Standard advice will tell you that if you have a home based business, you should have a website and an email address that reflects your business (and your business website domain). This is good advice for any kind of business related correspondence. You don’t want to send important messages or newsletters and have a return email that is a ‘hotmail.com’ address.
Does a free email address have any place in your home based business? I have found that it’s great to have a few of those (after all they are free!) for ancillary use. This ‘ancillary use’ might include things like getting on a mailing list from some company you know little about or placing orders for things like office supplies. These would be instances where you may not want to give out your company address. If you end up getting too much spam, it’s fairly easy to move off the free account.
There are plenty of free email choices and the main ones are fairly reliable. Google offers ‘gmail’ and Microsoft offers ‘live.com’ email addresses for free. Yahoo! also offers ‘yahoo.com’ addresses. If you don’t like the ‘yahoo’ tag, Yahoo! also offers ‘ymail.com’ and ‘rocketmail.com’ options for their free email.
A free email address can be useful for some things, but for those important business correspondence where you want to relay your professional image, definitely use a company email address.