Shopify Insider

Should I Use My Home Address on Shopify?

eCommerce platforms like Shopify have made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs and small business owners to create an online store. With just a few clicks, you can have a fully functioning website ready to take orders from customers all over the world. However, one decision that many new Shopify users struggle with is what address to use for their Shopify store. Should you use your home address, or is it better to get a P.O. box or virtual address? My recommendation is:

Using your home address on Shopify depends on your products and shipping needs. For low-volume, unrestricted items, it may be fine. But for privacy or specialized shipping, consider a virtual address or commercial mailbox. Evaluate your business model, order volume, privacy concerns, and budget to decide the best address option. There are pros and cons to each option.

The Risks of Using Your Home Address

Many people are hesitant to use their home address publicly on their Shopify store for privacy and safety reasons. If you list your home address, it will be viewable by customers in the shipping address at checkout and in your “Contact Us” page. The main risks of using your home address on your Shopify store are:

The Risks of Using Your Home Address
  • Loss of privacy – Customers will be able to see your home address, which makes some people uneasy. Your address can also be picked up by data aggregators.
  • Safety concerns – Angry customers or internet trolls could potentially show up at your house if they have your address. This is rare, but a risk.
  • Increased chance of identity theft – Scammers could potentially use your address for fraudulent purposes or stealing your identity.
  • Zoning issues – If you are running your business out of a residential area, using your home address could lead to zoning problems. Some neighborhoods prohibit business activity.

However, the chances of most of these issues arising are quite low for the average Shopify store owner. You have to decide if the risks outweigh the benefits of using your home address.

The Benefits of Using Your Home Address

Despite the potential risks, using your home address does come with some advantages:

  • It’s free – There is no need to pay for a virtual address or P.O. box if you use your home address. This avoids an added business expense.
  • No hassle – You can get up and running quickly without needing to set up an alternative address. It’s one less thing to worry about when starting your Shopify store.
  • Looks more legitimate – For some customers, a business with a residential address looks more legitimate than a P.O. box. It gives the impression that it’s an established business.
  • Easier logistics – Managing inventory and order fulfillment can be simpler if you run your business out of your home rather than a separate warehouse or location.

Alternatives to Using Your Home Address

If you are uncomfortable using your personal home address, there are a few suitable alternatives to consider:

Virtual Business Address

A virtual business address provides you with a physical mailing address to use for your Shopify store, but mail is not actually delivered to that location. Instead, it gets forwarded to whatever address you choose. This allows you to keep your home address private. Some popular virtual address services include:

Virtual addresses start at around $10/month, so they are affordable for most businesses. The main limitations are you can’t use a virtual address for selling restricted products like alcohol or receiving deliveries.

virtual mailbox pricing

Commercial Mailboxes (PMB)

Private mailbox

Private mailbox (PMB) services provide you with a real street address at one of their locations. You can have packages shipped to your PMB mailbox and pick them up in-person. PMB services include:

PMB services have monthly fees starting around $15-30/month. So the costs are a little higher than virtual addresses, but they allow package delivery which is important for e-commerce businesses. The catch is you need to pick up mail and packages yourself.

Coworking Space Membership

coworking space

If you want a more professional business address, consider getting a membership at a local coworking space. Coworking spaces provide things like:

  • Mail handling
  • Meeting rooms
  • Event space
  • Community of other entrepreneurs

Coworking spaces have monthly fees ranging from $150-500/month depending on membership level. So it is one of the pricier options, but provides additional benefits beyond just an address.

C/O [Trusted Contact]

Another option is to use a “care of” (c/o) address with someone you trust, like a friend or family member. List your business name and their address. They can receive and forward mail/packages to you. While cheaper than other options, this does put a burden on your contact. Make sure they agree to have your items shipped to them before listing their address.

Our Recommendation

For new Shopify store owners on a budget, we recommend starting off using your home address, if you feel comfortable doing so. This will allow you to get up and running without any additional costs. In the future, if your business grows, you can look into switching to a more formal business address using one of the above options.

The most important factors in deciding on an address are:

  • Privacy level – How concerned are you with customers seeing your home address? Do you sell products that increase privacy risks?
  • Order volume – If you are only receiving a few packages per month, home delivery is easy. But if order volume increases, a PMB mailbox may save you time.
  • Budget – Virtual addresses provide the most affordable option if you want to keep your address private. But a coworking space may be worth the investment if you want office space and community.

Take the time to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of each address option for your unique situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. As your business evolves, you can always change your Shopify address down the road. The most important thing is getting your Shopify store up and running smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What address do I provide on Shopify for an AliExpress dropshipping store?

For a dropshipping store that fulfills orders via AliExpress, we recommend using a virtual business address on your Shopify store. This keeps your home address private. Since you aren’t physically shipping items yourself, you don’t need a PMB mailbox. But you still want a professional address on your website.

Can I use a fake address on Shopify?

Using a completely fake address that doesn’t correspond to a real location is against Shopify’s terms of service. Your business address needs to be a place where you can receive mail or packages.

How do I remove my home address from Shopify?

If you initially used your home address but now want to switch, you can change it under Settings > Account Information. Simply update the address field with your new virtual address, PMB, or other address.

Does my Shopify address need to be verified?

Shopify does require new stores to verify their business address. This involves receiving a letter from Shopify in the mail and entering a confirmation code. So whatever address you use, you need to be able to receive mail at that location.

Pro Tip: Forward Your Mail Seamlessly

If you opt to get a virtual address or PMB mailbox, make sure you set up mail forwarding with the post office when you move addresses. Submitting a Change of Address form ensures your mail will be automatically forwarded to your new address. This prevents any disruption to your business operations.

Janak Uparkoti

Janak Uparkoti is Shopify expert and writing articles on ecombuilderinsider.com, a site that helps you build and grow your e-commerce business. He also expert on about Shopify design, development, marketing, optimization, and more. He is also Book author at Amazon.

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