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Are Virtual Offices Legal?

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Are Virtual Offices Legal?
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The good news is virtual offices are perfectly legal in the UK. In fact, the Companies Act 2006 specifically allows businesses to use a virtual office address as their registered office address. 


Following the pandemic, as virtual offices have become increasingly popular in the UK, most freelancers and SMEs opt for this option. It’s invariably cheaper than renting a private office, plus they get to impress their clients with a professional image. It’s always worth looking into the benefits of getting a virtual office, to make an educated decision on whether it suits your business.


Are there any legal considerations when it comes to virtual offices?


When it comes to the legal considerations, there are a few. You’ll just have to keep in mind that if you’re going to use a virtual office, the address should be located in the same country where your company is registered. You also need to ensure that your virtual office is a physical address in the UK in order to register your business there with Companies House. 


When forming a company, you’ll be required to have a registered office address where authorities such as HMRC and Companies House can send official correspondence. These letters are important to receive so as not to risk dissolution if important mail isn’t getting to you.


Can you use your virtual office address as your registered address?


Yes, you can, especially if you want to keep your home address private. It’s common for virtual office providers to also handle mail-forwarding services, letting you make sure official correspondence is received and forwarded directly to you. But keep in mind that using the virtual office address as your registered address is different from using it as your trading address. Make sure to check your package inclusions to make sure you get all the services you require. If you’re not sure what is a registered office address, we’ve created an article to answer common queries like this.


A lot of business owners also use a virtual office to impress their clients with a more professional image, so it’s a normal practice for startups and starting businesses. 


Can any business use a virtual office?


If you’re wondering if your business can use a virtual office, the answer is yes. Anyone can use a virtual office, whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company. But it’s worth noting that there are some businesses that may benefit from a virtual office more than others. 


For example, if you’re home-based or have a lot of remote workers, you may find that a virtual office is a great way to have a business address without having to rent a physical office space. Like being a freelancer, you may find virtual offices offer more flexibility, especially if you  often travel to meet with clients, and don’t need to be in the office all the time. 


Will there be any effect on tax if you have a virtual office?


The use of a virtual office will not have any effect on your taxes. But you will still need to file your taxes as you normally would. Other virtual office providers commonly state if their prices include VAT but here at SUAZ, we usually incorporate VAT in our prices. See more about how much a virtual office costs here.


Do SUAZ have all the licences needed to operate a virtual office?


Here at SUAZ, we make sure that we have all the licences we need to operate, especially when it comes to our mail-forwarding services. We have a licence from the post office, so no need to worry about not receiving official correspondence. Some information to verify your identity is also asked to comply with Anti-Money Laundering  (AML) verifications. We usually offer digital and post forwarding of your mail, to make sure you keep track of all important letters.  


Are there any ethical implications of a virtual office?


If a company uses a virtual office address on its website and marketing materials, depending on the type of business you run and the type of clients you have, some people could consider this to be misleading. But, knowing your business and your customers, if you take this into consideration, you may decide that the benefits of a virtual office outweigh the drawbacks. If you think that a virtual office is a great choice for your business, view our Manchester virtual office address here.


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