Renting a Post Office Box

Given that we’ve been going to the trouble of formalizing our online ventures as an actual business, I thought that I’d go the extra mile and document the various steps here. Since our goal is to separate our business and personal lives, it only makes sense to rent a Post Office box such that the business side of things can’t be easily tied back to our home address.

To this end, I dropped by the Post Office to check out what they had available. As it turns out, P.O. Boxes are way cheaper than I had expected. The least expensive option, with a 3″ x 5.5″ opening, was just $26/year. We opted for the second step up (5″ x 5.5″) at $38/year. While the sizes are standard across locations, prices vary depending on where you’re located. This table gives you and idea of the range (prices reflect six month rates) but you have to know which “Fee Group” you’re a part of before you can figure out your exact cost. It’s probably easiest to just call your local Post Office for pricing.

More info on P.O. Boxes is available from the U.S. Postal Service.

12 Responses to “Renting a Post Office Box”

  1. Anonymous

    I’ve had a box at my local post office for more than 20 yrs.

    I pay by the year. I’m paid up through December yet the Post office locked my box.


    This is not the first time this has happened.

    I’d like to sue. Who do I talk to first?

  2. Anonymous

    Terry, I believe you are wrong. I have had a UPS store mailbox for a year now and the address doesn’t include ‘PMB’, just the address and box number. These mailboxes are more expensive than a P.O. box you can get package deliveries there.

  3. Anonymous

    I second the use of a UPS Store box. It will cost a bit more, but you’ll be able to receive not-USPS shipments including UPS and Fedex. Plus for all the shippers who say “Can’t ship to PO Box” a UPS Store box is almost always okay.

  4. Anonymous

    There is often a waiting list for the smallest size PO boxes, and the larger sizes are almost always readily available.

    The postal regs were changes about ten years ago to require mail addressed to Private Mail Boxes (e.g. The UPS Store) to use the format “street address PMB #nnn”. For example, 123 Main Street PMB #234. Before this change, mail could be addressed to 123 Main Street #234 and the sender could get the false impression it’s a real office or apartment at that street address. The PMB currently required sticks out like a sore thumb as a mere mail drop.

  5. Anonymous

    Why not just rent a box at the UPS Store?


    This is from their website:

    Discover the benefits of mailbox services at The UPS Store:

    A real street address, not a P.O. Box
    A street address can provide a professional image for your business.
    Secure, 24-hour access*
    Pick up your mail when it?s convenient for you. Your mail and packages stay-safe and confidential.
    Package notification
    We?ll let you know when your packages arrive.
    Full-service mail and package receiving
    We accept packages from all carriers, so you?ll never miss a delivery.
    Mail holding and forwarding**
    We?ll hold your packages in a secure location for pick-up at your convenience or forward them to you, wherever you are.

    Seems like the better option to me. Having a “real street address” verses a “PO BOX” is worth the extra money in my mind.

  6. A physical address is required for the registered agent. We’re using our attorney as our registered agent, so his name and address is what’s listed. But the regular mailing address is our P.O. Box. Make sense?

  7. Anonymous

    What address did you use to register your LLC though? From my understanding in most circumstances you cannot use a PO Box to register an LLC as a physical street address is required.

  8. Anonymous

    I use a post box for any correspondence that might be searchable online at some point, such as for the whois registry, race registrations, or having somebody mail me something in an email message. I haven’t officially created a business though; I’ve just been operating as a sole prop.

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