Virtual Office Guide

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What are trading and registered office addresses?

As its name suggests, a registered office address is the address which your company is registered at Companies House. It is shown on the public record, and official mail is sent to this address. When you purchase Forma's virtual office package, you can use our Central London business address as your registered company address.

A trading address is where your customers, banks or suppliers send you correspondence. It can differ from the company's registered address, and doesn't have to be public information.

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11 reasons why your online company needs a (Virtual) Office

Modern businesses can run almost entirely online, and thrive through the internet business culture.

From e-commerce to freelance programming, it's amazing how many small businesses can thrive without booking a commercial location as a headquarters. It's even possible to have a completely remote team, none of whom have ever seen each other in person.

However, there are some things that you can't do with online platforms and email alone.

Here at Forma, we know know that some aspects of business require a physical location, and many of them are not well-suited to using a home for that purpose. Even if your home is your official HQ, you'd likely rather not share that information with customers or business partners.

The simple addition of a virtual office to your business resources can provide everything you might need from a commercial office-without the hassle or expense of actually relocating your business or renting commercial real estate.

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Virtual Office Guide

  • What is a Virtual Office
  • Benefits of a VIrtual Office
  • How to choose the right virtual office
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What is a Service Address?

A service address is an address which can be used as an alternative to a residential address for the purpose of receiving post.

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Change of company address ‚- who to inform and how

If you change your company's registered office address, you must inform Companies House. You can do so online, or by sending form AD01 to Companies House by post. Once the change is approved, Companies House will then notify HMRC.

Do note that the change will only be official once Companies House has registered it. Additionally, your new registered office address must be in the same part of the UK that the company was incorporated.

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What is a Virtual Office: 7 Things to Know Before Buying

Let's start with one of the most important elements of a Virtual Office: location.

For a low cost, you can use a professional address for your companies house registration, website, business cards and Google My Business location.

A good, central address in a professional office can really provide an edge and make it look like you have a real office but in reality you'll be working from home (or the beach).

Google My Business is a great way to boost your website SEO and get your business found in search results so you'll want to factor this into what people see when they search for your business.

Today, the Google My Business "card" features in search results in 93% of searches today.

When you Google a business name, you've probably become accustomed to seeing the company card on the right of the search result which provides an accessible way to find a phone number, website and address for the business (as well as products/ services and offers).

One critical thing users can see with your business address is the exterior of your "office".

Here's an example of how Mail Boxes Etc. looks at it's Covent Garden location:

If anyone searches for you on and you've set up a Google My Business profile then they'll see your Mail Boxes Etc Professional Office.

Other providers offer "Premium" central London business addresses but in reality the exterior is... awful.

Here's the exterior of one particularly popular cheap London address.

That literally pops up for anyone searching for businesses registered at that location.

It's important to find a good price point for a professional address that represents your business but doesn't break the bank.

Here's how our address looks for only £25 a month:

At the end of the day, we're proud of our location, and we want you to be proud of yours too.

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Business Mail Redirection UK

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10 tips on assembling a virtual team

As a solopreneur, you tend to be on your own.

That doesn't mean you have to do it all. Rather than growing your company through hiring employees, you can take advantage of a variety of virtual services designed for solo traders like you. You just have to know how to get started.

Solo traders continue to be in the rise in the UK. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, about 60% of all small-to-medium size businesses are sole proprietorships, which equates to a total number of 3.4 million solo traders in the UK economy.

Yet many of these solo traders face daily problems. Even when they succeed, they tend to struggle scaling up their services.

That's where virtual services come into play.

-The right virtual team can help solopreneurs scale their businesses without the expense of full-time employees. If you're considering going this route, implementing the following tips can help ensure your success.

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Mail Forwarding Service UK

Mail forwarding is a convenient way to use a registered business address to receive all your business mail, and to ensure you receive your mail on time.

The benefits of using a professional address are that it allows you to keep your home address off of public records (like Companies House) and you can put it on your website, business cards and use online directories, like Google My Business to get found in local search results.

When you essentially use the office of someone else without being a tenant then issues can arise with getting your mail promptly.

Some locations will only let you collect your mail, while others will charge a variety of additional charges for either sending on your mail, notifying you or for even checking to see if you've received mail when you ask.

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Business Address Service London

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How do I transfer/ change a registered address?

If you change your company's registered office address, you must inform Companies House. You can do so online, or by sending form AD01 to Companies House by post. Once the change is approved, Companies House will then notify HMRC.

Do note that the change will only be official once Companies House has registered it. Additionally, your new registered office address must be in the same part of the UK that the company was incorporated.

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How to stop holding meetings in cafes without renting an office

If you're just starting a business, meeting with clients can be tough. Chances are you don't have the luxury of a company-owned conference room that offers a natural spot to engage and be productive.

As a result, many freelancers and entrepreneurs branch out to coffee shops.

But is that really a better choice? Places like Starbucks and Costa tend to be crowded, causing you to fight for a spot-and even when you find one, the lack of privacy can make it difficult to hold a substantial conversation.

That matters, whether you're trying to meet with clients, interview potential new employees, or engage in any other formal business meeting. You might even get a coffee for free but everything else, though, tends to be difficult to manage.

Fortunately, that's not your only option. With the right planning process in place, you can find more professional and productive places to hold business meetings that don't require you to rent office space long-term.

Consider these six alternatives for your plans instead.

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8 benefits of a Virtual Office over permanent office space

Renting permanent physical office space is an expense many self-employed entrepreneurs simply cannot justify.

In fact, as Forbes recently observed, some of the biggest challenges of being a solopreneur are a direct result of this lack of personal space. And yet, overcoming these challenges is more straightforward than you might think.

In nearly every case, a virtual office will meet all of your needs at a fraction of the expense.

Let's look at those needs in detail so we can tick them off the list.

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