To register in the required federal and state systems (which you need to do if you want to engage in any government work) you are going to need a mailing address, so let’s talk a little about it:
Why do I need an address? Well “you just gotta” have one, and that’s true, but I like to know why so here are the core reasons why in this digital age, you still need a physical mailing address:
1) I hate to say it but reason number one is that the government wants to know where to send your tax bill and to “serve you process” which basically means that if they think you’ve broken a law they want to know where to deliver the legal summons
2) The government likes to have their contractors close to them, and you’ll see RFPs that state that vendors have to be within XX miles of the place of performance, so they need a physical address to measure from
3) It is a small but important indicator that you are real. The government is all about risk mitigation and seeing that you at least have a physical location of some sort makes you a little less risky
Well can I use my house? The short answer is yes-but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it and here is why:
-The address you use will be published in a lot of government data bases and you are going to get a LOT of unsolicited mail, phone calls, and interest from vendors… to your home
-Residential addresses stand out, “1902 11th Street NW” might be a commercial listing, but “1902 11st street NW, Apt 1202” is clearly someone working out of their house
-You want to present a professional image with clients. If you want to host someone you can either host them at your dining table or meet at the Starbucks down the street, again…
-Professional mail address services are pretty cheap
Hmm, I don’t love the idea of my home address being shared publicly, can I use a PO Box? The short answer is maybe. You explicitly can NOT use a PO box for your CAGE code (see HERE ) and DOD requires that you have a CAGE code, so if you don’t plan to work with DOD (which is about 60% of the government market) then a PO box won’t work.
What do most people do? Well, I’m shameless, so my advice to you is go to Eastern Foundry (full disclosure, I’m the founder of Eastern Foundry). As of the time of writing this class there were 150 government contracting companies using Eastern Foundry for their mail and address needs and Eastern Foundry’s virtual plus membership provides you with conference room time, and a CAGE code compliant address.
Plus, members get these courses for free. Additionally, as a member, you get the benefits of being connected to 150 other hustling government contractors. For more information click HERE Pretty good deal…
If you don’t live near an Eastern Foundry location then I recommend Regus, WeWork, or any other coworking provider that has cheap mail services.