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Jacci Howard Bear

Do You Need Your Address on Business Cards?

By January 21, 2013

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In a reader business card submission, DJElliot asks "Really, since I don't have a storefront, do I need a physical address? Would a cell number & email address suffice?"

I say that if you have a business that doesn't involve walk-in customers or being always available for face-to-face meetings -- especially if home-based -- then having a physical address on your card isn't really necessary. If your preferred method of contact involves phone or email or the Web then those are the most important contact methods to have on your business card. If a face-to-face meeting becomes necessary, that can be arranged by phone or email after the initial contact.

Agree or disagree? Add your comments on the pros and cons of having a physical and/or mailing address on your business card.

Update: Very first comment when I originally posted this was against leaving off the physical address. Paul writes, "Not showing a real physical address looks like you are trying to hide."  Have you changed your mind (or your business card) in the last few years? Sound off in the comments.

And check out the other reader business card submissions and show off your business card too.

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Comments
January 7, 2010 at 8:51 am
(1) Paul T says:

Not showing a real physical address looks like you are trying to hide. Cell phone and email as contact details are too ephemeral and as a client I would feel as if I were dealing with someone who could disappear at any time. It does not inspire confidence especially when it comes to parting with money. Are you really in business or not?

January 7, 2010 at 9:16 am
(2) Cheryle says:

Paul you are “right on the money,” especially if there is money involved. People have the right to track you down. I see this, way too often with service professionals: plumbers, electricians…! Sometimes they do not have signage on their vehicle, nor do they have logo apparel to identify their company. How uncomfortable, do you think this makes the customer feel when they answer the door? I feel we need to advise our clients to think like their customers. What does your customer/client need to see on your card? Marketing is about THEM (the buyer)–not you (the seller). In addition, there are other ways someone might use your address–who would not like a thank you card, or a written testimonial? Be in business as Paul would say, and make a commitment–put that address on your card.

January 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm
(3) Christine says:

Offering at least the city and state can affix you within a geographic area within the card-holder’s thoughts, especially if it is a suburb or smaller town away from the city.

As a home-based operation, I list phone numbers, post office box, city/state, and my Web site. My site plus my professionalism have left no one in doubt that I’m in business. For smaller or newer businesses, or for brick-and-mortar services (plumber, etc.), I do advise listing a formal address for the sake of appearing firmly grounded and dependable.

As with most things, dogmatically insisting one way is preferable to another is a difficult stance. Stay-at-home moms doing business from their inner-city abode should, I think, be reluctant to list their home address for all to see!

January 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(4) NA says:

I’m in this situation. Im currently deciding on PO box versus Private box. People keep saying po boxes look unprofessional but whats the big difference then a private box then the money? my business is home based but i dont accept walkins, its totally mobilized. PO Box is starting to look more better and economical…

January 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm
(5) logoman says:

I agree with what you said.

April 24, 2012 at 11:03 am
(6) Mr. P. L. Lawrence FCMA CGMA says:

Depends on your business type. If you are a limited company or limited private partnership then you have to comply with the Companies Act 2006 and you have to have company name, address, registration number and where registered on all business documents both paper and electronic. That is the law. It means emails and websites as well as paper based business documentation. Is a business card a business document – well you could debate that but you are using them in the course of doing business so the balance seems to be in favour of the answer yes.

January 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm
(7) Kelvin Simon says:

One good thing having an address is,with GPS you can find the place and not be going in circles.

March 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm
(8) Dave Cotton says:

I got some business cards printed recently for an online business and included website, email, and phone number, which I thought were most relevant. Reading the above discussion, I can see the benefit of including an address as it makes the business owners seem identifiable and accountable. Also the inclusion of a registration number would serve this purpose. I must admit when looking at services offered online, I am reassured I am dealing with a legitimate business when there is a physical address provided.

April 4, 2013 at 6:57 am
(9) Francisco says:

My only concern is security issues. ( i own a a/c business)

September 3, 2013 at 6:21 am
(10) adam smith says:

If it’s a business based out of your home, and you list your home address on there and someone’s unhappy with you, is it really smart to have them be able to come to your house or apartment and cause a scene? When exactly is it okay to just show up at someone’s house and start yelling at them as opposed to calling them or emailing them? That seems a little stalkerish to me. My very first response would be to call 911 and let them know some irate customer came to my house to start a fight. Seriously, how many of you would want someone coming to your house? If you’re a bad customer can I come to your house and start yelling or pick a fight?

September 24, 2013 at 11:53 am
(11) Suparna says:

Being that I work from home for the most part I would much rather not list my address on my cards.

While I understand where all of you are coming from I believe it may not be suitable for some.

Once I start invoicing clients I will ensure that I am legally set up as a sole trader and possibly list a registered address on the cards at that time.
Until then, Social Media, phone number, email and a website are plenty.

September 26, 2013 at 10:12 am
(12) PaulH says:

I would have no confidence in dealing with anyone who did not have an address on their card or forms etc. I had a bad experience in the past with a contractor who ripped me off and had to go to tremendous trouble to track him down. Never again will I deal with Phantom firms. Same goes for websites if their contact info does not list a business address they do not get my business.

February 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm
(13) Collin says:

What do you do if you are a ‘freelance’ professional? And you place of business is not your home or an office. On top of that, you would like to potentially get international work? Do you just provide an international phone number and say ‘Australia based’ or Based in Australia’ for example?

May 15, 2014 at 10:15 am
(14) Shepard says:

I am dealing with this decision now. In short, I work from home, when not traveling, with a company that is not based in the same city as where I live. We are a regional company, but have (1) physical location in Alabama that we service the region from.. Given that, it does me no good to list a physical address when working with customers in Tennessee, for example. I have had instances where customers question whether we can do the work since my business card shows we are not “physically local”.

I can somewhat understand the arguments saying it’s necessary to have a physical address, however you can’t make universal standards for every business, such as that, based on a bad experience..

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