Many new small business owners stumble across this question "can I use my home address for LLC?" It's a legit question, especially for those who do not have another physical address to list for their place of business.
The answer is simple - but at the same time, there are a few considerations you will have to remember. Read on in order to find out what they are.
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Can I Use My Home Address When Setting Up My LLC?
Legally speaking, yes, there should be no reason why you cannot register your home address as a business address for your limited liability company (LLC). There is no LLC requirement that say you cannot do that otherwise. It has several advantages that can help you in the long run as you are starting up your business.
You do have to keep in mind that while it does have a few advantages, it also has some drawbacks. If you are serious about your business and have big plans for future growth, then you might want to refrain from using your home address as your LLC.
Why Would I Use My Home Address for My LLC?
There are several reasons why you may want to use your home address as the business address. Here are the most common ones:
You Are Still Unsure About the Business Path
If you are still unsure about the path of your business and do not know for sure whether you want to make it a career or not, then you can use your home address as a business address. This way, you will not have to make any commitments for maintaining a business building.
Bear in mind that this uncertainty might make you want to re-think the issue of starting an LLC altogether. LLCs are legal business structures, which you'll have to register with the government. You might want to go through every aspect before deciding to open a limited liability company.
You Are the Sole Proprietor
If you are the sole proprietor of a business, with no employees and no one else aiding you with your business, then you may use your home address for your LLC.
For instance, let's say that you are a freelancer, and all the work you do is online. You do not have to physically meet the clients, nor do you have to hire employees to come to your location. In this case, using your home address for your LLC might prove beneficial.
You Want to Reduce Building and Lease Costs
If you use your home address as your LLC, then you will no longer have to pay for leases, building costs, or other separate building establishments. You will have your own home for that, which you are already paying for anyway.
The best part is that you may even deduct certain aspects that deal with your business. For example, if you list your home address as your business address, it also becomes your business tax home. Any taxes associated with your home office and your business expenses may be deducted.
Advantages of Using My Home Address for LLC
Using your home address for your business has several advantages, among which are included:
If you use your home address as an address for your business, then you may get tax deductions for your home office. Home-based businesses can have their rent, mortgage and utilities deducted for the part used for business. The only condition is for the said part of the home to be used exclusively for work.
Lower Business Costs
New business owners that run their business from a separate location from their home will have various costs to cover. For instance, let's say that you rent a room or building to use as your place of business.
If that happens, then you will have to pay utility costs and rent for a second building as well. By listing your home instead, you remove those extra funds and focus on the matter at hand: providing the product.
Better Lifestyle Advantages
Using your home address as your business address also gives you a few lifestyle advantages. If you set your LLC at home, then you will not have to commute to a certain location or wear specific types of clothing. You can set your own schedule with a home-based LLC, which will give you more freedom.
Disadvantages of Using My Home Address for LLC
Besides the advantages, there are also some drawbacks for business owners to use their home address as a business address. Here are some issues you may come across:
Trouble when you Meet with Clients
If you are working from home and do not have an office to meet your clients regularly, then you must find other locations to meet your clients.
For example, you may have to meet with your client at their place of business, or you may have to find another gray area, such as a restaurant or a coffee shop. Most owners of small businesses prefer to use a virtual office for these meetings.
When you start a business and do not have an actual business building with a legit business address, your clients may not take you seriously. This is especially the case when you work in an area of business that puts a great accent on professional image.
In some business areas, this is not really a problem - especially if you are a sole proprietor. However, if you wish to create an image, then an actual office might go a long way. Simply working from home may affect your credibility.
Requires a Registered Agent
When you start an LLC, you need to choose a registered agent for the business. A registered agent has the role of collecting notices and government correspondence on behalf of your business.
Most LLC owners will take one of their members and give them the role of a registered agent. However, if you are working from home and you are the sole proprietor of your business, this may be tricky.
You'll have to find a third-party individual (i.e., your attorney) to act as your registered agent. Alternatively, you may hire someone from a registered agent service for this purpose.
Business Address Is Public
When you use your own address for the LLC, then your home address becomes public for anyone looking up your business. This can be a privacy and safety concern. If you do not want your collaborators to know where you live, then setting your home address for your business might not be the best move.
What Should I Do When I Use My Home Address for My LLC?
After you have decided that you wish to set your personal address as your LLC mailing address, there are certain things that you should do first. Make sure that you follow the steps below:
Check the Lease
Not every landlord wants their home address to be visible to anyone you may potentially do business with. Check your lease carefully, and make sure that you aren't violating any terms by listing your address.
Consider the Zoning Laws
Home-based businesses may have certain limitations, depending on the area that you live in. For instance, you may have a limited number of clients allowed to visit you or a limited number of employees. Make sure that you know the zoning laws, as this kind of information may offer you liability protection.
Research the Business Licensing Requirements
Home-based LLCs are also businesses - and like any other business, you will have to make sure you respect all the licensing requirements for your state. No one will take you seriously with a home business unless you have all your licensing and registration in order.
Bear in mind that aside from state licensing, you might have to research local business licenses as well. Each area has different laws, so you'll have to do your research and ensure you do not miss anything.
Alternatives for Using My Home Address for My LLC
Not everyone may benefit from using their home address as their LLC. For instance, when privacy issues are a concern, or when you need liability protection, there are several alternatives to putting in your home address.
For example, you may go for commercial business addresses, such as virtual office spaces, or perhaps some virtual mailbox places.
PO boxes are also a common and beneficial option, as they offer a physical address so that you can get your mail. It is a good option for those who live in a rented home and need an actual mailing address.
The Bottom Line
If you are running a small business from your home - one that you consider more of a side hustle - then you may list your home address as a business one. It is actually the best option for most people who are just starting out with their business.
Eventually, when the company grows, you can make the move and put in the paperwork to list an actual office. It is safer and more convenient this way.