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Protecting Your Privacy While Running a Home Based Business

It’s important when running a business to make yourself available to clients and customers. Having things like basic contact information on your company website for all to see is a basic good business practice, and not having it makes you look unprofessional and less trustworthy as a business entity.

So what happens when your business contact information is also your home contact information because you work from home?

Here are a few tips to help protect your privacy as a home business owner:

  • Never use your personal email address for business use where you’ll be giving it away to strangers. Set up a separate email account for business purposes. Ideally, set it up on your own hosting account with your business website’s domain name instead of using a free email host (which can look unprofessional and untrustworthy). This way you won’t have business communications intruding in your personal inbox and on your personal time.
  • If you’re worried about posting your home address on the Web or business correspondence, get a virtual address or P.O. box for your business, and publish these instead (personally I go the P.O. box route).
  • Set up a separate phone line in your home (if possible) for business use, or set up a virtual phone number (many are free or inexpensive – such as a Google Voice number), where you can give out the phone number publicly, and either take calls through your computer or simply have the numbers lead to voicemail services, where you can check and return the calls later.

These tips will help you protect your privacy as a home business owner. If you have other tips for protecting your privacy while working at home, feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.

This article was originally published on September 12, 2007. It was updated to reflect changes in available tools on its currently-listed publication date.

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