Frequently asked questions about virtual offices. What is it? How does it work?

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After ten years in the business, I still meet people, who don’t know what a virtual office is. Currently there are so many variations of the workplace and how we work is changing with the fast pace of technological changes. In a lot of examples, workers don’t actually have to be or should be in one physical place.

In 2018 work places consist of the physical office workplace, co – working space, hot desk, virtual offices, working from home.

Another important factor, especially in Dublin is the cost of housing, which is forcing more people to the commuter belt and therefore a flexible work environment and alternate work space is important. I’m meeting people on a weekly basis commuting more than 3 hours a day and more. For self employed and business owners living outside Dublin, office alternates, such as a virtual office, are a huge benefit.

1. What is a Virtual Office?
In a ‘regular office’ you will normally have a desk along with the address you are at to receive post along with a receptionist to answer calls and meeting room. A ‘virtual office’ is just this without having the physical space for you. Various services are included in virtual office services:-

– Business address service: for you to use on your company website, correspondence and for setting up various accounts
– Business address service to use as your Registered business address with the Companies Office.
– Telephone services: such as call answering in your company name, message forwarding and call forwarding.
– Meeting room facilities which can be hired per hour or per day for use to meet clients.

2. What can a business address service be used for?
You can use a virtual business address service to as you company’s business address, as opposed to your residential address. You can use the virtual address to register with the Companies Registration Office, Revenue, your bank, on your website and correspondence.

3. Who typically uses a Virtual Office?
Virtual offices offer benefits to just about any company or business professional. Whether you’re a start up looking to keep your initial costs to a minimum, an international business seeking an affordable business presence in Dublin, a virtual office offers so many advantages.

4. What happens with mail that arrives at a virtual office?
Generally most virtual office providers offer a range of options for getting your mail to you. Mail received for the client at the virtual office, can be forwarded by mail, it can be opened, scanned and forwarded via email or it can also be held for collection.

5. Is there a phone service?
Yes, virtual office providers usually provide phone services. They can set you up with your own dedicated telephone number. Calls to this number can be answered by a virtual receptionist, in your name/company name – messages taken can be forwarded to you by sms or email. Calls can also be forwarded to your phone for you to take.

6. Can I set up a virtual office in Ireland, if I’m not an Irish citizen?
Yes, of course. Mail can usually be forwarded overseas, at an additional cost.

7. What documentation do you need to set up a virtual office in Ireland?
Both domestic and international client’s are required to verify the identity of both you and/or your business. This is a legal obligation under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, which relate to virtual office providers. Mail can be forwarded overseas usually.