About GoForma

We started Forma because we didn't like the services available

Chris didn't have enough time for admin

How the idea for Forma started

Chris started work as a contractor in late 2015.

With a PhD from Cambridge and working at a top-tier management consulting firm, Bain & Company, he quickly found himself on fast-paced projects.

Chris was surprised by the level of admin required that detracted from his time with family or delivering demanding consulting projects. He felt there should be a better way to find and consolidate the different services he needed.

In 2018, the largest office space provider globally hired him as the Managing Director for the Virtual Services business; with the responsibility of managing the service for over 150,000 customers in over 900 cities.

One thing that stuck out to him was the universal demand that he saw customers had for a simple way to find and acquire business services easily, particularly at the start.

He saw how a lot of businesses had very similar requirements when starting:

Finding how to register their business efficiently with the help of someone who could walk them through the process.

Looking for cost-effective ways to create a local presence. Either through a registered office address, local phone number or a call answering service to help take incoming calls.

Identifying a high quality trusted accountant that could advise them of filing requirements and corporation tax.

Looking for partnership offers that helped them operate or grow their business.

From both a Limited Company Director and Global Virtual Office managing Director, he experienced both the problems and visualised the solutions.

In November 2019 he decided it was time to start Forma.


Charlie was tired of paying too much for too little

How the idea grew

After graduating with a Degree in Finance and Accounting, Charlie felt he probably wouldn't pursue a career in accountancy. He was wrong.

After moving to London he started working as a contractor in 2015 and began working on projects with Chris in 2016.

He initially started as a contract PAYE employee with a recruitment firm and received 50% of what the recruiter billed for his day rate.

He decided to create a Limited Company with a new contract and after spending a lot of time researching he found an accounting firm to "help" him get started.

They walked him through services he'd need and recommended a business bank account to get started. He tried for several weeks to go to in person appointments in a branch but gave up as he didn't have enough time.

The accountants recommended an insurance provider who locked him into an annual contract. When he told others how much he was paying they were shocked - it was 3x more than what they paid. When he cancelled his insurance after a year they still continued to bill him several times.

The accounting firm made a lot of money from these referrals but they definitely weren't the best services on the market. They simply prioritised commission pay over high quality referred services that helped customers start and operate their business.

He frequently had to call to ask about how to use the accounting software the accounting firm had created themselves which had errors, wasn't particularly user friendly and he often got confusing emails because of bugs in their systems.

He spoke to an accountant on around 5% of his calls to the company - the rest of the time it was to an unqualified support team.

It was a lacklustre service at best.

Understandably, he was growing frustrated with his accountant and knew his company year end was coming up so would look at new providers after his accounts were sorted.

He cleared everything on his year end accounts for submission with what he thought was enough time. He never received any reminder emails or calls to submit his accounts because of deadlines.

Charlie asked the team to put his year end accounts into production and after 2 months they were complete. As they were already apparently overdue by a month, he ended up filing his accounts 3 months late.

This led to a £750 fine from Companies House and a £100 fine from HMRC.

He complained to the accounting firm and they said that there was a 3 month SLA in his contract for them to produce his accounts. They were proud of producing his accounts faster than "agreed" and recommended he pay the fine as soon as possible.

It was time to try something different.

He believed in Chris' idea and wanted to help build something that would allow businesses to easily bundle services they need, get amazing value for money and to avoid penalties at all costs.


Hugh wanted to help the variety of businesses in his workspace

How the idea got funded

Hugh had managed a dizzying array of global projects with an executive role at Honda. So, when he was asked to take over the management of a 40,000 sq. ft. Office Space in London, it seemed like he'd be able to easily optimise and whip the office into shape.

Over the next 5 years he experienced the successes and failures of the hundreds of businesses using his Office. From seeing the growth of companies like Deliveroo and One Fine Stay to the unfortunate winding down of others.

He also started investing and helping support businesses as they were starting out. He saw an opportunity to reduce the barriers to entry of starting and operating a business.

On a chance meeting he met Chris where they discussed the challenges of managing a virtual office before finding how much they wanted to improve and bundle business services together.