Can a virtual office be used as a registered office?

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Virtual offices are an ideal solution for business owners keen to keep costs low while still benefiting from the status of a physical office space affords. But it can sometimes be unclear whether a virtual address can be used as a registered business address with Companies House. Here, we hope to clear up some of those concerns.

In the UK it’s not always essential to have a registered office. Sole traders and unincorporated businesses, for example, often don’t need a registered office address. However, when someone wants to register their business at Companies House, this is needed.

Companies House uses your registered business address to send official business documentation and correspondence. This address can be any physical address in the UK. Those who do not have a physical office, and do not want these letters to arrive at their home, often consider using a virtual office address as a registered address an attractive option.

You can use your virtual office address as your registered address. However, before you register your virtual office with Companies House, you need to check with your virtual office provider.  Some virtual offices simply do not offer this add-on service.

There is no steadfast rule on which offices allow this service, but the availability of this service, at a particular address, can change with time. 

Virtual offices can provide a great location to satisfy legal requirements for HMRC correspondence etc, as well as giving your business a more professional outlook than you can project by basing it the corner of your bedroom – even if that’s where you really work from.

Running a business from your home address runs the risk of making your business look unprofessional or exposing you to unwanted guests. Traditionally some businesses used PO boxes for correspondence but, in the UK, they are NOT an acceptable location for your registered. PO boxes can also be off-putting for clients and in the eyes of many potential customers suggest you’re running a small, unprofessional operation.

A virtual office in a prime location that looks is likely to convey a much more positive impression to clients as well as satisfying Companies House requirements of a physical address where necessary. So, a virtual office, with all the other benefits it offers is preferable to a PO box – and can even be cheaper!

Most virtual office providers will be able to assist you with enquiries related to whether a virtual office address will be acceptable as your registered business address. But virtual offices are becoming increasingly popular and if you’re a sole trader or small business owner the chances are that a virtual office will be acceptable.

For a chat about how a virtual office space could satisfy the legal requirements of your business, and the other services on offer, call us on 0203 476 7792.