What is a virtual office?
Why Virtual Headquarters?
How long does setup take and what paperwork do I need?
Is VAT included in your pricing?
No. Prices shown are exclusive of VAT.
How does a virtual office work?
When renting virtual office space, you’re opening your business up to new possibilities and opportunities – something that might not be possible when you’re sat at your kitchen table, working from home. No judgement from us though, honest.
A virtual office works by providing you with a professional and high quality office presence – without the high overheads associated with physical office space. This means that your website, social media channels, business cards, invoices etc. will all feature your brand new virtual office address, without anyone knowing it’s virtual. You can also utilise meeting space, allowing you to set up those all-important new business appointments, giving you an edge over your competitors. And we love a bit of healthy competition.
You can even choose to have a phone answering service or mail service, reducing your admin time, and separating work from your home life. A professional and high quality office presence, all without the expensive overheads associated with a physical office space. Beautiful.
Is there a setup fee?
Yes. This fee covers the checks we are legally required to make to meet our Anti-Money Laundering (AML) commitments.
We have a legal responsibility to confirm your identity and perform periodic checks of all clients using our virtual addresses – as a registered provider under The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. The setup fee includes costs associated with these checks. It might not sound pretty, but it’s important – and we know how much it means to our clients to keep their businesses safe.
Is the setup fee one off?
Yes! There are no tricks or catches; the setup fee is a one-off cost that you’ll never have to pay again. You can ask us again if you like, but the answer will always remain the same.
Is there a contract?
Yes, a month-to-month contract. We understand that businesses need flexibility, and our month-to-month contract means you’re not tied down for long periods of time. It also means you can extend, or end, your contract (with 30 days’ notice) when you need to. So whether you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, or a serial planner, there’s an option for everyone.
Alternatively, you can opt to pay for your services annually and receive a 15% discount. We’re givers, what can we say?
Are your virtual offices real offices?
Yes. As much as we would like to think we’re selling Matrix-style office space, our locations are actual office buildings, which have multiple, physical tenants inside i.e. real life people. Having physical tenants also gives you that real ‘office’ feel – and the opportunity to network. Hey, you’re sharing a space with other businesses – might as well try and make friends too.
All of our office locations are part of thriving business communities – which you can be part of!
What happens if someone goes into the building and asks for me?
Have no fear; discretion is our middle name. Our centre staff have been expertly trained to handle any enquiries that might be thrown at them. They’ll politely inform your unexpected visitor that you’re available by appointment only, leaving them none the wiser that you’re physically residing somewhere else….
Usually this will come in the form of a polite response, such as ‘Unfortunately they’re not available right now, but you can certainly make an appointment to see them soon’.
How do I order?
You can build your bespoke virtual office package online, or call 0330 223 2605 to speak to someone directly. We live and breathe virtual office space, so are more than happy to have a chat and give you the low-down.
Can I pay annually?
Yes – we’re old romantics and believe in commitment. You’ll receive a 15% discount for annual payment; just make sure you select the option at the checkout.
Do you accept PayPal?
Unfortunately not at this time, but keep an eye out for any changes in the future.
Do you accept American Express?
Yes, yes we do.
Can I pay via direct debit?
Yes, you can indeed. Your first payment will be taken by the initial card you choose to pay on – and then future payments can be paid via Direct Debit.
Can I pay via bank transfer?
This will be at our discretion, so please speak to a member of our friendly team, who’ll be more than happy to check this for you.
Can I use a virtual address for HMRC?
Yes, you can use a virtual address for HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) as long as the virtual address meets certain requirements.
HMRC accepts virtual addresses as long as they are registered with Companies House, which is the UK government’s official register of companies. The virtual address must also be a physical location where mail can be received and forwarded to you.
It’s important to note that HMRC requires individuals and companies to provide a registered address where they can be contacted for official purposes, such as tax returns and correspondence related to tax matters. This address can be different from the virtual address you use for general correspondence and business purposes.
Before using a virtual address for HMRC, it’s best to check their guidelines and requirements or seek advice from a qualified tax professional.
Is it a good idea to have a virtual office in the UK?
Yes, having a virtual office in the UK can be a good idea for several reasons.
Firstly, a virtual office can provide a professional image for your business. It gives the impression that your business has a physical presence in the UK, even if you don’t have a physical office space. This can be particularly important if you’re a small or start-up business looking to establish credibility and build trust with clients and customers.
Secondly, a virtual office can provide you with a prestigious business address in a prime location, which can enhance your brand image and help you stand out from the competition. This can also be beneficial if you’re looking to expand your business into new markets and want to establish a presence in a specific region or city.
Thirdly, a virtual office can provide you with a range of services, such as mail forwarding, telephone answering, and meeting room facilities, without the need for a physical office space. This can help you save on costs and provide greater flexibility in managing your business operations.
Overall, having a virtual office in the UK can be a cost-effective and flexible option for businesses looking to establish a professional presence in the country.
How do I change the registered address at Companies House?
This is a relatively straightforward process, which we provide as service. We’re not just a pretty face!
If you don’t fancy passing the gauntlet to us, you can either do this online, via Companies House Webfiling, or by completing a paper return. For further information on each option, please click the links provided.
Do I need a registered address?
You do indeed. All companies and partnerships incorporated in the UK are required to have a registered address. Charities will need a contact address that is displayed to the public. Hey, we don’t make the rules, but they’re there for a reason.
If your company or charity is not yet registered, you find out how to do that here.
Can I use the address for Companies House correspondence?
Yes, this is known as your Company Registered Address.
When one of our locations offers a registered address facility, it will be shown on the order page and can be added to your virtual office at that point. Please note, you must have a limited company in order to be able to use the registered address service, which costs an additional £7.99 per month. All official mail from Companies House will then be accepted and handled for you. We’re nice like that.
If your company or charity is not yet registered, you find out how to do that here.
What if my company is not yet formed and I want to use the virtual office as my registered address?
Don’t worry if you haven’t yet formed the company, as you can still order a virtual office address. Preparation is key.
When you reach this stage in the order process, simply state ‘to be confirmed’ and you can update us on your company formation when you have the details. If you’d prefer, you can call a member of our friendly team who can provide you with more information and help with the next stages in your company journey.
How much does a registered business address cost?
Your registered address is purchased in conjunction with your virtual address, and typically costs £7.99 per month. Not quite enough for one of those fancy frappacinos.
I’m a freelancer / sole trader and would like to have a virtual office address. Is this possible, even though I’m not a limited company?
Although you don’t need a registered address if you’re not a limited company, we know for freelancers and sole traders that having a virtual office address can help you appear just that little bit more professional. Contact a member of our friendly team to talk through your options.
How quickly can I use my address?
You can start using the registered address in as little as 24 hours after we have verified your identity. Think the Bourne Ultimatum, only corporate.
What records is a company required to keep?
All statutory records must be kept at the registered office and made available for public inspection there, unless a SAIL address is used. You may also choose to keep the information at Companies House instead.
Do I have to make my company records available?
If requested, companies must make their statutory records available to be inspected for a period of at least 2 hours, between 9am – 5pm, on a given working day.
Can I use my virtual office address for my VAT Registration?
No. When registering for VAT in the UK, the address you’re required to enter on the VAT application is the address where you carry out your day-to-day work. This location is also where your statutory records must be kept.
If you currently work from home, this is your business address to be used for VAT registration.
How often will my mail be forwarded?
Your mail is sent out the same working day, if not the next working day. We send all mail first class, so it gets into your hands promptly. Our snails take their jobs very seriously and are trained to very highest specifications.
Do you replace the envelopes or re-label?
To avoid any issues with the post office, we put all post in a fresh envelope with new postage. Plus it’s sealed with a loving kiss (for health and safety purposes, this is a joke).
Can you open and email my advertising pins for online maps?
Yes, we can indeed. We also know that these codes can often get mistaken for junk mail, so we keep an eagle-eye out for them, as they’re important for ensuring your customers can see your address.
Can someone else collect post on my behalf?
Yes, you can give us a list of authorised people who can collect on your behalf. We know how busy you are as a business owner and it just makes life that little bit easier. Just ensure your nominated people bring their ID with them.
How do I know when my post is ready to collect?
We’ll let you know via email. Ironic, isn’t it?
How often can I collect my post?
As often as you like! We love to see our customers, so pop in whenever you need.
How long will you hold post?
We don’t have any time limits, however, we do encourage you to collect as promptly as possible. You never know when your invite to go into space with Richard Branson might arrive…
What happens to my mail if I choose not to have a registered address?
Not a problem, a lot of businesses have a different trading address to their registered address, for example they use their accountants address on Companies House but a city centre Virtual Office for their website.
Can I have parcels delivered to my chosen business address?
Listen, we know how tempting Amazon Prime is. However, we can only accept packages and parcels for your company on an adhoc basis, unless agreed otherwise.
You need to be prompt in collecting your parcels and ensure they’re not too large either i.e. no bigger than a laptop.
This is for health and safety, as well as security reasons.
What will happen to my mail?
As a virtual office member, your mail will be collected for you, and you will be notified via email if there is mail for you to collect.
For an additional fee you can choose to have your mail forwarded to you, or scanned and forwarded.
However you require your mail, there’s an option for you, so choose the option that best suits your business needs as you build your own virtual office package. It’s like The Sims, but better.
Do you offer mail scanning?
Yes, our virtual offices do offer mail scanning services. All you need to do is select this option as you go through the online checkout process.
What if I want to change my forwarding address?
You can change your address at anytime, however we will require an updated proof of address (POA).
So we need to have proof you either live at the address or it’s a commercial rental – and not another virtual office.
What is a virtual mailing address?
A virtual mailing address provides your business with a physical address that your mail can be sent to – one which differs from your personal home address or registered business address. If you’re not based in the UK, you may wish to have a virtual mailing address, so that any mail or important documents can be delivered here. It also stops your home address from being overloaded with junk mail and unwanted callers.
Will the receptionist answer the phone in my company name?
Yes, they can answer and handle calls however you wish!
Well, there are some exceptions. We’re not talking ‘WAAASSSUUUUPPPPP!’ here.
How do I receive messages?
We’ll send your telephone messages via email and SMS, so you can keep on top of them.
Is a local number included in my package?
No. As standard, telephone numbers are not included in your package.
A dedicated local, or national telephone number is an optional extra, which can be purchased as part of the checkout process. For further information about purchasing a standalone line, without a virtual office, please click here.
What happens to calls outside of business hours?
Your calls will go to a personalised voicemail and messages will be emailed to you the next working day. Or add on an out of hours voicemail auto-send sound file for just £5.00 per month fixed.
Can I get a local telephone number?
Yes, we offer a local telephone number as an optional extra to your virtual office package.
If you’d prefer, you may also choose a national 033 number. Simply select this service as part of the checkout process. We’re very flexible when it comes to your business needs (just don’t ask us to take part in any company yoga sessions).
You can also take out a standalone local or national telephone number, without the virtual office. You can find out more about our telephone services, including our call handling, here.
Will calls be transferred to me?
Yes, calls will be transferred to your chosen number(s) and if unanswered, a message will be taken.
What are the operating hours?
Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm.
Will I be charged for spam call?
Yes, any calls handled by our team are chargeable. From £1.20 per call dependant on your package.
How will I be billed for calls?
Telephone answering charges are processed a month in arrears, £1.10 per minute dependent on your package.
Is your call centre UK based?
Yes, our call centre is UK based with no strong regional accents.
Will my calls always be answered?
During opening hours, your calls are guaranteed to be answered by a member of the call centre team.
Are virtual offices legal? What checks do you implement to keep my business safe?
Yes, virtual offices are completely legal. For many businesses, they’re also a necessity. For the likes of freelancers and small to medium sized businesses, they provide the affordable flexibility that they need – as well as a professional address and image. It’s all about keeping up appearances.
But all virtual offices need to be compliant, which is why we complete Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks. This protects our clients (that’s you) from dodgy businesses trying to rent office space in the same building as you, as well as protecting our locations from crime and fraud. Sounds scary, but it’s all about protecting your business and not cutting corners. The only thing we like to cut is cake. And boy, are we good at that.
What if I am not a Limited Company, can I still use a Virtual Office?
For sole traders and partnerships, your mail will be accepted as your ‘trading as’ name. For example: Joe Bloggs trading as (T/A) J. Bloggs & Co.
This will be held at the office and you can collect it, or have it forwarded to your home address as an optional extra. You can select mail forwarding service as part of the checkout process. Easy peasy.
Are there staff at your locations?
All of our virtual offices are part of thriving business centres and office complexes. You’ll find each of our locations fully staffed, with a working reception. Not only does this mean you’ll get a lovely welcome when you enter, so will your clients too. Remember, first impressions always count.
How will I receive calls to my bespoke number?
When clients call your number, the call will be diverted to your mobile or landline, depending on your preference. No need for additional phone lines or equipment.
Can I include call answering with my telephone number?
Yes, you can find out more about our call answering services here.
Can I use the address as the company SAIL (Single Alternative Inspection Location)?
If you do not keep all your records at the company’s registered office, you need to inform Companies House of your SAIL details (Form AD02) and which records you hold there.
What is a SAIL address?
A SAIL address is a Single Alternative Inspection Location where a company or LLP can keep its statutory records and make them available for public inspection, if this is required.
Although a SAIL address is not a legal requirement, it might be used for convenience as an alternative inspection location to the registered address.
A SAIL address has to be in the same jurisdiction as the registered office. You can find out more about SAIL addresses here.
If you have any unanswered questions, or want to discuss our virtual offices or business support services please get in touch.Contact us