According to Singapore law, people who want to incorporate a business here are required to register a local, physical address. This location must be open and available to the public during normal office hours.
However, if you’re looking to start a business in Singapore but work from home or a remote location, you may have trouble doing so. That’s why virtual offices have been developed to tackle this problem.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is as its name suggests. Instead of being a fixed office where individuals report to work every day, a virtual office simply serves as a physical location for business administration purposes. Virtual offices typically offer the following services –
- Business postal address
- Meeting rooms
- Phone answering services
These offices are likely to offer you varying fees that determine which services you are able to access. Nonetheless, make sure that you check beforehand.
Do I need a virtual office?
If your company is only just starting up or an existing small business, you should consider having a virtual office for the following reasons:
Most importantly, you can keep your personal address and phone number private. You can maintain your privacy and avoid supplying customers your home address and number or putting them on a public website. There is also a question of safety involved.
The next factor that makes a virtual office seem appealing is because it is a cheaper alternative than renting a physical workspace. Though the fees you have to pay for a virtual office may differ according to the variety of services available, it is still affordable. Having a virtual office also saves transportation costs as you and your employees are able to work from home.
Registering a local address that is not your home makes your company appear professional and gives an impression that you have an accomplished business. In the age of technology, a simple search online can tell your customers where your office is located. If your house pops up, it may indicate that you are not confident in what you’re doing or that your business may not be around for long.
Having a virtual office means that you can work from anywhere that you’re most comfortable with or is the most convenient to you. This also allows you to work overseas, as well as hire staff outside of Singapore without having to go through the hassle of settling their visas, for example. You also do not have to be confined to a single setting every day.
Similar to the above, as you are able to work from anywhere that you want to, your productivity level will definitely be at its peak. Because you are also saving commuting costs and have a relatively flexible schedule, you will have a better work-life balance.
As compared to a physical office space, you have the liberty to opt for short term contracts when renting a virtual office. Instead of entering into a two-year contract, for example, you can pay fees on a monthly basis. This allows you greater freedom to change your working space should you have a need to.
Things to Note
While having a virtual office is enticing, there are also certain things to note. You should research the various virtual offices in Singapore as each offers different service. While price concerns are understandable, you also have to ensure that the office you choose has a quality telephone answering service – you’ll want to leave a good impression on your customers. Another aspect you should consider is the availability of meeting rooms, should you need them.
As mentioned above, a quick search online can tell your customers where your registered address is. You’ll want to make sure that the building or location does not publicise that virtual offices are up for hire. Once again, you’ll want to leave a good impression and appear as professional as you can.
Communication can also be an issue if you hire employees as you will mostly be communicating with them through phone calls, emails, and text messaging instead of having face to face conversations. Misinterpretations and misunderstandings may occur, so it is crucial that you still have physical meetings.
Lastly, your business is likely to change and possible expand, so do consider if you’re going to enter into a long contract. Even if you are offered perks like discounts, you may not want to be tied down to a virtual office.
If a virtual office is something you think you’d need, check out our virtual office services at just $240 per year!