What is a virtual mailbox?

There are various options when looking for the perfect mailbox solution. One of the most popular is a virtual mailbox. This digital mailbox service allows both people and businesses to receive physical mail separately from their own address.

While companies mainly use virtual mailboxes, they can benefit both people and businesses. They are especially helpful for those who don’t have access to a physical mailbox. People moving house or travelling can use a virtual mailbox to manage their mail in the short term. Small, remote or home-run businesses can use virtual mailboxes to receive and sort business mail as a longer-term mailing solution. 

In this article, we’ll explain how these services work and tell you how you can create your own virtual mailbox. 

What is a virtual post mailbox?

A virtual mailbox is a digital mailbox service accessible from anywhere in the world via the internet. This allows a person or business to receive mail at a virtual address instead of their own business or home address. They can then manage this mail online.

While a virtual mailbox may sound like it only exists online, it does have a physical address where mail is received. These physical addresses are often managed by dedicated virtual office companies that offer a wide range of mailing services. 

Mail handling services often include mail sorting and screening. These services make virtual mailboxes an ideal mail solution for small businesses. The option of getting rid of junk mail and forwarding important letters and packages is very helpful to startups without commercial premises. 

Virtual mailboxes can also receive large parcels and packages for the mailbox owner, including deliveries that need a signature. Virtual mailbox providers can also offer long term mail storage for less urgent deliveries. However, some of these services can cost more.

What is a virtual mailbox address?

A virtual mailbox address has a real street address, often a PO box or physical mailbox, where physical mail is received. Once mail arrives at this address, it is scanned and registered online. The mailbox owner can then view and manage their postal mail remotely online.

A virtual mailbox address has a lot of benefits. Most of these are very helpful for small businesses and startups. Many small companies are run from bedrooms, spare rooms, and garages. A virtual mailbox address in a city centre or business district can help make these startups appear more professional. 

When mail is scanned and received, the mailbox owner can choose from a range of extra mailing services. The most popular of these services is mail screening and forwarding. 

This allows the mailbox owner to receive important mail at their home or business address. If there is a large amount of mail, these services can often save small business owners valuable time and resources. However, extra services like mail forwarding are not always included in virtual mailbox services and come with extra shipping fees.

How do I create a virtual mailbox?

You can create a virtual mailbox online in minutes. Many virtual mailbox companies offer quick set up and registration options. And most virtual office packages include the option of a virtual mailing address as well as other business addresses and mailing address options. 

Depending on your virtual mailbox location, you may need some official documents that allow the mailbox company to receive mail on your behalf. For example, in the US, you will need to fill out some United States Postal Service paperwork before registering for a virtual mailbox. Whereas for a mailbox with an address in the UK, you don’t need to file any paperwork with the Post Office or Royal Mail. However, most virtual mailbox suppliers will ask for some form of official identification when registering your mailbox. 

You will also need an email address where you will get notification of new mail, and may need to supply a forwarding address. This will be used to forward on important mail to your home or business address. However, some virtual mailboxes allow for physical pick up and collection of mail.

If you want to learn about more mailing solutions, read our complete guide to address types. There, you’ll find information about a variety of address types and mailing solutions for you and your business.

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.