Virtual offices

Sometimes referred to as a mail forwarding or holding business or an accommodation address, virtual offices are addresses which are used by a business or individual for the receipt of mail despite the business or individual not actually being there.

Mail can be collected by from the premises or forwarded on to another address.

How to register

If you want to operate a virtual office in Westminster, you will need to register with us.

Please download and complete the application form and send it to the details on the form.

You'll also need to pay a one-off registration fee of £100 by credit or debit card. A certificate will be issued on receipt of the application.

We recommend that you read our guidelines.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Legislation and fines

We introduced legal controls under the London Local Authorities Act 2007 which requires a virtual office to register with us and keep records of all clients who use their services and a copy of their identification and proof of address.

Failing to register with the council, keep records as required or make false entries could result in a maximum fine of £5,000. The legislation applies London-wide but is adoptive so a local council can choose whether or not to implement the Act in their area.

View London councils which have adopted section 75 of the London Local Authorities Act 2007.

The Virtual Office Forum Group (VOF)

This group was set up to establish high standards of business excellence and compliance within the sector.

It's made up of members from the industry, including the Business Centre Association, Operation Sterling (the Metropolitan Police Unit dealing with economic crime) and Westminster Trading Standards.

The objectives of the focus group include:

  • encouraging compliance and develop best practice guidelines
  • defining the rigorous ethical and business standards required to operate in the sector
  • creating a strong collaborative network of companies and organisations
  • promoting cross industry information sharing
  • lobbying on issues affecting the sector

Read more information about VOF

Last updated: 13 December 2018