Virtual Office

What is a PO box?

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The PO Box address in the UK is how people have sent and received mail for a long time, even before the era of the internet and faster technologies. Interestingly, the PO Box was originally introduced to allow people living in remote areas to have a secure mailbox for receiving mail in the city. These days though, PO Box can be used for a lot more reasons than accessibility, as well as being easier and more affordable to get.

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Answer Adeosun
Sep 8, 22 · 5 min read
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We have compiled here a few tips about what a PO Box is, how you can get it in the UK, and why you may need it for your business.

What is a PO Box Address?

A PO Box or Post Office Box is a secure and lockable box where you can receive your mail. 

Since the PO Box is provided by the Post Office or Royal Mail sorting facilities, it thus means that you can keep your home address secure while transacting business with the PO Box.

While the PO Box address is the easiest way for people working from home to receive business-related mail without having to give their home address to strangers, there are still some limitations to what kind of mail you can receive from the Post Office.

Keep reading to find out more.

How does a PO Box work?

Usually, you pay for your PO Box address services and renew yearly, otherwise, the address gets given to someone else. The Post Office gives you a key to the number of the box whose address had been given to you after registration and only you get access to it after providing a form of identification.

You can receive most of your mail from a PO Box except for some governmental agencies like HMRC or Companies House. Those would not even allow you to use a PO Box to register with them.

Why should I get a PO Box Address?

  • Some Post Offices provide 24/7 services these days, thus, you can have round-the-clock access to your mails.
  • Owning a PO Box address in a particular locality will give you a local presence even if your business is not physically located there.
  • The PO Box address provided to you by your Post Office would definitely be shorter and easier to remember than a home address.
  • It is a suitable alternative address for freelancers and people who work from home.
  • Since you’ll need a government-issued ID card to collect your mails from the Post Office, it is a secure address option.
  • The PO Box is located in the Post Office premise and as such receives mails faster than any other address since the mails would be delivered directly to your box.
  • It also helps keep your office or home address private and away from unwanted visitors.


What are the limitations or disadvantages of using a PO Box address?

There are a few limitations to using a PO Box address in the UK and here are some of them.

  1. A PO Box address cannot be used to register your business with HMRC or Companies House. You will need a physical street address for that.
  2. If your business may be receiving parcels larger than size 11`` x 11``, then using a PO Box address is definitely not for you.
  3. You cannot use a PO Box address to receive perishable goods or goods that require cold storage as they don’t have the facility to hold such. Due to that, some food delivery outlets discourage the use of a PO Box address entirely on their system.
  4. You have to physically maintain the box to make sure it does not overflow with mail.
  5. Some letters or mail have to be physically signed within 7 days otherwise they get sent back to the sender.
  6. Most PO Box addresses are provided by the Royal Mail sorting outlets and as such would not receive mail from any other courier such as FedEx or UPS.
  7. Forwarding your mail from your PO Box to another address could be a very costly endeavour moneywise.

What differences exist between the PO Box address and the Virtual Office Address?

  1. The PO Box mailbox cannot be used to receive certain large packages while a virtual office address can receive any size of packages.
  2. The virtual office address can be used for many purposes including as a registered office address or director’s service address with the HMRC whereas the PO Box mailbox cannot be used for such purposes.
  3. Most PO Box service providers do not allow online management of mail received while a virtual office address provides you an option of managing your mail via an app or website.
  4. The virtual office address providers give you optional services like email domains, rooms for occasional meetings, etc., for both small and large businesses which do not apply to PO Box addresses.


Purchasing a PO Box address is good for keeping your privacy as a business owner. People who have been abused and are seeking to keep their home address from the public view use the PO Box address to receive their mail.

How does a PO Box Work?

It is easier that what you may think
HowTo step image

1. The PO Box is a personalised mailbox

It is provided to you by a Post Office where you can receive letters and mail

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Become an entrepreneur with HelloPrimo.

A team of experts will get you the answers you need to get started with your business.

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