A beginner's guide to virtual offices
Everything you need to know about virtual offices and if they are right for you.
Following the pandemic, virtual offices have become increasingly popular as businesses have reopened and launched and are trying to find alternative ways of running their businesses as opposed to the traditional office set up. In this article we discuss what virtual offices are and why they can benefit you and your new business.
What are virtual offices?
Virtual offices are a service that enables employees, business owners and startups to work remotely by providing a range of business functions that operate through then internet. They allow businesses to have a designated office address, contact number and services without having to rent an individual office space that might not be used. Crucially, through providing alternative addresses and phone numbers, business owners do not have to make their personal information public.
Virtual office services
One of the biggest benefits of a virtual office is the privacy that the service can afford business owners. It is a requirement under the Companies Act 2006 that a business address is listed under your company on the public register on Companies House. Many business owners when they set up might be tempted to use their home address as they might not yet have an office location or might decide that they don’t need one. Freelancers and consultants are especially likely to use their home address to avoid the hassle but in doing so they are making their postal address public almost indefinitely.
Business owners that don’t have office space, perhaps due to operating across several different locations, due to prohibitions in their tenancy agreements or simply to avoid the hassle of commuting, might therefore consider opening a virtual office. Virtual office providers will give you mail handling and mail forwarding services to ensure that your documents, notices and letters are received by you at your private mailing address from your virtual office address.
In addition to the ease and security of using a virtual office as opposed to your own private office, a virtual office address is likely to boost your professional image as many services offer prestigious addresses, for example in central London, as part of their service- saving you both time and money.
Office Space and Services
Some providers might also offer you a physical office or workspace that you can work from on demand. They might provide you with physical office spaces, including meeting rooms, conference rooms and meeting spaces for you to use when you need it.
Some virtual office packages also include telephone answering, forwarding and messaging services so that you can be contacted without having to use your personal number online. You can subscribe to answering services that operate 24 hours a day and make use of voicemail boxes if call answering doesn’t suit your business. Your calls and messages can also be diverted to your mobile as part of the phone answering service.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.