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What Type of Address Can I Use On My Google Business Profile?

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This article was written in October 2023. For the latest information you should always consult Google’s official policy.

Can I use a virtual office address?

Google’s policy says:

  • “If your business rents a physical mailing address but doesn’t operate out of that location, also known as a virtual office, that location isn’t eligible for a Business Profile.”

Can I use a co-working space address?

Google’s policy says:

  • “Businesses can’t list an office at a co-working space unless that office maintains clear signage, receives customers at the location during business hours, and is staffed during business hours by your business staff.”

Can I use a Post Office Box address?

Google’s policy says:

  • “P.O. boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations aren’t acceptable.”

Can I use my storefront address?

Yes, but Google’s policy says:

  • “Businesses showing their address on Google should maintain permanent fixed signage of their business name at the address.”

In other words, to be considered a ‘storefront’ you need to have permanent fixed signage at your “physical location that customers can visit” and “your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.”

If you’re considered a ‘service area business’ you likely don’t have a storefront address (see next question on residential addresses.)

Can I use my residential address?

You can use your residential address to register your Google Business Profile, but Google’s policy says:

  • “If you’re a service-area business, you should hide your business address from customers. For example, if you’re a plumber and run your business from your residential address, clear the address from your Business Profile.”
  • “…do not enter an address under the “Info” tab in Business Profile Manager. Leave the “business location” field blank.” (source)

This means that you can use your residential address when you create or verify your Google Business Profile, but that you must remove the address from your Business Profile’s “Info” tab so that the address is not displayed on your listing.

What if I am a service-area business and I have a storefront address?

Google’s policy says:

  • “Some businesses, like auto repair shops that have a garage for repairs and offer roadside service, are hybrid service-area businesses. These businesses can show their storefront address and designate a service area on their Business Profile. If you serve customers at your address and want to set a service area, your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.”

Can I use a Plus Code?

Our opinion is “no” you cannot use a Plus Code for your Google Business Profile address and remain in compliance with Google’s policies.

This is because according to Google: “Plus Codes are like street addresses for people or places that don’t have one. Instead of addresses with street names and numbers, Plus Codes are based on latitude and longitude, and displayed as numbers and letters”.

In other words, Plus Codes were designed for areas that do not have addresses. So using a Plus Code to attempt to locate your business in an area that in fact does have legitimate addresses is not accurate, and Google’s policy says:

  • “Use a precise, accurate address and/or service area to describe your business location.”
  • “If your address doesn’t have a street number, or the system can’t find it, you can pin your business’s location directly on the map.”

What about the business owner I know who does not follow these policies?

It’s possible that someone has a Google Business Profile that is not following the policies referenced above.

It’s possible that profile is in fact ranking and receiving calls.

However, if a Google Business Profile does not follow the policies linked to above, that profile runs the risk of being suspended.

This is because Google is not perfect at detecting policy violations. Google manages over 200 million businesses on Google Maps (source), so they use algorithms to detect policy guidelines, and these algorithms are not perfect and are run at various times on different profiles at Google’s discretion. The profile in question may rank for some unknown amount of time, but runs the risk of being suspended (see below).

Why does Local Search Appeal recommend following Google’s policies?

We recommend following Google’s policies because in the long run it’s the best way to get more leads for your business.

Google is constantly evolving their processes to detect and enforce policy guidelines, and the consequences of violating a policy guideline can be serious, including your business being permanently suspended.

Here is an illustration of why it’s important to follow Google’s address policies: