For many people in the world of low-level trading, a level of legitimacy has to be seen before any clients or customers can consider you as a viable option. This is especially difficult for a sole merchant or anyone starting a small enterprise. However, there is one way in which such an issue can be somewhat combated – setting up a business address for sole trader purposes.
This can come in the form of a home address or various alternatives available according to Hoxtonmix. Regardless, an insight into what you will expect as you try to get your business address is invaluable to your endeavors. Let’s see more details and learn how you can set up a business address for a sole trader in the UK, London.
Defining a business address
Simply put, this address is the official location of your business or corporation. It is at this location that all mail is sent and received. Registering a business address for sole trader purposes is something that is ultimately finalized by the ruling authority, in this case, the Companies House. It is from them that you can be approved as a limited company.
A sole trader’s need for a registered address
All businesses of one sort or another need some form of address, although this may not apply to more mobile operations. That said, the typical sole trader can be found using their home address, as opposed to limited operations which are often registered with the right authorities.
As such, all personal information from their home address to their contact details are kept secret while their business data is made public. This means that the address they will have to use is going to be either a physical or virtual one.
Physical spaces are rather expensive in a city like London – something that does not always benefit sole traders without means. Fortunately, virtual spaces are available and can be rented at a much lower price. Either way, both do something that a home address will not, and that is protecting your private life, keeping it separate from your business activities.
The commonly used address
As mentioned above, home addresses are often used by sole traders as their business addresses, and all incoming and outgoing mail can be sorted through them. However, it does come with its risks, the most obvious one being the lack of privacy you are going to experience. It is for this reason that you may want to search for alternative addresses such as a virtual address.
Alternatives: PO boxes, virtual offices and home addresses
Speaking of other alternatives, anything would be considered better than leaving all your personal information out in the open. The following are just a few of the most common alternatives to revealing your home address and contact details:
This post office alternative is essentially a public place in which anyone can send and receive their mail. This place will also offer an array of other services beyond simply allowing you to receive and forward mail to recipients, such as storage.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come without its flaws, with the most notable ones being the fact that its contracts are quite expensive, and they cannot be used as the official address at Companies House.
As discussed earlier, these are often seen as the best way to go about things, since they are fairly inexpensive. Unlike PO boxes:
- they can be registered by the authorities;
- as an added bonus, they give their owner a level of legitimacy and prestige that customers look for;
- they can perform all the mail-related duties of a physical address;
- some providers may allow you to rent a meeting space on an hourly basis.
A physical place is ultimately what sole traders looking to become limited companies aspire to have, and these locations are rented or bought if means are available. Unfortunately, means are seldom available to the average sole trader. This is further hammered home in a city like London, where real estate is on the high end price-wise.
Changing your address
Irrespective of what type of business address you employ to use as a sole trader, there may be a moment in which you choose to change it. This is especially the case if you are trying to move on from your home address and into something such as a virtual or physical alternative. If that is the case, there is a way to do this, and that is to run through the HMRC.
The procedure is fairly straightforward, with registered companies having to download a government form to fill out and send to any relevant authorities.
It is safe to assume that businesses in large cities have many options to consider when it comes to finding the right address. The above has demonstrated that it really depends on your trade or organization type, and that the type of address often evolves as the operation gains more steam.
One thing that can be universally agreed upon even by sole businesspeople is that though a home address can be used, it bears risks that could develop into something catastrophic for your personal life. It is for this reason that all other alternatives should be considered.
However, many of these traders are quite mobile, which leads them to use their home addresses. Fortunately, they and others who fall under the sole vendor umbrella can find an alternative that is mobile, affordable, and easily registered – a virtual address.