Ananda Raj Pandey

Is It Necessary To Have Physical Address For Online Business?

If the online business can be run from home, should we have an office for it? Is office a trust factor for an online business?

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8 Answers

Trevor Hartshorne

Trevor Hartshorne , Director at Rothlake Business Services

An office is 'expected' by many clients, but that view is slowly changing. I have sometimes received surprise when someone learns that I do not have an office but go to their premises, a coffee shop or even the back seat of a car, but of course mainly working from home. SMEs are particularly understanding, as they too often avoid the cost of an office.

The expectation of an office also depends upon the industry in which you are working. There is already general acceptance that many of those working in IT and social media are less likely to spend all day in an office - because it is not necessary. However it is still a bit of a leap for some to have the same acceptance of other industries that have traditionally been in offices to now work without one.

It is a trend that is coming, and I believe will be well accepted within a few years.

Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang , Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Great points Trevor, I think the physical location boundary is something steeped in traditional management - as new management practices get more widely accepte... read more
Great points Trevor, I think the physical location boundary is something steeped in traditional management - as new management practices get more widely accepted, people will start to move towards trusting their employees more and allowing them to work where they are most productive.
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Jacqui Pryor

Jacqui Pryor , Director at Mark My Words Trademark Services Pty Ltd

I don't think it's necessary for the trust factor. However, under the new business name registration system in Australia it is mandatory to list a physical address for service (i.e. the address for all correspondence about your business name etc). And, this phyiscal address will be published on a public database. So, if you are a sole trader operating from home you may wish to investigate other physical addresses you can use for this purpose rather than have your residential address published. 

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Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang , Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

There are also some great places that offer you a virtual address anywhere in the world for a small monthly subscription fee. You can also apply for local landline phone numbers via skype for a monthly fee as well and receive the calls via skype. 

Looking like a traditional business no longer requires you to be physically there, which is great.

If you are looking for virtual offices here are a few place to start looking:

http://www.servcorp.com.au/virtual-offices/address 

http://virtualheadquarters.com.au/services/virtual-address 

http://www.regus.com.au/products/virtual-offices/virtual-office-bundles.aspx

http://virtualheadquarters.com.au/services/virtual-address  

http://www.gecentre.com.au/virtual-address-sydney.html 

http://www.mbe.com.au/web/page/virtual_office_services 

There are many more, I would love to see if anyone here has used these.

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Edwina Gleeson

Edwina Gleeson , Founder at Max Gabriel

I have an online business and the address I give for customers is a PO Box.  Didn't want to broadcast to the world my home address.

Jacqui Pryor

Jacqui Pryor , Director at Mark My Words Trademark Services Pty Ltd

Hi Edwina - as noted in my first post, were you aware that under the new business name system your phyiscal address does appear on the public database? If you s... read more
Hi Edwina - as noted in my first post, were you aware that under the new business name system your phyiscal address does appear on the public database? If you search your business name at https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/RegistrySearch/faces/landing/bn/SearchBnRegisters.jspx?_adf.ctrl-state=t9hkzyivg_55 you can see the address that is listed in case you need to look into it
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Chris Carlin

Chris Carlin , Director and Financial Planner at Master Your Money Now

Hi Ananda, it really depends on your business, but I don't think you need a physical office to build "trust" online. Your trust is built with your "online office" i.e. your website, social media, blogs and marketing etc.

These days a lot of appointments can be done online i.e. I am based in Geelong but I saw a client in Sydney. In that instance, it doesn't matter if I have a physical office, co-working space, home office or a kitchen table, as long as the back wall looks good and I can prove that I know what I am talking about then I will get the business.

Cheers
Chris Carlin
Director - Master Your Money Now

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Marcus Tjen

Think of this from your customer point of view.  How can your potential customers differentiate a fraudster website from a genuine website? Does fraudster website normally has a physical address on it?  What would your customer think if they can't find an address on your website?  

You certainly don't need a physical address for a website but if are selling something on your website and you want to attract more customers, you should have one.

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Deborah Vella

From a legal perspective, you will need to have a registered business address.  This doesn't need to be a business location where customers visit, it can be a home address.  This address will be on a publically available register so people can contact you for legal reasons.

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Chelsea Creamer

Chelsea Creamer , Community Manager at SavvySME

Not really. It depends on your business type. In any case, the street address (Especially a good one) would finalize your company's professional image. Still, it's not obligatory. Just have a properly working e-mail address.

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