Business Blog Business & Networking Setting Up a Virtual Office in the City Of London

Setting Up a Virtual Office in the City Of London

By Paige Tonna


Virtual offices are surging in popularity as more and more businesses search for alternative office solutions to the traditional offices that have long defined the UK’s working culture.

Initially developed roughly three decades ago, virtual offices provide businesses with a physical business address and other office services without the commitment of occupying the space. This means that workers can do their jobs from any location but enjoy all of the amenities of a dedicated office space.

With up to 40% of UK workers engaging in remote work at any given point in the work week, the demand for virtual office services has never been higher, with hundreds of businesses utilising the power virtual offices provide.

Businesses all around the country are choosing to set up virtual offices in the City of London so they can claim a prestigious central London address and enhance their professional business image.

If you’re a startup or business looking to set up your virtual office in one of the world’s finest cities, then this article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to set up your virtual office in London.

Unsure of the ins and outs of a virtual office? Learn more about what a virtual office is.

Understanding Your Needs

The Essentials for Your Virtual Office

Although the process of setting up your virtual office is fairly straightforward, there are a lot of factors you need to consider when searching for your ideal virtual office service.

Different providers offer widely different services, so it’s important you spend some time taking into account what features you and your business need from a virtual office package.

Key features and services to look for:

  • A registered business address: One of the most well-known benefits of virtual offices is their business address services. In the UK, it is a legal requirement for your business to have a registered office. When you choose a virtual office provider, their office spaces become your virtual office address, which you can use as your registered business address which will be listed on Companies House.
  • Mail handling & mail forwarding services: Virtual offices typically offer mail services and other mail handling options for all mail sent to the business address.
  • Access to meeting rooms: Some all-inclusive virtual office packages allow their clients to hire out their meeting rooms or physical office spaces for important meetings or team gatherings, often as part of the plan.
  • Call forwarding services: Similar to mail handling services, virtual offices also offer telephone answering services. Clients are given a dedicated phone number, and dedicated receptionists can answer calls on their behalf.

What you need to consider

Before committing to a virtual officer service, you and your business will need to weigh up some key factors.

Prices for a virtual office in central London can vary widely depending on the level of service and features included in the plan, with some providers starting from £0.99 per day to £250 per month.

In most cases, the overall cost of virtual office packages will prove to be a budget-friendly option for businesses and employees alike. Still, it’s important to crunch the numbers before locking into your virtual office contract. There are also setup fees and hidden costs some providers do not advertise, so it’s critical to take this into account when forecasting their finances.

Other factors you need to make allowances for include the size of your team, future growth plans, and industry-specific needs such as extra security and storage spaces.

Once you’ve settled on a budget and identified your requirements, it’s time to search for a virtual office provider and business address.

Choosing a Virtual Office Provider

If you’ve ever googled “virtual office city of London,” you’ll be bombarded with results advertising hundreds of businesses that claim to offer virtual business services in prestigious locations.

But a lot of providers only really offer a virtual business address and none of the other features that make virtual offices a viable workspace solution. The term “virtual office” itself encompasses a range of products and services, so it is important to research the key differences between providers.

In the case of Servcorp, our virtual office solution includes all of the key features plus a virtual receptionist and IT support and access to a coworking space and high-spec meeting rooms. 

How to find the right virtual office provider for you

Don't simply tunnel vision on the price and ensure to consider these variables below.

Decide on your ideal office virtual office locations

Not all locations are equal when it comes to your business. Of the 1.7 million offices in London, only a fraction of these can boast about being positioned in a prime location.

A business’ professional image is inherently linked to its physical presence, and having your business address in such a prestigious location as Mayfair or Leadenhall is proven to be a huge advantage.

The right location as your virtual business address will do wonders for your business, and Servcorp recommends selecting an address that aligns with your industry.

Research providers

Never underestimate the power of a good Google review! As touched on above, researching and comparing providers is crucial when finding the right virtual office service for you. Take the time to review their point of difference, their offerings, and costs to make the best decision for your business needs.  

Read the fine print of the virtual office plan

When it comes to virtual office contracts, the "fine print" holds crucial information that can impact your business.

The length and terms of the virtual office services contract, additional fees, and the conditions of using the virtual office address as your registered office address are all things that require careful review to avoid unwanted surprises later down the line.

Consider a trial period

Some providers offer trials to test out their services before committing to a full contract. By taking advantage of these trial periods, you can get a greater idea of whether the inclusions in the virtual office service match what you require.

Setting Up Your Virtual Office

Although setting up your virtual office in central London may be a hassle, Servcop makes the process a lot smoother, with our straightforward approach.

Steps to setting up your Servcorp virtual office

  1. Select from one of our four prestigious locations; One Mayfair Place, The Leadenhall Building, Dashwood House or Canary Wharf.
  2. Click our ‘First Month Free’ button under the virtual office package you want.
  3. Select your city and preferred Servcorp location, and then proceed to create your account.
  4. Servcorp undergoes a verification process to ensure that any business that joins our community are legitimate and safe.
  5. Once your account is all setup, you’re ready to start your free month trial.

From here, our friendly team will reach out with more information and set up details.

Choose your services

As part of your virtual office plan, you’ll be able to choose which of the many services and amenities you can access.

When you join a Servcorp virtual office plan, you can gain immediate access to the following:

  • Any coworking office space, meeting rooms, and all the facilities that come with this, such as a fully stocked kitchen and high-speed internet and VPN connections
  • A dedicated receptionist for your business needs, including mail services
  • A telephone answering service
  • Business address services and a new mailing address

These features are incredibly useful for start-ups, freelancers, and small businesses alike, so it’s worth utilising all that the provider has to offer. It also proves to be cost-efficient in the long term. Take the time to carefully assess which ones hold the most value when figuring out how to start a business in London.

Taking advantage of your new mailing address

Mail forwarding, redirecting, and handling services are standard offerings in any virtual office package. The main benefit of harnessing these services is that you can use your virtual address as your new business address, allowing your provider to direct and manage all important documentation.

Legal Considerations in the City of London

In London, there are two main legal considerations for registering a virtual office as your business address.

1.   Companies House Requirements:

As previously mentioned, every company registered in the UK needs a registered office address. This can be a virtual office address as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • It must have a real physical address and location. PO boxes aren’t sufficient.
  • The address must be in the same part of the UK as your company's registration. If you’ve registered your business in England, then the virtual office cannot be in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.
  • It must be a valid address that can receive mail.
  • The address will be displayed on the public Companies House register.

2.   City of London Registration

The City of London has additional regulations for virtual offices operating within its boundaries. These regulations require virtual office providers to:

  • Register with the City of London Council, which involves submitting an application and paying a one-off set-up fee.
  • Keep records of all clients using their services, including ID and proof of address.
  • Comply with the London local authorities' registration terms, with failure to do so resulting in fines to your business.

The City of London's regulations apply to the entire London area, but not all boroughs and areas enforce them. It's crucial to check with the specific borough or area where your virtual office is located to see if registration is mandatory.

More information can be found on Companies House and the City of London website.

Making the Most of Your Virtual Office

How to use Servcorp’s support for your business

When you choose Servcorp as your virtual office provider, you’ll gain access to a team of administrative support staff and a dedicated receptionist who are available whenever you need them.

Your dedicated receptionist can assist you with your business needs; from answering calls, printing and mail forwarding, to translation/interpretation services, bookkeeping, and even design support for your website and marketing materials. 

In addition to secretarial services, Servcorp offers fast and secure Wi-Fi and an in-house or global IT team that can handle any technical issues that may arise, such as desktop and PC troubleshooting or anti-virus support.

Strategies for networking and building relationships

While a physical office provides opportunities for spontaneous interactions, a virtual office requires a more proactive approach.

A unique feature of Servcorp’s virtual office solution is our online network where businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs can connect and do business together

With more than 50,000 users from across the globe, this service allows businesses to collaborate with fellow Servcorp clients to share ideas, sell products or services to each other, or even become business partners.

When you harness the power of our network, you can use your virtual office as a springboard for building strong and lasting relationships in the business world.

Select a Virtual Office for Your Business

When you choose to have a virtual office in the City of London, you’re not only giving yourself a prime business address or a registered company address, but you’re also gaining access to crucial remote work support that makes running your business easier.

When you choose a virtual office provider that aligns with your needs, your business and employees can thrive, leading to increased productivity, revenue, and outcomes.

If you’re looking for a provider that goes beyond a virtual office address service, then explore our virtual office locations or request a consultation with our expert virtual office sales team. 

Contact Us

If you’ve got any questions call us +44 203 753 5500 or fill in your information below and we’ll get back to you shortly.

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