Can I use a Virtual Office to Set up a Business

virtual office
Alan Clerkin

Alan Clerkin

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Can I use a virtual office to register a Limited company? Yes you can. When you start a business, you want it to have a professional image. That means a proper address and phone number in an area that is well-respected i.e. Baggot Street Dublin 4.

Lots of new businesses think that in order to give their new business a cool corporate image, they need to blow a lot of cash by leasing fancy offices in the best part of town. But this doesn’t have to be the case. When you get a virtual office in Dublin, you can get the professional image your new business needs without having to rent expensive office space. You can relax knowing that you don’t need to hire a full time receptionist, buying office equipment, and get a separate phone line either, because a virtual office can do all of this and much more.

When setting up your new Limited company or if you are registering your business name you should first of all registered your virtual business address .

What is a Limited Company?
A limited company is a separate legal entity that exists under the authority granted by the Companies Acts.   A limited company has substantially all of the legal rights of an individual and is responsible for its own debts. It must also file tax returns and pay taxes on income it derives from its operations.  Typically, the owners or shareholders of a limited company are protected from the liabilities of the business.  However, when a limited company is small, creditors often require personal guarantees of the principal owners before extending credit.  The legal protection afforded the owners of a limited company can be useful.  A limited company must file accounts at the Companies Registration Office.

What is a Sole Trader?
It is relatively simple to set up as a sole trader but if your business fails, your personal assets could be used to pay your creditors. Your main legal obligation is that you must register as a self-employed person with Revenue (see ‘Tax and PRSI’ below). If you wish to use a business name you must register your business name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

When starting a new business, money is going to be at the front of your mind and it’s likely you’ll be snowed under with a to-do list longer than your arm.

But it’s important that you set your business up legally and in the right way. That means registering as an Limited company, often gives suppliers and customers a greater sense of confidence in a business. The formation of a limited company is one simple and low cost method to protect a company name. Whilst this does not in itself give any rights to the use of the business name, many clients incorporate companies in anticipation of future development of new business or in order to protect the limited company name of an existing non-limited business for the future.

You should advise the Revenue when you start a business as a self-employed person/sole trader. You must do this online using the Revenue Online Service – ROS,  through the online eRegistration Service if you are:

· An individual who is currently registered for PAYE Anytime;
· An individual who is currently registered for Revenue’s Online Service – ROS
· Represented by an Agent.

ROS is Revenue’s internet facility which provides you with a quick and secure facility to register for tax, pay tax liabilities, file tax returns, access your tax details and claim repayments.  The facilities are available 365 days a year.  You will also benefit from an extension to existing deadlines for paying tax and filing returns where you both pay and file using ROS.  Further information on Revenue’s online service can be found at www.revenue.ie

After registered your company with the CRO, you can focus on growing the credibility of your business and managing the day to day running of your business.

With a virtual office, you can get the professional look of a physical business address and phone number without having to huge sum of money for an independent office space. If you’re just starting out, this might be the perfect solution to give your business the foundation it needs to grow and thrive.