Did you know that more than half of all small enterprises operate from home? If you own a small business, you may be wondering: should your business address should be the same as your residential address? Great question, and it’s one that this listings management agency in Chicago, Illinois is going to answer below.
Types of Businesses
Before we get into the nuances of which address(es) you should use and why, let’s first define the two main types of businesses:
1. Businesses with a Physical Location
Businesses with a physical location have a — you guessed it — a physical location that customers can visit.
This type of business includes companies with a storefront, clinics, or offices where customers can book appointments or drop by during regular business hours.
If your business falls under this category, your address that’s listed on the web will probably be the physical location of your business.
2. Service-Area Businesses
Service-area businesses are those that do not display their physical address on the internet, because they do not have a physical address that customers can visit. Most of the time, they are operating their business out of their home. Instead, the business owner and their employees serve customers within a specific geographic area by visiting them.
Local service businesses — such as plumbers, locksmiths, painters, and electricians — are examples of service-area businesses. Home-based businesses, such as consultants and freelancers, are also examples of service-area businesses.
Can You Use Your Home Address for Your Home-Based or Service-Area Business?
If you own a store or another type of business with a physical location, your address will most likely be the actual business address (rather than your home address). However, things become a little more problematic when you run your business from home, or if you serve customers by visiting them.
A reputable listings management agency in Chicago, Illinois, can help you through this, but one thing is clear: you do not want to display your home address.
Do you want clients and strangers on the Internet to know your home address if you work from home? Are you ready for them to unexpectedly show up at your front door? Most likely not. As such, your public-facing address should probably be different from your home address.
If using your home address is not an option, you can choose between a post office box, mailbox service, or virtual office.
According to Google guidelines, home addresses and virtual office addresses are not allowed to be publicly displayed on your local business listing, and your listing may be suspended if you violate this essential rule. You can only display a virtual office address if it is staffed by your employees during your regular business hours.
Google will not let you use a Post Office Box, virtual office, or mail service address from a UPS store. Unfortunately, some black hat SEO “experts” and unethical enterprises employ virtual office and PO box addresses in an attempt to create phony listings, or to take over the listing of another small business. This strategy is detrimental to small businesses and makes it very hard to rank in Google local searches, which is why Google does everything in their power to prevent this from happening.
The bottom line is that you must be truthful when it comes to listing your home-based small businesses on Google My Business. Claim and verify your listing using your home address, and make sure you follow the service-area business guidelines. As always, an experienced listings management agency in Chicago, Illinois can guide you through the process.
Looking to Partner with the Most Trusted Listings Management Agency in Chicago, Illinois?
Are you looking for the top-rated listings management agency in Chicago, Illinois? If so, Digital Destination is the company to call. If you have any questions about which address to use as your business address in Google My Business, or about local listing management in general, we would be happy to help. Contact us today to get started.