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Your Virtual HQ partnership - all you need to know

Thanks for choosing us as your Virtual Office partner - we're really excited to be working with you. We have the ability to market and sell virtual offices very effectively and we work with partners to help increase the amount of virtual office/business address revenue they can generate.

Take a look below for a snapshot of how this all works. Please use this as your training hub for any new centre staff members, to ensure everyone is up to scratch with required practice and procedures!

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Let's get everything running like clockwork!

132 locations and counting...

Your location is live on our website - take a look at your shiny new office page below, just select the appropriate region and view it in all its glory! We will generate enquiries and our dedicated sales team will handle these and convert them into customers - we deal with hundreds every month. When we convert an enquiry into a customer, we handle all their ongoing billing.

View your location

Financial statements are sent on the first working day of the month

Ensure you keep us up to date with centre staff details

Forward post at least twice a week first class

Be aware of MLR red flags detailed below

Want to add another building to your profile? Just get in touch

We’ve got the largest national network of established offices

Virtual Office Team Virtual HQ

Useful contacts

Compliance team

compliance@virtual-headquarters.com

Sales team

sales@virtual-headquarters.com

Postal support team

support@virtual-headquarters.com

Accounts team

partners@virtual-headquarters.com

Compliance & Operations Manager

connie@virtual-headquarters.com

Or visit our contact page

Mail handling - What's required?

The Occupier Statement shows you: The company name(s) that have been verified and are permitted to use the address; the contact names of individuals we have verified that are associated with that business and are authorised to collect post; and the mail preference that the client has chosen, this is explained in further detail below:

Mail collection
Mail collection

Please notify the client by email as soon as mail is received for them, and specify the appropriate opening hours. The post should be held securely until it's collected.

You must check the collector's ID upon the first visit, and only release post to the people listed as authorised by us.

Mail forwarding
Mail forwarding

When mail is received, please forward out to the address provided. The post should be sent out at least twice a week, ideally daily using first class postage. Please place the mail in a new envelope, with a new stamp and ensure the addressee label contains the company name.

We know there is the temptation to go above and beyond to make the client happy, but you must not agree to change mail preferences without authorisation from Virtual HQ. Please see our important Dos and Don'ts below for more info.

Mail scanning & forwarding
Mail scanning & forwarding

The client has authorised their mail being opened and scanned across to the email address on the Occupier Statement. Once scanned, please place the mail in a new envelope and forward to the address listed.

We only offer mail scanning if the post is then forwarded on to a physical address. Depending on the volume of mail received for the client, you can scan the post when received but you may wish to forward the post in batches, for example twice a week.

Open & email google code
Open & email google code

Clients on this mail preference are only expecting one piece of post, their GMB card to verify the address on Google. Once received please open and email the code over to us at support@virtual-headquarters.com. If any other post is received in future, just let us know.

Tips-for-work-life-balance_Notebook_Virtual-HQ

Financial statements

Invoicing

Your financial statement will be sent to you on the first working day of each month. Please invoice ‘Virtual Headquarters Limited’ for the total amount shown, plus VAT if you are registered. We kindly ask that you invoice us within 3 months of receiving your financial statement as this helps to ensure you are paid promptly!

Do keep us updated of any account changes as we cannot recall payments once made. This is best done via email to partners@virtual-headquarters.com, our accounts team will be in touch to verify the email is genuine before we update our records.

Post Rebilling

Your agreed postage reimbursement will fall into one of the following options;

‘Per piece’ reimbursement – this can be invoiced to us in arrears on a monthly basis. We ask that you maintain a record of each client’s incurred postage charges and forward this to us at the end of each month, a simple spreadsheet is ideal.

Fixed fee per mail-forwarding client – this will be clear on your occupier statement and included in the amount totalled on your financial statement. You do not need to provide us with the monthly breakdown.

Additional charges such as courier collection or priority postage should be agreed upon prior to you incurring the charge.

Ad-hoc charges

As mentioned previously, we look after the ongoing billing for clients. This includes the virtual office and postage fees thereby minimising your admin time. For ad-hoc charges such as hot-desking, meeting room hire or catering, please invoice the client directly.

MLR Registration fees

The current fee charged by HMRC for each location included in our MLR registration is £300.00 of which we only charge on 50% to our partners.

This will either be shown as an annual deduction of £150 on your February statement or split into twelve monthly instalments of £12.50.

Queries?

For all billing-related queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our accounts team via email: partners@virtual-headquarters.com

Royal Mail postage prices

Important DOs and DON'Ts

Accepted post

If you receive mail for a company name that differs (even slightly) from the one listed, or is not listed on the statement at all, please hold onto the mail and let us know.

All mail received should be addressed to the company name, however there may be the odd piece of mail addressed to one of the contact names listed. We expect this may happen from time to time for sole traders particularly, so please don't return the mail to sender, but hold the mail and let us know - we can then advise accordingly.

Parcels

We discourage our clients from having any parcels delivered to the centre, but accept that on the odd occasion this may occur. Maximum parcel size accepted is 50 x 50 x 50cm = 5Kg. You will not be expected to accept any items exceeding this or if they contain any dangerous, live or perishable goods.

Regardless of mail preference, we would first request clients to collect any parcels, but please get in touch with us to do so if the client is not currently on collection.
If parcels are not collected in a timely manner, or are being received frequently, please get in touch with us.

Post collection

Please ensure you verify the individual collecting post, ask for their ID if this is the first time they are collecting or if you don't recognise them.

We may update you on specific clients and ask you to hold mail, or in extreme cases ask you to refuse the collection of mail. In any situation where clients become persistent, always refer them back to us as you ‘are unable to make any changes’. We will keep in touch with you, and client accounts may be cancelled if updated documents cannot be provided.

Account changes

If the client requests to make any changes to their account (including mail preference, contact details or address changes etc.) please refer them to Virtual HQ. It is important any changes are done via us to ensure we are compliant and to keep records up to date.

Visitors

If you are visited by a virtual office tenants own customer, please advise that they are associated with the address but they are by appointment only - they should contact them directly to arrange.

If you are visited by an enforcement officer seeking information on a virtual office tenant, please advise them to submit an information request to compliance@virtual-headquarters.com.

Ongoing monitoring

We are all responsible for continuing to monitor all clients, if you notice anything of concern or have any suspicions please report this to Virtual HQ.

Centre staff

Please update us with any changes to centre staff so we can ensure the correct people have access to the client's details, and we can get in touch with you where needed.

Onboarding and compliance process

Before any customer is permitted use of the address and activated at your location, they go through our thorough compliance onboarding process. We conduct all of the necessary checks to ensure we are compliant with the UK Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, obtaining the necessary documentation and looking into the company and individuals wishing to use the service.

Only once we are satisfied the client has completed our requirements do they receive the full office address, and their services are activated. At this stage we will provide you with the clients details in a document we call the 'Occupier Statement'. The information contained in the statement is for your benefit, and should never be shown to clients.

Take a look at our blog and guidance page which helps explain why this process is so important, and clarifies what we request from clients.

The benefit of virtual office address for ecommerce & online sellers

All clients are subject to the same basic checks

Customer information

Our online submission forms collect the following information from new customers:

★ Personal Name / Email Address / Contact Number
★ Company Type: Ltd, Sole Trader, Not Yet Registered
★ Business Name / Business Description
★ Registered Office Address / Principal Place of Business
★ Website Address / Reason for not having website
★ Why client requires a Virtual Office
★ Certificate of Incorporation Upload
★ Number of Beneficial Owners
★ Acceptance of our Terms and Conditions
★ Proof of Identity & Proof Of Address document upload for each PwSC (this may also be requested for the individual setting up the account if this is done on behalf of the PwSC(s))

Alongside this collection of information, our team focuses on asking the correct questions to assess any submissions that may appear suspicious prior to electronic verification. Our team is trained to spot the obvious warning signs at this stage, which include clients who are being unreasonably impatient, pushing for quick decisions or being vague about their reasons for wanting to use the service.

Electronic verification

Once this information is collected, we then use electronic verification to confirm the information provided in the customer supplied identification documents. Our electronic verification checks for the following attributes:

★ First Name, Last Name – Electoral Roll
★ Telephone Directory
★ Credit Activity
★ DOB Verification
★ PEP & Sanction
★ Mortality Register
★ Gone Away
★ CCJ / Insolvency
★ Company Director
★ Address Links
★ Occupants listed

Each separate element is given a score. If any one of the above attributes is reported negatively (for example D.O.B doesn’t match) the check will be given an instant fail. A positive score will be given, and therefore a ‘Pass’ if there is enough supporting evidence to confirm this individual’s identity. (For example, First and Last Name, D.O.B, Credit Activity, Electoral Roll all confirmed.)
We then will complete adverse media checks on the company and any individuals associated.

Overseas customers

When a potential customers resides outside of the UK we require:

★ Within the EU - Certified copy of ID and Proof of residential address
★ Outside of the UK & EU - Notarised copy of ID and Proof of residential address

Clients will only be activated and therefore introduced to you, once our team are happy that our initial requirements have been met.

Ongoing monitoring and annual checks

We continue to monitor all of the active clients at your address to ensure the information we hold is as up to date as possible, and any necessary action is taken (if required).

These are some practical steps that have been put in place to allow us to monitor our business relationship with the client:

★ If a client wishes to update the address that is used to forward mail, we obtain a new proof of address to keep our information up to date. The new address is used for a further electronic verification check.
★ All Limited companies are followed on Companies House. This way if there are any changes to the business details - such as new shareholders, registered address changes, confirmation statements etc we will be alerted immediately, and can act accordingly.
★ Clients deemed higher risk are placed on a watch list where they are reviewed periodically.

Potential signs of Money Laundering or fraudulent activity

Virtual HQ will deal with potential money laundering issues prior to activation with you to the best of our ability. Very occasionally, clients do pass all our checks and go on to be involved in fraudulent activity - the steps we take work to minimise the risk of this happening.

It is of vital importance that the staff at your location remain vigilant to any signs of potential money laundering or illegal activity.
The list provided here does not cover every potential situation, we have just highlighted the most common warning signs. Regular feedback from location staff will help to ensure both parties can deal with any issues that arrive quickly and efficiently.

We have no tolerance for illegal, fraudulent or rogue behaviour - our key concern in any of the below situations is keeping you our partner and the public safe. We will cancel the service for anyone who is suspected of criminal activity. However, there are situations where law enforcement requires the service to be left active while a criminal case is built against the client. In these situations it is ESSENTIAL the client is not made aware of this investigation - this would be considered ‘tipping off’ and may result in fines or criminal prosecution.

It’s essential that the steps included in this page are followed by all members of staff responsible for delivering the virtual office services at your building.
We will always work with you to minimise any issues that may arise, and our top priority is ensuring staff ‘on the ground’ are not placed into threatening or compromising situations. As we take our responsibilities seriously in this regard, alongside filing SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) for all clients that are highlighted to be operating in a suspicious manner - we also like to take the extra step involving local law enforcement where necessary. We pride ourselves on giving law enforcement actionable intelligence to help protect the public from the ever present threat of fraud and criminal activity so prevalent in our society.

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Warning signs:

★ Switching from mail collection to mail forwarding of mail or vice-versa. Has the customer provided details as to why this is the case? Do the reasons given make sense? – Ensure you push all account changes through Virtual HQ.

★ Unusual or higher than average volume of complaints – All businesses receive complaints, but businesses that get a high volume of complaints are certainly at higher risk of falling into a fraud category/rogue trader. Both parties play a key role in aiding law enforcement – if any particular client is making you or your staff uncomfortable please get in touch with us and we will help resolve the situation. Most suspected rogue traders are immediately cancelled upon suspicion. However, there are situations where law enforcement require the service to be left active while a criminal case is built against the client.

★ Delivery of cash – You should not be expected to handle cash, or parcels that you suspect contain cash under any circumstances. If this happens, please report the matter to us as soon as possible, without informing the client.

★ High volumes of mail being delivered early in the agreement, or the delivery of parcels unannounced and unexpected – Consider the type of business and whether high volumes of mail would be typical for this type of client.  Please report any concerns to us and we will investigate.

★ Unauthorised collection of mail/ different people wanting to collect mail on behalf of the account holder – If someone arrives to collect mail and they are not included in the list of acceptable names in the occupier statement, please refuse to release the mail. Please tell the client that the account holder will have to get in touch with us to add them to the account. If mail is also not collected for a significant period of time, please let us know.