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What is Mail Forwarding?
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.
Mail collection services
Well, this isn't really mail forwarding but this is a basic business address package where you go and collect your mail. This should be used with caution as you may forget to pick up your mail for a while and can then find that you have fines from Companies House or HMRC.
If you take a collection package, you should double check if your virtual office provider can check if you have mail (for free) before you go to the office. Some may use a digital notifications system to let you know when mail has arrived, but this is not used very frequently in the UK.
Virtual Office Guide
Digital mail forwarding and scanning
With Digital Mail Forwarding or scanning, an office address operator will scan and send your mail to you.
This could be done through email or a shared folder for you both to view. This is typically an extra cost, and you'll want to check if it's done on a price per scan or a fixed monthly fee.
Physical mail forwarding and mail redirection
Physical mail forwarding means that your business address provider will consolidate and forward your business mail to you when it arrives. There's a few ways that it can be done.
Mail forwarding costs
It can vary between providers with some charging more to digitally scan your mail vs forwarding it.
There are a few pricing models to look out for:
- Digital Notifications: a fee every time you receive a piece of mail. You might receive an email or use an app to receive these notifications.
- Mail lookup fee: this can be charged to check if a piece of mail has arrived.
- Mail Storage: if you don't collect your mail in a certain amount of time then you may have to pay your provider for each week/ month it is stored on paper letter basis. This is typically used as a way to encourage you to pay for a mail forwarding package.
- All-inclusive scanning: your office provider will scan each piece of mail as it arrives and you won't be charged a fee for each scan. This could also be subject to a fair use policy where if you receive more than 100 pieces of mail a month then you'll probably get charged.
- All-inclusive forwarding: your mail will be forwarded for an agreed price each month. Again, this could be subject to a fair use policy or additional fees for international shipping.
- Same day forwarding: mail is forwarded the day it arrives (or next day if it was received after a cut off time).
- Weekly forwarding: you'll receive your consolidated mail on a weekly basis.
- Monthly forwarding: your mail will be consolidated and forwarded to you at the end of each month. Slightly risky if you have some time sensitive documents you need.
- Quarterly forwarding: an even riskier but cheaper option is quarterly forwarding. If you're not worried about any fines or important pieces of mail then this can be a cheap way to receive your business mail
- Cost + Markup percentage: your business address provider will add a margin (between 30% to 300%) of the cost of sending your mail.
Virtual Office Guide
What is Forma mail forwarding?
Forma operates a London Virtual Office in Finsbury. Our key focus is simplicity - both for you and for us.
Here's what you'll get with Forma business mail forwarding:
- All-inclusive digital scanning or physical forwarding for £30/ £35 a month
- Professional central London business address
- Ability to work in our coffee shop
- High quality meeting rooms from only £60 an hour
- Access to partnership discounts on insurance, bank accounts and more
- Flexible month-to-month agreement
- Rapid digital onboarding process