Can a virtual office be used as a registered office in India?
The reason this question is arising is that virtual offices are becoming more of a need than an option for many. There are several startups and small businesses which earlier had this problem of overhead expenses due to unneeded physical office space just for the sake of an official address, either due to lack of information about virtual offices, or due to unavailability of such offices at their desired location, or maybe due to unavailability of proper services, etc. There can be n number of reasons for that.
If you are a newbie to this field then let me give you a brief intro to what is a virtual office and then we’ll continue. Virtual offices are mainly professional workspaces like business centers and co-working spaces. These professional workspaces provide their address to individuals and companies who can use this address as their professional address for all their official purposes on a rental basis.
In short, they have the access to call it their own address for any purpose from mail receiving to GST and business registrations, etc. but they do not have any rights to the physical office space attached.
Even though they don’t have the right to the physical space at the address, they still can have access to the physical space due to additional facilities provided by virtual office providers.
How was this problem solved and how did so many options suddenly come up?
As is the case with every industry, despite irregularities and problems there is a rise of competitors in a specific field, mainly because those hardships that people face in those particular services became a way for any company that wanted to come into this business by solving people’s issues and providing them with a better version of that facility.
This also became the reason for the rise in the number of options today you are getting for having your virtual office. Such competition is mainly a healthy one as it encourages service providers to boost up what they already have, to improve and add on to their existing services, like there are many service providers who earlier didn't provide receptionist or call receiving facilities, there are many service providers who charged more due to monopoly, but the competition had made virtual offices more of what they were actually for, i.e., cost savings, leading to cost-effective virtual office options in the market.
How did Virtual offices become acceptable for registrations?
It is not that they were unacceptable earlier, they were just not as popular, as they became after the pandemic, as in that case they almost became a necessity. Every business is a source of income for the government in one way or another, that is the reason that government comes up with various schemes to promote businesses and startups so that it can promote their number and eventually benefit the economy.
The same is the case with virtual offices, as they are providing cost-effective solutions to companies and individuals so that those with fewer funds are also capable of starting a business and getting registered. So it is supporting that idea of the government and also businesses in the best possible way.
Since an address is compulsory for business registration, virtual offices are the best option out there if what you want is just an address and not an office space.
Today, even many of those companies who were using office space are moving towards virtual offices not only because they are cost-effective, but also because they are effective in many more ways:
- Ease of doing work: As there is no compulsion to attend physical offices, commuting time and cost is cut down, and also the hassle which can improve the mental conditioning of employees as they are working at their utmost comfort from their home or any such place.
- Large talent pool: Since there are no physical boundaries to restrict the hiring process, companies can choose from a vast pool of people, some of which might not have been able to join in the case of physical offices. There are many people who are unable to relocate to a different city for work but have better talent, so through virtual offices, both the employee and the company are at ease.
- Access to physical office space: What I also mentioned earlier is that virtual office providers are now providing facilities where they considered the problem of their clients and came up with this solution. At times, clients want to have meetings with the companies using virtual offices, and in that case, they have to arrange an outside place such as a restaurant or coffee shop for the meeting which is not that feasible, so now virtual office providers give this option of on-demand meeting and conference rooms, where a meeting room or conference room can be booked in advance on prior notice.
- Easy documentation: During registrations, there are various documents required from the office provider such as rent agreement, NOC, utility bills, etc. which in the case of virtual offices are given in a specific time period as your virtual office provider will take all the hassle of getting the documents for you unlike when you have to get it by yourself in case of physical office space.
- Multiple locations altogether: In the case of GST registration, it is more hectic if you go on finding an office in each state in case you want to get registered in every state of India. Here virtual offices come in as a boon for you. Your virtual office provider already has addresses over India in each state. All you have to do is tell them your requirements and save a hell lot of your time which you could further invest in your business. All this is at an extremely affordable cost as compared to the conventional counterpart.
- Prestigious business presence: Through virtual offices, you can even take those addresses which you were hesitant to take due to the excessive cost of an office be it a prime business center at a prestigious location or a co-working space. With virtual offices, it will only cost approximately 10% of what it would have cost otherwise. So it’s definitely wise to go for one.
Virtual offices are the best solution out there as of today be it for company registrations, business registrations, or even mail receiving and what’s better than something approved by the government which is saving you your big bucks along with such great added benefits.