Many freelancers, startups and small business owners need a professional looking (and sounding) address without needing to rent office space at a prestigious business address. Virtual office addresses help business owners like you by providing your own company mailbox for official mail, mail handling and mail forwarding for registered limited companies – with no long term contracts.
With prices starting as low as £20 + VAT per month, virtual offices are much more affordable than traditional office space options that tie you into contracts without all the benefits of virtual. And if you find the prime location for your virtual office address, there are also many benefits from a whole range of onsite amenities like a coworking space with hot desks, meeting room hire (from £125 + VAT for half a day) and use of the coffee shop.
What is a virtual office address exactly?
A virtual office address is a physical mailing address that you can use for your business’s UK based office address even if your registered office address is somewhere different. You can change your address should you wish to.
What is a registered office address then?
This means you’ve registered your Limited company on Companies House at the same location as your mailing address. So when your suppliers or clients look you up on Companies House or contact you and ask for your company’s registered address, they’ll get a professional answer – even if it’s not the one where you work from day to day.
It’s important to note that a professional image for your registered business address is super important for first impressions and they don’t have to always be in central London anymore!
Thanks to the pandemic it’s now widely regarded that central London isn’t ‘the place to be’ because flexibility is key here: you can now work anywhere in the world and know that everything’s being taken care of like mail scanning or forwarding and call answering (often an add on depending on your package).
For example, if you’re based in the Midlands area of the UK near popular cities like Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham or Peterborough, then there are inspiring places to base your business like Burrough Court which is surrounded by countryside to have your virtual office address registered there but also to be able to visit the physical location too. You couldn’t do that in central London!
What’s normally included in virtual office packages?
While the packages of virtual office services don’t always offer the same types of services, and there are pros and cons for why they do and don’t, but most generally include your private mailbox rental and a fast mail forwarding service for letters and parcels with your new company address for a registered limited company (via companies house).
This registered office address service, also known as company formation, is often an add-on because not all new business owners are looking for this Companies House service as they are already established. But it’s good to know that some long-term contracts (that aren’t flexible) include free company formation within the package.
- Private mailbox for your company documents
- Mail handling for your company’s official mail
- Mail forwarding for your company’s official mail
- Company formation on companies house
- Call answering services with a professional receptionist
- Meeting room hire for hosting clients in a physical space
For the business address services with no long-term contracts, having the flexibility is peace of mind to know that you can give notice at any time to cancel or change this type of service. There are also many different options if you want something more than just an address but less than having all the added overhead costs of renting an office space outright, then a virtual office address could well be the perfect option for you.
How much does a virtual office address cost?
Prices for a virtual office address in the UK vary depending on what level package suits best for your needs but prices start from £20 + VAT per month for the Virtual Office Membership package at Burrough Court, for example, which includes:
- Mailbox & Mail Handling
- Mail Forwarding (£1.00 + VAT each time, plus the mailing and courier costs)
- Meeting room hire discount
How much does a registered office address cost?
The Registered Business Address package (£100 + VAT per year) which includes:
- Use of Burrough Court address to register your company + legal paperwork
- Access to our popular onsite Coffee Shop located near Melton Mowbray
Need to combine both in a complete package?
A full New Business Membership package includes:
- All that’s included in our Virtual Office Membership (£20 + VAT per month)
- Burrough Court as your Registered Business Address (£100 + VAT per year)
- Meeting room hire discount
- Access to our popular onsite Coffee Shop located near Melton Mowbray
Advantages of setting up a virtual office address
There are a multitude of benefits for sole traders, freelancers, startups and small business owners to set up a registered office address with Companies House that isn’t a physical office nor your company directors home address! These are the 6 main benefits:
- Low business cost to have a premium office address
- A professional image for your business cards
- Receive official mail that can be scanned online
- Take advantage of onsite meeting rooms
- Professional receptionist for telephone answering
- Additional company formation service if needed
Disadvantages of setting up a virtual office address
It’s always good to know what the disadvantages of having a registered office address are so you can weigh up the pros and cons to be able to make an informed decision on the best place for your business address to be located. These are as follows:
- It’s a monthly outgoing that you might not need as a startup
- With many people working from home it might be acceptable
- There might be a slight delay in receiving mail in the post
- You might not need additional meeting room hire services
- You may already have an LTD company formation setup
Advantages of setting up a registered company
Whilst they are similar and often included in one package, it’s best to understand the benefits of setting up a registered office address for a Limited company when you’re starting out; that isn’t just a basic Sole Trade or Freelancer setup.
- Provides a clear distinction between your work and personal life
- Gives your business a good corporate image for clients and legal
- Is a simple one off annual payment of £100 + VAT with no other costs if you register at Burrough Court
- Having a limited company on your letterhead, website and business card is impressive as it shows your business has gone a step up from start up to a Limited company.
- Your personal assets are protected should your company get sued or go bankrupt.
Disadvantages of setting up a registered company
It’s not all plain sailing as a registered company that has Limited Liability, whilst the benefits are clear, it’s good to weigh up the decision with the drawbacks that could make running a Limited company more complex than it is as a contractor.
- A Limited company has more complex accounts than a Sole Trader.
- Directors have to make sure statutory documents are delivered to Companies House. Failure to do so can be a criminal offence and if a company’s filing record looks bad, that reflects badly on the publicly-listed directors.
- A company needs to be maintained by filing annual returns and paying its taxes. Once above £25,000 you will need to employ an accountant if you are not able to balance books and file simple tax returns.
- The directors and initial shareholders will have to ‘come out from the shadows’ and ‘front’ their company; their name and public mailing address will be visible at the Companies House website and will end up in other databases and on other websites as a result.
- There is an annual charge that means you’re tied in for 1 year at a time (at Burrough Court other services may differ).
FAQs on Virtual Office Addresses
Can I use a virtual address for a Limited (LTD) company?
Yes, if you are a registered Limited company (i.e. LTD / PLC) and want to be able to have a registered office address that is not your home location so personal information remains private or confidential then virtual office addresses can help protect your privacy and ensure the safety of those in your family by keeping their whereabouts safe from prying.
Can you use a virtual address as a business address?
For a Sole Trader or Freelancer? Yes, as long as you are registered with HMRC and have your own limited company. The virtual office address will allow your business to have their official name or trading name on all outgoing mail in place of using your directors home address so that it always looks professional when sending out communications such as invoices, letters and emails.
How do I get a virtual office business address?
You can get a virtual office address by paying a low monthly fee and for some services like having the registered office address, you can purchase an annual subscription to the service with no long term contract. Once you have your own private mailbox, mail handling and mail forwarding services in place, you will also be able to request any changes required as they happen from having one letter forwarded from £1 + VAT plus the mail and courier costings or if there are more services you require like hot-desking in an inspiring professional setting, or using the meeting rooms then you can add those on once you’re signed up.
How do I register to set up my own virtual office?
Registration with most providers will be as simple as filling in a form online. For example, using an existing provider like Regus might take a while! But if you registered your interest with a virtual address like Burrough Court, it doesn’t take long for completion and then it only takes five minutes to book onsite amenities too, so don’t worry about having time to find the perfect location before registering.
How do I register my business at an address?
The process is exactly the same as the above FAQ and is all taken care of.
What is the best address for virtual business?
The best virtual business address should be one that is not too far from your home or other locations. For example, if you live in Leicestershire and then need access to a virtual office address for meeting rooms, it’s best to have an option no further than 15 miles from your town centre such as Burrough Court based 6 miles from Melton Mowbray, 8 miles to Oakham and 15 miles to Leicester.
How much does a virtual business address cost?
The cost of a virtual office address starts at £20 + VAT per month. Is it free? No, there is no such thing as a free lunch! As the saying goes – you get what you pay for (sometimes more)! However, we are so confident in the quality and reliability of our services that you’ll enjoy being a part of a rural business park community should you wish to visit.
Should I use a virtual office address?
Yes, if you are a Freelancer or small business owner who needs to have a professional-looking office address. There is no long term contract and the service provides everything from mailbox rental, mail handling and forwarding services at affordable prices starting at £20 + VAT per month – much more affordable than renting office space.
Are virtual offices worth it for my business?
For many small business owners, the answer is a resounding yes! A virtual office address provides all of the same benefits and advantages as traditional office space (such as meeting room hire) but without any long term contracts meaning that you are not committed for any specific length of time or paying over your budget in advance.
Running a business remotely needn’t be a lonely venture, it should be one that you enjoy the benefits of with working in an inspiring and professional environment being of high priority for you.
If you wish to find out more about virtual offices or registering your business at a premium business park like Burrough Court you have the following options: