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When I started my freelance business back in July, I had no plans of getting a PO Box. I just didn’t think I’d need one.
My address is the one on file on my business license, the one I bank with, and I just planned on using it.
Then, as I was plugging away at Gina’s awesome freelance writing course (affiliate link), she mentioned getting a PO Box to help increase safety on the internet. I read that lesson, thought about it a bit, and tucked it away for later.
In the meantime, I pulled my address off of my resume, just in case.
Why I Finally Took the PO Box Plunge
Recently, I created a signature for my emails. Some of the information it recommended you include was your address. My signature looked plain without it, but I sure wasn’t going to publish my home address on every email I sent. That’s just crazy!
Enter the PO Box!
The kids and I took a trip down to the local post office later that day after pricing it online. (The USPS PO Box website was very helpful for pricing and checking availability!) I’m happy to report that I’ll be saving money each year by using the post office I picked, instead of some of the others in the area!
For only $38 a year (plus a one time $6 key fee), I now have a PO Box and can further protect myself online. Definitely worth it!
I just told the clerk I wanted to get a PO Box for my business, and we got started.
How Do You Get a PO Box?
I wasn’t sure what the process was like, but I’m thankful to report it was easy!
The clerk was very helpful, and provided me with a simple form to fill out. I also needed to provide 2 pieces of ID–one of them had to be a photo ID, and one had to have my address.
Thankfully I had my wallet on me, and took care of it right there with my driver’s license and conceal carry permit.
Other options included:
- Government ID Card/Military ID card
- University ID
- Vehicle Registration Form
- A lease or mortgage
- And some others. Here’s the list on the USPS website for easy reference.
(A quick side note…)
If you want to register the PO Box in more than one person’s name, you EACH need to provide two forms of ID. Except for children. They don’t need any.
(And we’re back!)
Once my ID had been verified (the clerk looked at them, wrote my driver’s license number down, and initialed the form twice), I got to pick my size.
Since I don’t actually anticipate getting mail here, I opted for the cheapest, smallest size, Size 1. The form you have to fill out provides specifics on the dimensions.
Next I picked my number. That was fun! I used a combination of where the box was located, how high off the ground the box was, and what numbers I thought sounded good to make my selection. Very scientific, I know!
That was it. Well except for paying. I did that too.
Then I tried the keys to make sure they worked, and we left. Painless process.
I feel better knowing I have an address that can accept mail (if needed) that isn’t leading someone right to my front door.
- You have your address on your resume and are sending it out all over the Internet
- If you want to have a more anonymous address
- Your home address doesn’t receive mail (except then you probably already have a PO Box)
- You like picking numbers–it was kind of fun!
As I was researching, I read that many people felt a PO Box is less official for a business. Here’s my two cents on the matter:
Times are changing.
Internet-based businesses are becoming more common.
Those internet based businesses are often housed in a home.
People don’t like publishing their home address all over the internet.
Customers understand all of this.
If I lose a client because I have a PO Box listed on my signature instead of my actual address, then I don’t really want that client anyways. Not every client is a good one. (That’s a blog post for another day!)
How about you? Do you have a PO Box for your address? If not, are you planning on getting one?
Please share your thoughts!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.