It’s a problem for contractors, small business owners, remote workers and self-employed individuals alike. You attempt to register for a service or listing space and find you’re being asked for your business address, but you don’t have one. Worse still, your customers may be asking for a contact address. How unprofessional does it look if you’re unable to provide a business address?
In all likelihood, you’ll have an address you live at and work from, and you may be tempted to use this address. But in many cases, this isn’t appropriate.
You may not own the property, your residence may be temporary or you might not want your personal address tied to your business. And, on the subject of looking unprofessional, you aren’t doing yourself any favours by offering up your home address for a professional service. Trying to market yourself as a financial expert, for example, while giving out a residential flat address is not going to do anything to enhance your brand presence.
You Need a Business Address
Having a business address is not an optional extra.
A business address is essential for numerous activities, from marketing your enterprise to registering with professional bodies. If you want to set yourself up as a limited company, you will need a business address.
You can use your personal address for your business address. No laws or regulations stipulate that a business address has to be a commercial property. You could use your house, your flat, your cottage on the coast, but many people don’t want to do that for the reasons mentioned above.
If you don’t want to use your personal address, does that mean that you have to buy or rent commercial property for your business?
How to Acquire a Business Address
You can invest in business premises if you think it will benefit your business. Leasing or purchasing commercial space, like an office or warehouse, can provide you with a much-needed business address while also providing workspace to conduct business activities.
However, business property is often expensive. We use the term “investment” because it is an investment. You’ll be sinking money into this asset, both in terms of property acquisition costs and property maintenance costs.
Bills, upkeep, taxes, they all become your burden when you buy a business property. This is all well and good if, by expanding to commercial premises, you can increase your output and make more money. But ask yourself this: will acquiring a business property increase my revenue?
If your answer is no, you are increasing costs without offsetting them, which constitutes a very poor business decision indeed. So does that mean that your only options are to use your home address or avoid any business activities that require a business address? Not necessarily.
No Business Property? No Problem!
In the digital age, there is a solution for everything.
Virtual office addresses provide you with a registered business address without having to own a property. As legally-verified addresses within the UK, they can be used for anything from registering with Companies House to providing customers with an address to send correspondence to.
But how exactly do virtual addresses work?
A virtual address is essentially an address subscription service. You pay a low monthly or annual fee (less than £40 per year), and in return, you get an address you can use for work. Your address is unique and is part of a property owned by somebody else. You cannot visit the property or work from it, but you can list it as your official business address. Any mail sent to this address will be forwarded onto you by the service provider, so while customers and partners see your professional office address, all correspondence comes through to your personal residence.
You can think of a virtual office address as the middleman of addresses. It gives you all the authority and professionalism of a business address without having to purchase a business property. For those that need a business address but don’t see the value in commercial property ownership, this method of address acquisition can be very appealing.