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How to Get a PO Box in the UK

Written by, Bojana Atanasovska

Updated August, 3, 2022

PO Box addresses have been a part of the postal system in the UK for more than a century. 

They are an excellent alternative to a secure and private mailing address.

In this article, we’ll explain what they are, how they work, and how to get a PO box in the UK.

Read on. 

What Is a PO Box?

A PO box is essentially a rented box within a post office where you can receive mail

PO boxes are especially popular among businesses, influencers, and celebrities who need to publicly display an address for correspondence but want to keep their personal addresses private. 

When you set up a PO box, you will get a physical address in a sorting or a post office that you can share online or with your customers, where they will be able to send you mail. You can then pick up your mail from there or have it forwarded to your home address.

PO Boxes come in a variety of sizes and depending on the size, they can hold a certain amount of mail.

Why Would I Need a PO Box?

There are many reasons why you may consider getting a PO box, including:

Privacy, security, and identity protection

Setting up a PO box in the UK will allow you to conceal your home address. It is especially important for those that run businesses from a residential or service address, as it prevents unwanted visitors from showing up at your door.

What’s more, it will also make you appear more professional.

Fast mail delivery

Most PO Boxes are located within sorting offices or post offices. This usually means that the mail would be delivered quicker (compared to residential or business addresses) and it’s unlikely to get lost in the shuffle or stolen from your mailbox.

Convenience

When you  get a PO Box, you’ll have all of your business-related mail in one place and you could easily keep it separate from your private mail

What’s more, most postal services offer to send the mail to your preferred address, which means you’ll still get your mail delivered to your home address while keeping it private from the public eye. 

Get a UK address while abroad

There are many people who spend little time in the UK but need an address for business purposes. If you get a PO box in the UK, it will allow you to maintain a presence in the country and make sure you don’t miss any mail while you’re away.

How To Get a PO Box Address

You can set up a PO box by applying for one at the Royal Mail, either online or by mail

Online

To apply for a PO box online,

  1. Go to the Royal Mail website
  1. Scroll down to find the ‘Apply online’ button and click on it. 
  1. Fill out the online application. You’ll need to:
  • Set a duration (between 3-12 months).
  • Choose a PO Box option ( PO Box Collect, PO Box Deliver, and PO Box Transfer). 
  1. Click on ‘Buy as a guest’ (or ‘Log in and buy’).
  1. Provide necessary information (email address, first and last name, and home address). 
  1. Enter bank or card details. 

Note: It may take up to 7 days for the Royal Mail to set up your PO Box in the UK.

By mail

If you can’t (or won’t) apply online, you can download the PO Box application from the website in a PDF format, fill it out, and send it to:

Royal Mail PO Box Team

Dearne House

Cortonwood Drive

Brampton

BARNSLEY

S73 0UF

Note: Postal applications take longer to be processed. You can expect the process of setting up your PO box to take more than 10 days

If you need help applying and getting a PO Box address, you can call the Royal Mail staff at  03457 950 950.

Worth noting: While Royal Mail is a popular choice, there are other companies that offer similar services. 

Do PO Boxes Have Street Addresses? 

A PO Box, technically, has a physical address. 

Those that apply for a PO Box are given a physical address in a sorting office or a post office. This address features a unique number, and your business name, city, and postal code.

Here’s an example of what a PO Box address looks like:

Mr Walalce

Rovva

PO Box 789

London

W1 5ET

How Much Does a PO Box Cost?

The price depends on the type of service you’ll want to receive and the duration of that service. 

Here’s what the Royal Mail offers:

PO Box Transfer

With this option, the mail addressed to your home address will be directed to your PO Box and held for collection.

DurationPrice
Monthly (Direct Debit only)£43.50
6 Months£240
12 Months£426

PO Box Deliver

You can choose the Deliver option if you want the mail from your PO Box to be delivered to your home.

DurationPrice
Monthly (Direct Debit only)£38.10
6 Months£209.10
12 Months£378

PO Box Collect

Your mail will go straight to your PO Box and you can pick it up directly from the local Delivery Office.

DurationPrice
Monthly (Direct Debit only)£36
6 Months£174
12 Months£300

Can I Use a PO Box as a Business Address?

You can use a PO Box for business purposes and have emails from your clients sent to one, but UK laws do not allow businesses to register their companies to a PO Box address. 

In the UK, businesses are required to have a physical address when they register a business name. You’ll also have to submit one when applying for a PO Box, regardless of whether you’re a business or a private individual.

Businesses that do not want to reveal their exact address may list a  solicitor’s address as their registered business address.

How To Obtain a PO Box For a Business?

Regardless of whether it’s for personal or business use, the quickest way to apply for a PO Box address is online, on the Royal Mail website. 

If you’re trying to take your business online, then you should consider setting up a co.uk business address.

Bottom Line

A PO Box is a great option for people that need an alternative address where they can receive mail, without having to reveal their private address. 

If you want to get a PO box UK, the best (and quickest) way to do that is to apply online. Royal Mail is the most popular PO Box provider, but there are other companies that offer them, so you might want to shop around before you settle on a deal.

                           

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Can I use a PO box as a legal address in the UK?

You can set up a PO Box as a UK resident as long as you have a physical address and postcode.

Can I use a PO Box for my bank account in the UK?

Banks are unlikely to accept a PO Box as it’s not considered a residential address.

Can I get a PO Box for free in the UK?

Some services offer to set up PO Boxes for free, but they usually start charging once you begin receiving mail. If you’re unsure how to get a PO Box in the UK or what is offered in the deal, you can visit the provider’s website.

Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.