sole proprietorship and residential address

Discussion in 'Business Mailing Address' started by sfdesigner, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. sfdesigner

    sfdesigner New Member

    I live in San Francisco and have just registered a sole proprietorship. I have a private mailbox that I used for all addresses on the paperwork I will be doing web design and development working with clients remotely via email. On the paperwork, it asks for residence address, which also becomes public information. Hypothetically speaking, if I used my street address (PMB) for everything, is that okay? Not looking for legal advice, just wondering if you might have any experience or knowledge how it works with this type of situation.

  2. leo

    leo Member

    Which paperwork exactly are you talking about? The contract with your client or something with the government?

    I'm not a lawyer nor do I know the details of California's incorporation rules, but here is my best answer. You can use a PMB (like PakMail or UPS Store- any street address that accepts packages, but not a PO Box) as your business address for pretty much everything other than the Registered Agent address. For your Registered Agent, you'll either need to use your home address (which means it would be publicly available), or you'll need to sign up with a Registered Agent service and use the address they give you for that. Registered Agent services range between $50/ year and $200/ year.

    You may also want to consider getting a virtual mailroom service, which will scan all your mail for you and upload to the cloud. Cuts back on your need for paper storage and makes it easier for you to conduct business from anywhere.
  3. From what you wrote the PMB is the very least of your worries. What concerns me is that you registered as a Sole Proprietor. Not sure if you realize how dangerous that is. If you are sued as a sole proprietor and found libel then your home, all assets, everything you own can be taken to satisfy the judgement. You can incorporate your business that will protect your home and personal bank accounts from all legal actions other than illegal activities. By the way this is not an ad. I don't do legal work.

    I suggest you pick up a copy of "Incorporation for Dummies" at your local bookstore and find out more. It's usually less than $100.00 to form an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) you file your taxes on Schedule C of your regular 1040 form. You can incorporate in any state in the union whether you live there or not. There are a lot of tax advantages to incorporate in Montana. Read all about the advantages in the "Dummies" book I recommended to you.

    Some other things the IRS will require you to have in order to be recognized as a business and not a hobby. If you are a hobby then you can't deduct things like computer programs, copies, ink cartridges, etc. They want you to have a registered business name with the state. California used to require filing a "Fictitious Business Name" and to publish the name in a legal paper for two or three weeks. Not sure if that's still the case but contact the Sec of State for more info. ( ) You will need a business bank account separate from your personal checking account. Don't mix the funds. Last you will need a business phone number separate from your home phone number. Cell phone will do but it's business only.

    Hope some of this is helpful. Best of luck.


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