If you’re thinking about switching from a physical office space to a virtual office – or if you’ve simply started up a new business venture and don’t need an office space – setting up a virtual office business address is surprisingly easy, convenient, and cost-effective.
In this guide, we’re going to go over all the essential steps you’ll need to take to get your virtual office up and running, and inform you of any considerations that should be taken into account when choosing a virtual office provider. Let’s take a look!
What is a virtual office business address?
A virtual office business address allows you to claim a business address without actually using the premises. For example, you can rent a business address in a central location (such as London) without actually using the office for your day-to-day operations, but will still be able to list the address as your official business headquarters.
A virtual address can be helpful for many types of businesses, including freelancers, sole traders, and start-ups; not only can you save money on commercial rent, but you’ll also be able to keep your home address private, which is ideal for entrepreneurs and those who work from home.
What are the benefits of a virtual office business address?
Aside from offering you the possibility to place your business address in the bustling capital, here are just some other advantages of having a virtual office address for your business:
- Improved credibility – A virtual office business address gives the impression that your business is more professional, reliable and established than it actually may be, which is perfect for new businesses trying to land clientele. Having a well-known business address can help to boost your reputation with customers and investors alike.
- Enhanced privacy – By having a virtual office business address, you don’t need to divulge your private home address when registering with Companies House. This can prevent you from receiving relentless unwanted spam mail and help to keep your personal information private.
- Mail forwarding – Many virtual office providers offer mail forwarding services as well as telephone answering services, so you can stay on top of all your correspondence with ease.
- Access to meeting and conference facilities – Depending on the provider, you may also be given access to meeting rooms and a yearly access quota. You can use your meeting room time to host client meetings or collaborate with any remote employees, or even host an annual board meeting. Having access to conference rooms is especially useful if you’re working with clients in the capital; having access to a virtual business address in London will help you establish your company, while improving your chances of closing deals with those all-important London-based clients.
How to create a virtual office business address
So, how do you set up a virtual office business address? It’s simple, here’s what you need to do:
Consider your business needs
Before choosing a virtual office provider, it’s important to consider the day-to-day operations of your business, and how a virtual office can best accommodate and improve them. For example, if you work on the job (e.g., as a sole trader plumber) a telephone answering service can be a great way to ensure you never miss out on a job – so picking an office provider with this service would be ideal.
Similarly, if you think that your target clients would like to meet face-to-face before closing business deals, consider a virtual office provider that offers meeting rooms and conference room access.
Think about location
Just like property, a business address is all about the location. When choosing a virtual office address, think about the type of clients or customers that you’re trying to attract, and what kind of image you’d like to project to prospective customers. What’s great about a virtual office address is that you can pick almost any UK location you like, with little-to-no constraints when it comes to price.
Choose your virtual office provider
Once you know what services you need, it’s time to pick a virtual office provider that meets your requirements. Be sure to read reviews from other businesses, and ask all relevant questions before you make any commitments.
Set up mail forwarding
Once you’ve set up your virtual office address, you’ll need to set up mail forwarding with your chosen provider. Make sure to choose a forwarding address that’s easily accessible for you (such as your home address), to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important letters, bills, invoices, or parcels.
Register your business
If you haven’t already, it’s time to create your business and register it with Companies House. This can be done online at the Companies House website, and you can find some easy tutorials on YouTube if you’re unsure how to fill out your registration form. When it comes to registering your business address, make sure to use the one provided by the virtual office provider you’ve chosen.
Pro tip: it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve found a virtual office provider before registering your business through Companies House. If you don’t yet have a business address, you’ll be obliged to use your home address, and this information can remain in the public domain – even if you change your business address later on.
And you’re finished!
Once you’ve registered your new virtual business address with Companies House, you’re done! Make sure to update any current websites or social media profiles with your new business address, and don’t forget to update your Google Business Profile too.