy Steps on How To Get a PO Box
PO Boxes, however, are not always the best choice under certain circumstances. Some reasons for why a PO Box is not ideal is for an LLC or corporation, which requires a physical address. Read more on why you need a business address for an LLC or corporation.
It is also why you might want to consider alternatives like our virtual mailboxes for more sophisticated uses and needs.