Tag Archives: London

Squatters

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street we covered the almost a year old GPDR rules and how as an industry we take our KYC checks extremely seriously by requesting and obtaining certain documents on our clients to ensure we help to prevent any fraudulent movements. ALL customers of a virtual office are subject to rigorous security checks when opening a service at a virtual office- these are similar to opening a bank account. This may sound quite dramatic but as discussed in last week’s blog it is to protect you as a client and you as a consumer.

‘‘The most important thing is to know who you’re working with and who’s using yours services’’- Simon Cowie, Chairman of Mail Boxes Etc

This week we are addressing another industry issue.

Squatting

Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential,[1] that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

In the virtual office industry the term squatting is used when either a person or companies or in fact any organisations displays or uses our address without having paid for the service, or sometimes after their services have expired.

So where is our address showing?

Our address is used on a number of different mediums, such as Google, Companies House, HMRC registers, and local directories as well as displayed on their correspondence materials such as websites, business cards, and letterheads etc.

How do we establish their squatting?

We only establish whether a company or person is squatting at our address after normally receipt of mail. We cross check the name using our CRM System to check they are an active account.

Occasionally we receive a visitor at the office enquiring about a company and after checking the relevant website can then investigate if we don’t know of their existence.

What do we do about it?

At Hold Everything one of London’s leading virtual office providers we are determined to prevent fraudsters and squatters who use our services for illegal purposes or without our consent. We take a number of procedures and steps to attain the companies who are ‘squatting’ at our address and have all details of theirs documented to ensure we follow and chase leads on their movements.

We regularly communicate with Companies House advising them of the situation and they in turn have systems in place to assist with the industry situation. Furthermore we search the internet for connections to any individuals whom we can connect to the company using search systems such as 192.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other social network.

Consequences of squatting

If a person or company is displaying our address to squatter at, obviously we will not to able to forward to them the relevant communication from any source including government letters from HMRC or Companies House. After a lengthy period of usage and due to nonattendance to those time sensitive letters from organisations such as Companies House systems are instigated by the Registrar of Companies for England & Wales which will eventually result in Companies House ordering a compulsory strike off.

The strike off request is then published in The Gazette; this is then recorded on the company register as a First Gazette notice. Once published anyone can object to the application or else the company will be eventually struck off the register, assuming no one objects the company will go into dissolution which takes at least three months to officially dissolve – depending on the size of the company.

So if you think you will use our or any other virtual office address to squat at – think again, the industry talks to one another and names are circulated around.

Will My Data Be Safe With a Virtual Office?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street we have a dedicated team attending to the compliance around a mailing address.  Before we go into Virtual Offices and all the data that is needed to set up a service at one, let’s take a step back to make sure you understand what a virtual office is.

Simply put, virtual office services are a more affordable solution for small businesses and self-employed individuals and a virtual office can provide a prominent business address, may have facilities available to you, such as meeting room space or office space when required, without having to pay costs of a lease, utility bills, equipment and staff wages associated with traditional serviced offices.

There are many of virtual office providers across the UK, and they offer a range of services to various business owners.

For example at Hold Everything, our Virtual Office solutions are specialised in giving your business the professional edge, allowing you to gain new business, beat competitors and give off a more prestigious image. Having a Virtual Office on London’s Regent Street exudes the height of professionalism and ensures your business looks established and trustworthy. Whether you are a small business looking to improve your image by having an impressive London address, a start up wanting to be taken seriously or an established company looking to reduce costs by cutting overheads on office rent, we have the friendly professional virtual office service to provide everything you need.

We cater to a variety of business sectors from all over the globe and are the longest established Virtual Office on Central London’s Regent Street, W1. Our clients choose us because a Virtual Office affords them a number of advantages over their competitors;

  • Impressive image through a London address
  • Low cost
  • Flexible Meeting Space
  • Complete Virtual office solution

Have a look at our packages www.hold-everything.com.

With the rapid advances in technology this has produced a huge range of opportunities for businesses all over the world. Companies are able to accumulate information to create data-driven strategies that can really help increase their chances of success. But with as with many advantages come’s disadvantages, as data becomes more crucial to company processes the chance of having a data breach has now transpired as one of the today’s top business risks.

This is presented in the UK Governments Cyber Security Breaches Survey of 2018. It shows 74% of the countries company owners now say that cyber security risk is a top priority. This isn’t surprising as 43% of UK businesses have experienced a data security breach or a cyber-attack in the last 12 months.

Despite having this heightened sense of awareness concerning the importance of data security in business, still there is a vast proportion of UK companies that are still unprepared. In 2017, the average cost of a data breach for a large UK business was £22,300. Meanwhile, medium-sized businesses lost an average of £16,100 per attack, while small businesses lost an average of £3,100.

Although this may not sound a lot to some business owners, but to a small company this could make or break their success rate. Luckily there are many of steps small businesses and big can take to prevent a data breach especially when working with a virtual office provider.

What information do I need to give to a Virtual Office provider?

People use virtual office services for many reasons, and as part of those services you will need to supply a certain amount of documents and data on yourself and your company to finalise any contract agreement. By providing the requested documents by your provider it ensures we are supporting HMRC’s anti money laundering laws, the London Local authority Act and acting in both our clients and their clients best interest.

Our clients at Hold Everything are also possible customers of other Hold Everything clients. To this effect we treat every client the same, requesting the same documents, so protecting our clients against another client selling goods or services that may result in a complaint to trading standard.

By ensuring we treat everyone the same, should Trading Standards or HMRC need to know about a client trading incorrectly, we can support the enquiry to the highest level.

So what data do we request?

This personal data we request are documents such as:

  • Coloured certified Proof of ID
  • Proof of home address
  • Proof of trading address
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
  • National insurance number
  • Email address, contact number, DOB, payment details

Why do we need so many documents? Like many other business service providers, Hold everything is legally required by the HMRC Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements to obtain the above documents for all customers who use our services. We do not need to/will never use your data anything else.

Storing Your Data

So you want to know how your data is stored and used, and the main issue, is your data secure? In May 2018, the EU legislated a rule that changed the ways in which companies in the UK are allowed to collect, process and store data- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR places the duty on companies whom need to store or process data, on how to keep their customer data safe, if not done this is can result in fines for the company. So with that in mind your virtual office provider will have implemented measures to ensure their customer data is protected as under the GDPR rules and regulations all virtual office providers in the UK are required to undergo a risk analysis and policies, with measures to identify and avoid data security risks.

In most virtual office companies there should be a designated job role – Compliance Officer, they are responsible for overseeing GDPR compliance and making sure the data is up to date on the client and 100% secure at all times. This person will most likely be your first point of contact with the virtual office provider as they will need your KYC to set your service up.

It’s important to emphasise that no matter how many precautions your virtual officer provider takes it is impossible to guarantee total data security at all times. Cyber criminals/fraudsters are always developing new tactics to hack a secure firewall or data protection system, that’s why improvements must be constantly made to maximise your company’s data protection measures.  It is also essential to that these risks are present in companies and industries not just virtual office providers.

More important still, if you are a business owner you must also take the right precautions to warrant that your data and the data of your customers are kept as safe as possible. With all this in place you should be able to move forward with your business and put your focus on your potential business success and goals.

 

 

 

Why Using a Virtual office in London Makes Good Business Sense.

One would imagine that in this virtual world you never had clients meetings face to face.  Vendors of software such as gotomeeting.com would certainly say that.   But for all our virtual advances there are still times when you have to welcome a client to your place of work. That real life meeting is a good opportunity to show you and your business to its best advantage.   But what if your office is a branch of Starbucks or your brother’s garage?  You will not look as smart or as cool as your website or brochure.

Luckily, you have a virtual office package with us on Regent Street and as part of that package you have use of our boardroom/meeting room whenever you need it.  You just book and turn up.  The receptionist and secretarial will treat you with the respect accorded to a serious business client and will make sure that you and your associates have all you need for your meeting.

If you are giving a presentation then you can turn up with just your laptop because we will provide the overhead projector and the whiteboard and, of course, a fast secure connection.   Your client will see you as a serious business executive and this will increase trust – the basis of any business relationship.

So, as you can see, Hold Everything is more than just a mailbox or a phone answering service it is a full service basis for everything you wish to achieve in your business life.

Small business, Big impressions: Taking advantage of a virtual office address

As a small business, making a good impression can seem like a feat in itself. There is something about a start-up enterprise or a family run company that can put you on the back foot with potential customers, finding yourself judged and scrutinized before you can even say hello.

This judgement is quite ironic as over the years I have become accustomed to hearing realms of praise from high flying business men and women who are often describing the warm customer service, acute attention to detail and second-to-none product knowledge that they have experienced working with a small business.

The problem is, small businesses still make people nervous. There are usually less reviews to read, fewer big name case studies to take in and in general more ‘unknowns’ compared to the big names in the market. This makes it very hard for a small business to make a good impression from the start, despite the often superior service they may be able to deliver.

Being able to sway an individual to take a chance on your company is all about confidence. Confidence that you have the capability and experience to compete with the big players.

Choosing a virtual office address allows you to use a highly desirable business address for your company. All of our clients benefit from using a Regent Street address, and impressing potential clients with their prestigious W1 postcode in London. They are also able to make use of a personalised London telephone number where our dedicated telephone assistant will answer the phone in the name of their business and send on calls as they need.

These small features can make the world of difference to the perception of a small business, giving customers the confidence to find out more about what they can offer, and as we’ve found are often pleasantly surprised at the quality of service they receive.

How Virtual Office can grow your business

business offices

When you’re looking to grow your business, you need to put your company in the best possible position with an impeccable reputation and status. You also need to ensure you have the time, drive and money to put your resources in to business growth.

Virtual Office can help you achieve all of the above with minimal hassle and smaller financial outgoings than you are currently spending. Here are a few ways that choosing a Virtual Office solution can be the gateway to business expansion.

Top notch credentials

When a potential client starts to scope the field for their next business opportunity, the first thing they will look at are your credentials. How established is the company? Does it look reliable and trustworthy? Does it look professional?

At this early stage you can’t rely on your own personal skills to sell your business, so you need your credentials to do the work for you and get you a foot in the door. Choosing Virtual Office with Hold Everything provides your business with a prestigious company address on Regent Street in London, with a corresponding London phone number. This allows your business to look established, serious and reliable, all through your W1 postcode.

Never miss a new lead

As part of your Hold Everything package you can get a dedicated telephone receptionist who will answer every call you receive on behalf of your company. This ensures you never miss an important call, and in turn don’t miss out on a potential new customer. Your receptionist will answer the phone to your bespoke requirements being able to pass on any crucial calls to the correct member of your team as well as filtering through sales calls to save you time and interruption.

This service will again improve your credentials, establishing your company as a premium option and encouraging new business to thrive.

Extra money in the bank

Office space anywhere costs money. However a premium and established office address in London, costs a fortune! Virtual Office is a very cost effective solution for flexible and forward-thinking businesses. With modern technology allowing your staff to work from locations across the world a set physical office is often a waste of space as well as a waste of money. Money can be better spent on generating new business and improving essential services leaving Virtual Office to help both your reputation and your finances flourish.

Productive staff produce results

Studies have shown that working from home as well as working to flexible hours produces not only happier staff with a positive work-life balance but also more productive employees. By choosing a Virtual Office solution your team will be motivated to work to a higher standard and therefore produce the best results for your business.

Without being tied to an office space it also allows you to spread you net when hiring new staff, choosing the most qualified and ambitious members to join the team rather then being limited to those living in close proximity of the office. You will end up with the best staff, working to the best of their ability and subsequently growing the business to its maximum.

Time is in your hands

Time is one of the most important factors in running a business. Commuting to an office can often mean a couple of hours twice a day every day of the week which you could be putting to use in growing your business and also ensuring you keep a stable home life balance too. This is important both for you as the leader of your company but also for your staff who need to remain motivated to work.

In addition…

In addition Hold Everything offers a number of extra benefits to help your business succeed. You will receive a thorough mail forwarding service for all your letters and packages which will be held and dispatched to your requirements. It also answers one of the concerns of Virtual Office which is what to do when you need to have those critical face-to-face client meetings (however rare). Hold Everything offers access to a premium office space at the Regent Street address which you can book and use for business meetings as you please, ensuring there are no awkward situations despite your business working remotely.

Find out more about our range of Virtual Office packages to help your business grow today!