The Dangers of Registering or Advertising Your Business at Your Home Address

Starting a new business or expanding an existing one comes with a series of challenges that entrepreneurs must overcome in order to be successful. A primary concern during the early stages of brand and business development is finding an affordable and suitable location to setup shop. Using your home address while you figure things out might seem like a good idea at first, but there are a lot of reasons as to why it’s not a viable long-term solution for your business.  When push comes to shove, you need a professional virtual business address in Ottawa or Mississauga, even if you’re mainly working from home. 

Why Is Using Your Personal Home Address for Your Business a Bad Idea?

The following is a list of reasons why it makes more sense to obtain a virtual business address in Ottawa or Mississauga or look for an all-inclusive office space for rent instead of registering your home address for your business. 

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Privacy Concerns 

There’s a time and a place for your personal and professional life to mix, like when you’re hosting a social function for your employees or taking a client out to lunch as a good will measure. But having work parcels and mail sent to your personal home address or holding client and team meetings at your residence can bring up some serious privacy concerns. It blurs the line between your personal and professional endeavours.

Moreover, you need to have an address associated with your business’s social media accounts, website(s), and Google My Business listing to boost your credibility. Publicizing your home address on these various online platforms puts your personal safety and privacy at risk since just about anyone can gain access to it. If maintaining your personal privacy is a course for concern as you manage your business remotely, then you should consider taking advantage of virtual office services in Ottawa or Mississauga. 

Safety Concerns 

Listing your home address as your business address also opens you up to a host of potential safety concerns for you, your family, and your neighbours. In the event that a disgruntled former employee or dissatisfied customer wants to exact some sort of revenge on you for a perceived slight, then they can easily find out where you live to do so. Furthermore, listing your address on public platforms leaves you open to unwanted solicitations from advertisers and all sorts of companies. It’s better to keep your home and business address separate, so that you can mitigate and prevent potential safety risks to you and your family.

Family Might Get in the Way 

Adding onto the previous point, using your home address for your business can also pose potentially serious privacy and safety risks for your family, roommates, or anyone else who lives with you. Remember, it’s not just your address that’s being shared—you’re also sharing the address of all members of your immediate household, which puts you and them at risk. 

Aside from the safety and privacy risks, using your home address for business means that your family members or roommates can sometimes intentionally or unintentionally interfere with your work. Nosy family members might want to open your mail or chat with clients and employees that visit your home and this can lead to a series of other preventable problems that you most likely don’t want to encounter. At the end of the day, it’s best to leave your home and work life separate as much as possible. 

Getting Uninvited Guests or Intruders in Your Home

According to Ontario’s Business Names Act, all businesses must be registered with the Central Production and Verification Branch (CPVSB) of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS). Information included in this registry, such as business name and address, appears in the official Public Record. For a small fee, anyone from various government agencies such as the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) or individual parties can typically gain access to this information. 

That means you can have unexpected or uninvited guests appear at your home such as business debt collectors, existing or prospective clients, and even former or current employees at any time of the day or night. Although this doesn’t happen often, it’s still something to think twice about before registering your home address for your business. 

Mail Mishaps 

As a homeowner, you probably already get a lot of spam and advertisements in the mail as it is. Registering your business under your home address will not only increase the amount of direct mail advertising and solicitations you receive, but it can also be extremely overwhelming to have to sift through double the amount of mail all at once.

It also increases the risk of mixing your personal mail with professional documents that may be sent in the mail. If you live with other people, they probably also have access to the same mailbox that you use, which means some of your mail might get mixed up with theirs by accident. Of course, you could purchase a separate P.O. box at your local post office, but that makes it inconvenient to retrieve your work documents when you need them. Business centers in Ottawa and Mississauga have extensive mail receiving, sorting, holding, and sending services that operate on your behalf, so you never have to worry about losing an important document due to a mail mishap. 

Unprofessional Appearance 

Plain and simple, residential addresses affiliated with businesses lack a certain sense of professionalism and credibility. Imagine placing a product order from an online business only to discover that the address it’s coming from is someone’s home. It’s one thing if you’re running a side hustle to make a little extra cash through social media and are upfront about working from home. But if you’re managing a legitimate enterprise with employees and overhead costs, it can be hard to earn the trust of your prospects without a proper business address. 

Use a Professional Virtual Office Business Address 

As you can see, there are a lot of cons to registering your home address for your business. If you’re working from home for the time being or need to secure an affordable and all-inclusive office space for rent in Mississauga or Ottawa, Innovative Professional Offices is here to help. We provide a plethora of virtual and physical office solutions, amenities, and packages that can be custom-tailored to fit your budget and needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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Pat Fernandes

Using all the skills, experience and knowledge gained in my work life, it gives me great joy to help professional business owners to find a comfortable office space to carry out their day to day work. At Innovative Professional Offices we provide executive office space for solo-preneurs and small companies. We provide virtual office services for those who work from home, but need a business address and telephone. We provide board rooms for meetings and small seminars.
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