Virtual Offices in London and PO Boxes are a cost-effective and important service for freelancers, work-from-home professionals and other small businesses that do not have a commercial address to receive post.
These services are typically used to avoid having to publish your residential address in the public domain. There are also several other benefits to using both services.
However, there are some key differences which you should be aware of before deciding whether a PO Box or a virtual office in London will provide you with the best service.
What is a PO Box?
Post Office boxes are more commonly known as PO Boxes. They are essentially a private mailbox provided by the Royal Mail. You can either collect the post yourself or pay extra for a delivery service to another address.
What is a Virtual Office Address?
Like a PO Box, a virtual office address gives you a fixed address where you can receive post. Virtual mailbox providers then forward your mail to you by post or electronic delivery to your email or messaging app.
How do PO Boxes and virtual mailboxes work?
When post or packages are sent to your business they will be delivered to the mailbox services you are using. However, there is a key difference.
The Royal Mail will not receive parcels sent to a PO Box from third-party couriers such as Parcel Force, DHL or Hermes etc. You will only be able to receive post and packages that have been sent through Royal Mail.
A mailbox with a virtual office, on the other hand, will accept post and packages from all the major couriers. This gives you more scope to run your business and work with couriers that offer the best prices.
However, it should be noted that some virtual office providers will not accept parcels that require a signature. Low-Cost Letterbox does provide this service.
What does a PO Box Address Look Like?
Because a PO Box is classed as a delivery address within a Royal Mail sorting office, your business will not be given a physical address. The address people will send your mail to will look something like this.
PO Box 666
As you can see a PO Box clearly identifies that you do not have a physical address. That could put you at a disadvantage.
What does a virtual office Address in London Look Like?
A virtual office mailbox gives you a physical address. As we detail in this article titled, The benefits of a virtual office in London, a prestigious address in London reflect kindly on your business.
When you work with a virtual office in London, your mailing address will look like this:
95 Mortimor Street
You can see how much more authentic a mailing address to a virtual office in London makes your business look.
Can you use a PO Box address as a registered office address?
No. Because a PO Box is not a physical address, it’s against the law to use it as a registered address. There is legal requirement for businesses to provide an active business address where HMRC and other government services can reach you.
A virtual office in London, on the other hand, can be legally used as a registered address. Low-Cost Letterbox even provides a company registration service to save you the hassle.
Whilst the cost of renting a mailbox with a virtual office is typically more expensive than a PO Box with the post office, virtual mailboxes offer more advantages for businesses.
Low-Cost Letterboxes offer virtual mailboxes at highly competitive rates that are much less expensive than other services. To find out more, get in touch with a member of our friendly team.