Everything About Virtual Office: Definition, Advantages, Pricing
What is a virtual office, you may ask? How can budding entrepreneurs & startups benefit from this and how cost-efficient can such a utility be? Well, there are a number of things that come to mind while talking about virtual offices in India. In times like these, when a good office address seems like a distant dream for a number of new ventures, seasoned or novices irrespective, the virtual offices are like a ray of hope.
Virtual offices offer businesses their own corporate addresses for correspondences and virtual interactions. Teeming with all the requisites of establishing a registered venture in India or applying for GST, this utility costs a fraction of what you incur for a conventional office space, which your business might not require at an earlier stage.
Defining something like a virtual office narrows down to be unconventional, but the idea of startups was uncommon and unheard of a decade ago as well. For some, it may be branding specific (given the virtual presence of your brand in the city) and for the others, it might be a critical formality in structuring the firm legally. This or that, it’s applications fetch more benefits than the price tag it comes along.
So here we go with everything you need to know about virtual office spaces in India. We’d be covering the following questions in this article:
What is a virtual office?
Well, a virtual office is nothing but an organisational interface that exists virtually at a given location. Businesses need commercial office address while registering a venture in India or during GST registrations when expanding to a new location. Given the constraints, it is difficult for everybody to arrange for such an address from friends and family, and taking up physical offices is not practical. To address these issues, virtual offices came into existence.
A relatively new concept in India, the virtual offices are gaining grounds because of its usefulness in multiple legal and transaction-related matters. You can opt-in for a premium office address anywhere in India using this product. And that’s not all. As a part of the offering, you also get assisted support like mail & courier handling, reception courtesies, telephone answering and more. Give your business a nation-wide reach without shelling out chunks of capital.
How much does virtual office rental cost?
Virtual office pricing is usually dependent on the location and added services. On any given day, a regular virtual office pack would cost somewhere between INR 12000 – 15000 per annum in India. This cost may vary if you include tools for management and daily operations, apart from just a physical office address for formal communication and formalities for registration.
In comparison to the conventional ways to procure such things, it is a menial cost to bear. Even taking one seat in a coworking space at a prime location would cost you somewhere between INR 7000 – 15000.
What are the benefits of a virtual office?
There are countless benefits of virtual offices, from cost-efficiency to having a PAN-India presence without actually having physical office spaces. Businesses use virtual office services to get a premium commercial address required for company incorporation & GST registration and manage business remotely using the mail handling & telephone answering feature that comes with it.
What are the most common Virtual Office services?
Here are some of the most common virtual office services that individuals & businesses can avail:
- Premium professional business address
- Mail handling
- Courier services
- Reception courtesies
- Telephone answering
- Access to fax/copier/scanner
- Fixed monthly access to meeting rooms
- Locker services
Virtual offices come in handy for those firms that need a presence in multiple cities in multiple states or for founders who are just setting up their own venture. So instead of coming up with a physical space, the virtual office can be obtained without much capital and efforts invested.
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How does virtual office work?
Depending on your requirement, once you finalise a virtual office at a particular location, the service provider gives you a NOC to use their office address for all your official communication. A brand board in your companies name is installed at the space. Moving forward, the provider also ensures that all physical and digital communication pertaining to your business gets handled at the space.
Can I use virtual office for GST & Company Registration?
Yes, you can. One of the most common usages of the virtual office product is in GST registration and company incorporation. As per the mandate by the Government of India, businesses need a commercial address while registering a new venture or applying for GST in different states during business expansion.
In addition to a professional business address, some also use it for mail handling and telephone answering services.
What kind of businesses opt for virtual offices?
There’s no set rule for you to avail a virtual office and almost every business, irrespective of their domain, have been seen availing these services. However, it is extremely beneficial for:
- Entrepreneurs while incorporating a new venture in a new city
- Businesses who’d like to expand to newer geographies without off-shooting the budget
- Businesses with Pan-India presence
- Companies who are completely remote & do not have a physical office
- International companies looking to set up their offices in India
- Freelancers, remote workers, bloggers, home entrepreneurs looking to launch their business
What are the cheapest virtual office providers in India?
Most of the virtual office spaces work on a cost-efficient services model. Still, to categorise them according to the most affordable ones, we would suggest that one should opt for VO services by myHQ workspaces, Instaspaces, etc. These names offer more customisable variants and hence reduce the total costs.
Among these, myHQ workspaces have a vast network of virtual office addresses across the nation (available in 15+ cities) and have consistent pricing irrespective of the location. Their pricing is the most competitive in the market.
What are the disadvantages of virtual office space?
While VO is a great product for businesses and entrepreneurs, it is limited by physical interaction. It makes perfect sense for individuals and smaller self-sustainable businesses but for big businesses, it only serves as a stop-gap solution.
For such businesses, in the longer run, it will become inevitable to take up a physical office space for their team. Once they move to their own office, virtual office becomes redundant. Other disadvantages include lack of interaction, ineffective communication, a slight delay in receiving couriers and documents etc.
Why do businesses need a virtual office address?
Professional office address is one of the most important use cases of a virtual office offering. While incorporating a company, applying for GST or expanding to a new geography, having a virtual office address has multiple benefits. A firm requires a mailing address for the following purposes:
- For business cards, website & letterheads, thereby building a nice image for your brand
- To show the presence of business at multiple locations, thereby increasing customer confidence
- To add a branch office in a different state
- To handle calls/clients/couriers in a different state or geography
- To apply for state-specific GST in case of business expansion
Virtual offices would definitely redefine the future of workspace and work culture in the world. With more and more employees turning towards more independent lifestyle and jobs, the concern is not where but how to provide for the technological deficits. Bridging the gaps in between are utilities like the virtual offices that allow for everything needed by a business, from registration to communication and branding perspectives.
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