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How to get a virtual business address

So, you want to know how to get a virtual business address? Thank goodness you've found this blog! We break down what a virtual office is, how it benefits you, and what you need to set one up.

After we teach you how to get a virtual address for your business, you’ll save time, money, and stress trying to find somewhere for your start-up to call home.

Forget convoluted contracts with landlords who don’t have your best interests at heart. A virtual business address is easy, legal, and most of all, separate from your home address to protect your privacy. They’re a great option for small businesses and people who work from home, especially in the early stages of growing your company.

What is a virtual office?

Despite strides in AI and VR making virtual offices sound like a fun and futuristic digital setup, they’re not (yet!). Although, you can’t physically visit or work from your virtual office (because it only exists in spirit), it’s a legal address with a verified location, which is listed as part of a building.

Virtual address benefits

A virtual business address offers several benefits, including:

  • Personal privacy – you don’t need to use your home address or make it public
  • Professionality – a virtual address looks good for your brand and adds credibility
  • Mail management – mail can be sent your way or uploaded onto a digital server for you
  • A digital record for business post – helps with audits and business management
  • Much cheaper than physical offices – no more rent or service charges!
  • Choice of venue or multiple venues – for localisation purposes
  • A legal address – for bank and government documentation
  • Your virtual address stays the same, even if you move
  • You can expense the fees of a virtual office when submitting your tax return

Types of virtual offices available

The type of virtual office you choose will depend on how you want to use it.

  • Virtual PO Box – cheaper and lets you receive letters but is quite restrictive compared to other options
  • Virtual street address – professional looking and a good option if you have personal customers
  • Virtual business address – a complete solution but pricer than alternatives
  • Virtual redirection address – mainly used as a new address for redirected mail if you move
  • Virtual returns address – handy for people who sell products and want to receive returns away from their home address. Also good if you don’t live in the location of your virtual address
  • Virtual parcel address – for those who don’t live in the UK and want an address to receive parcels before forwarding them elsewhere

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How to get a virtual business address

Step one

Before you register your company online with Companies House, it’s worth getting a virtual address sorted first. This protects the privacy of your residential address and keeps your physical location off public and professional correspondence.

Step two

Numerous companies offer virtual addresses. For example, in the UK, sites such as UK Postbox, Icon Offices, Virtually There, and Company Address all offer similar services, including mail management.

All you need to do is choose a package to suit your needs, sign up and register with the appropriate documents (identity and business etc.), and wait until you’re given the go-ahead to use the address.

Step three

Once your documents are verified, you can use your virtual address to set up your business and register your company. This address can then be used on your website, emails, documentation, stationery, and also forwarded to all your business contacts.

Now all your post will go to your virtual address instead of your home address.

Step four

Most virtual business spaces offer mail management services, which will notify you when you have post to collect (for whenever you’re ready). Alternatively, for an extra fee, you can get your post forwarded to your home address to save you precious business-building time.

Step five

If you want your trade business to grow nationally, take advantage of multiple virtual business addresses to keep your operations running smoothly.

For example, if you offer services in three distinct locations with teams operating in each area, having three separate and local addresses helps with marketing (incl. SEO) and lets you manage each area and customer base separately.

Having a local address to your customers gives them confidence that you’re local, while also being a nice way to improve your online presence in that specific area.

How much does a virtual office cost?

Each location and company offering virtual office addresses is different, but packages tend to range from £10 – £35 per month + VAT for standard business services such as mail management.

As you can see, they’re a cheaper, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective way to run a professional start-up.

ways to market your business online


Can I use a virtual address for HMRC?

You can register a small business with Companies House using a virtual business address.

However, HMRC doesn’t accept virtual addresses if you’re hoping to register for VAT (if your business has a turnover of £85k + per year). In this case, you’ll need to register for VAT using the address your business is actually carried out in. In most cases, this is your home.

How do I create a virtual office business address?

You follow our handy step-by-step guide above!

What is the point of a virtual address?

Most people prefer a virtual address to their home address for privacy, professionalism, and localisation purposes.

Is a virtual business address worth it?

People like to see where businesses are based and whether it’s near them or in a prestigious area. So, for marketing and privacy purposes, it’s worth it. And it’s especially worth it if you live abroad and need a UK address to trade internationally.

Is a virtual office address legal?

Yes, they’re 100% above board. They’re legally verified locations listed within buildings.

The only thing you need to know is they don’t qualify for VAT registrations. You can still have a virtual address if you earn over £85k a year, but you legally need to register your VAT address with your actual place of work (e.g. your home).

Looking for more expert trade business advice? Why not check out our blog: Should I be a sole trader or a limited company?

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