3 Reasons: A Virtual Registered Office Address (2020 Update) – Lawpath
Having a virtual office address for your company not only protects your privacy, but can also make your company more efficient. Read more here.
To register a company, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) requires applicants to disclose a registered office address. This is the address which will receive your important company and official documents. If you don’t yet have an office, you may be tempted to write down your residential address. However, disclosing your personal information isn’t your only option. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of using a virtual office address for your company and further, how you can go about applying for one.
Requirements for a registered company address
There are a few requirements that an address you nominate needs to fulfil in order to be your registered company address. These include:
- It must be in Australia and cannot be a PO Box
- It must be capable of receiving communications and notices from ASIC
- If your company does not occupy the address, you must obtain written consent from the occupier
Under these requirements, there is no reason that your registered office cannot be a virtual registered office address.
What is a virtual office address?
A virtual office address is an address you can provide to ASIC when registering your company. Nominating a virtual office address means that all communications will be sent there. Due to this, it’s important that you choose an address where you know you’ll be informed of any mail you receive and also have a place where your documents are kept securely.
There’s a number of benefits involved with nominating a virtual office address for your company. It’s another component of your business you can effectively outsource. By registering a virtual office, you’re saving yourself arduous administration, money and perhaps most important of all – your privacy.
1. Centralised Storage
Transitioning to a virtual registered office will allow you to receive notices digitally and facilitate centralised storage of important communications. You can store all of your important ASIC communications online in the one place.
2. Backup of Communications
Scanning ASIC communications online ensures that important paper communications are backed up. This will benefit your business as it will reduce the likelihood of losing or misfiling paper communications. Most virtual office providers will also let you obtain your documents in hard-copy format, or you can print them out yourself.
3. Enhanced Personal Privacy
Privacy is important for both consumers and businesses. One thing many business owners aren’t aware of is that company information is visible on a public online register. This means that anyone online can do a search online and see your company’s registered office address. This is especially disconcerting for business owners who use their residential address.
Beyond protecting your privacy, a virtual office address can be handy if:
- You own your own office address but do not want to receive ASIC communications there
- Your occupier has not consented to listing the address as a registered office address
The Virtual Registered Office Address – a Choice Worth Making
Whilst using a virtual address as a registered office address is highly beneficial, you cannot use a virtual address as a principal place of business. This is because ASIC requires a principal place of business to be a place where the majority of business is conducted. For example, you cannot claim an office building in the CBD as your principal place of business if your business does not actually operate out of there.
Confused about the difference? Read our article on the difference between a registered office and principal place of business.
A virtual office will save you time and money – and also protect your privacy. Why compromise your privacy and receive paper documents when you can protect it and have these documents sent to you online? If you want further information, it may be worth getting in touch with a company lawyer for advice.
Ashlee is a legal intern working in the content team at Lawpath. She is interested in information technology law, and all things innovation. Ashlee is currently completing a Dual Degree of Law/Commerce at the University of New South Wales.