8 Tips on Choosing the Best Virtual Office in Singapore for Your Business

Last updated on June 1, 2018

Featured image for the "8 Tips on Choosing the Best Virtual Office in Singapore for Your Business" article. It features a business man standing with a virtual reality goggles in a office.

One of the requirements for incorporating a company in Singapore is that it should have a registered office address. Traditionally, businesses would rent a physical space to use as their office. Recently, however, some companies have chosen to utilise virtual offices, where businesses rent a business address and use it as their own.

The use of virtual offices has become increasingly popular over the years, especially for small companies. While each package differs, virtual office packages usually include services such as business addresses, communication services like phone and receptionist services, and business meeting spaces.

Here are 8 considerations that business owners might have when choosing a virtual office package:

1. Price

One important consideration for business owners is the cost of utilising a virtual office. The price of renting a virtual office package can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per annum.

However, the cheapest virtual office packages sometimes include only a mailing address with an option to add on other services. Their addresses may also not be located downtown as compared to more expensive package options which come with more premium addresses.

Furthermore, it is important to check that there are no hidden costs in the virtual office package that you sign up for. For instance, some virtual office companies require you to top up money for mail forwarding services.

Thus, you should check through your agreement carefully to avoid these hidden charges.

2. Services

Unlike renting an actual office space, the use of a virtual office provides more flexibility to business owners as it allows them to choose the types of services to subscribe for. Such services may include mail forwarding, corporate secretary services and an office phone.

Thus, it is important to be aware of the services included in each package and whether it would be sufficient to suit your business’ needs. Additionally, it is important to check whether the virtual office provider has the option for you to add on services to meet the future requirements of your business.

3. Duration of Subscription

Another important factor to consider is the duration of your subscription. Some virtual office providers specify a minimum 6-month period of subscription. However, it may be possible to negotiate with your provider for a longer or shorter period to suit your business needs.

4. Termination of Subscription

It is also important to consider the terms of termination and renewal, and whether it is possible to get a refund in the event of termination. This will provide you with flexibility to change virtual office providers if you need to do so.

5. Location

Although your business may be run remotely, clients may still need to visit your office. Thus, it is important that your virtual office is accessible. The location of your virtual office may also have an impact on the branding of your business.

For instance, how central the location is, appearance of the building and facilities may affect how clients view your business. It is important to consider the image that you wish to project and find a virtual office that suits your needs.

Therefore, you might want to make a visit to the virtual office to see how accessible it is for potential clients and the initial impression you get.

6. Credibility

You should also check that the virtual office provider is established. There have been instances of virtual office companies closing down after being unable to stay afloat. Thus, to prevent disruption to your business, you should check that the virtual office company is credible and established.

One useful tool may be looking for reviews of past users of the virtual office, or even paying a visit to the virtual office before signing up for a package. Some of the things to look out for include the state of the facilities, and whether they match their descriptions online.

Furthermore, you might also want to find out what other companies utilise that virtual office address. In the UK, there have been cases of fraudsters signing up for virtual office addresses in order to conduct their scam operations. Signing up for the same addresses could tarnish your business name by association.

7. Quality of services provided

The quality of the services provided by the virtual office should be another consideration as it will affect how smoothly your business is run. For instance, it might be important for your business to ensure that the virtual office provides state-of-the-art facilities like high-speed internet, printing and faxing facilities.

If you are signing up for a package with a telephone line, the quality of staff employed by the virtual office company would also affect the customer service given to your clients. Some considerations include the training provided to the staff, and their language capabilities and communication skills.

8. Privacy

It is important to ensure that the information handled by the virtual office provider remains confidential. For instance, you would want to check whether the internet is secure. Enterprises should enable WPA2 encryption. On the other hand, if the security type is “No authentication”, this may be an indication that the network is not secured.

Furthermore, if you are planning to subscribe for mail forwarding and handling services, you should check your contract to find out if there are any circumstances under which the provider can open your mail.

Some virtual office companies have terms in the agreement that allow them to sell your information in the event of bankruptcy. Thus, you should be aware of such terms in your agreement.

Virtual offices can be a cost-effective option for businesses. While the above factors can help you in finding a suitable virtual office, these factors are non-exhaustive and it ultimately depends on the needs of your business.

With the variety of plans available, it is important to do your research on these packages to find the virtual office that caters best to your business’ demands.

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