Author Archives: Aditi Mohan

About Aditi Mohan

As the current Content Executive for Companies Made Simple, Aditi lives and breathes all things content. An obsessive theatre enthusiast, She also likes animals and live music.

The pros and cons of using a virtual office address


What is a virtual office?

If you’re in the process of starting your own business, you’ll soon need to think about where you want to be located.

Traditionally, as a new company owner, you will look to rent an office in the area you want to serve. But this can be a costly option, especially if you’re a new start-up with limited capital.

Cash-conscious entrepreneurs are increasingly choosing virtual offices over physical offices, as it allows them to work remotely – often from home – while still having an ‘official’ local business address to their name. 

Remember, a virtual office address shouldn’t be confused with a service address.

The case for getting a virtual office address

All the features of a physical office with fewer costs

One of the biggest reasons to get a virtual address is, you can get all the benefits of having a physical location, without paying additional overheads.

As well as being provided with a mailing address – which allows you to send and receive post at a secure location – you can often choose to pay for additional phone and voicemail services, printing services, and even a shared receptionist, who will be trained to answer calls as if they are a part of your company. All these features will make your company appear much more professional and credible from day one. 

Some virtual address providers host co-working and meeting room spaces, too, so you’ll have somewhere you can hire for chats with colleagues, suppliers, and clients.


No daily commute

Forget jumping on a jam-packed train first thing in the morning or battling through rush-hour traffic every day of your working week. As long as you have the right equipment and a good WiFi connection to hand, you can work from wherever you like when you have a virtual office address – even the comfort of your own living room, if you want to. You’ll save a lot of money on fuel or public transport, and you may find that you’re more productive when you have the flexibility to switch up your working environment as you please.


Expand into new markets with ease

If you want to find new customers in a different area, purchasing a virtual office address can allow you to start building a presence in this region without setting up shop miles away from your HQ.


The downsides of running a virtual office

 No space for staff or clients

If you don’t rent your own physical office, you will never have a permanent base for your team. Even though fully remote working is increasingly becoming the norm, it’s no secret that remote staff take longer to bond, which means you may struggle to create strong relationships and develop that all-important company culture. You could of course combat this by arranging regular team socials in different venues – but it’s often difficult to keep staff wholly engaged without regular face-to-face interactions.

You’ll also need to consider how far you may need to travel for meetings if you can’t invite your clients to your own premises. You’ll need to pay for the journey, plus other related expenses, such as accommodation and food.


An unsettled work/life balance

In our view, this is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Living and working in the same location can blur the lines somewhat, resulting in fewer boundaries in terms of how many hours you are willing to work, and leading to longer working days. Plus, you may benefit from having time to get into ‘work mode’ during your morning commute and decompress after a hectic day on the way back.


Home distractions

Some people thrive when they’re working from home, while others struggle to separate their professional life from their home life or feel too isolated when they’re away from the typical office environment. If you know you’re someone who would rather clean the kitchen than tackle that tricky project, you may want to invest in a dedicated workspace instead of setting up in your spare room.


Contact Companies MadeSimple for more information on the benefits of getting a virtual office address. We offer virtual office addresses and other services as part of our company formation packages.

Inspiration: Take the Plunge! Why you should start your small business journey today.




Small and medium businesses account for 99.9% of the UK’s business population, they are the backbone of the UK economy. With advances in digital technology, global connectivity and a changing consumer consciousness, there has never been a better suited time to start your business. 

If you’re a wannabe future entrepreneur and need that final push to take the plunge and start your own business, read on. 

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The Flat Rate VAT Scheme Explained




If you are a business owner in the UK, you might be familiar with the concept of Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is a tax on the value added to goods and services, as a business owner, you are required to register for VAT if your taxable turnover exceeds a certain threshold. 

While VAT can be a complex subject for many small businesses, the UK government has introduced the Flat Rate VAT Scheme as a way to simplify the process of VAT Return for small businesses. 

But what is the Flat Rate VAT Scheme, and who can benefit from it?


What is the Flat Rate VAT Scheme?

The Flat Rate VAT Scheme is an alternative way for small businesses to calculate and pay VAT to HMRC. Under this scheme, instead of calculating the VAT owed on every sale and purchase, you apply a fixed rate percentage to your gross turnover. The rate is determined by your business sector, i.e. photography or catering, and takes into account the average VAT incurred by businesses in your sector.


How does the Flat Rate VAT Scheme work?

To join the Flat Rate VAT Scheme your business must: 

  • Be VAT registered
  • Have an annual turnover below £150,000 per year (excluding VAT). 

Unlike other VAT services, you must apply to the flat rate scheme. It is recommended you speak with an accountant or professional before joining the scheme. You can use a formation agent to assist you with your application to the scheme.

You can not join the scheme if your business:

  • Has left the scheme within the last 12 months 
  • Has committed a VAT offence within the past year, such as VAT evasion
  • Are closely associated with (close financial or organisational ties) to another business. 
  • Has joined (or was eligible to join) a VAT group in the last 24 months 
  • You’ve joined a margin or capital goods VAT scheme

You also can not use the scheme with the Cash Accounting Scheme. 


Example for how the Flat Rate VAT Scheme works:

If you are a software developer and your sector rate is 10%, and your gross turnover for a quarter is £10,000, you would calculate your VAT as follows:

  • Gross turnover: £10,000
  • VAT at 20%: £2,000
  • Flat rate VAT at 10%: £1,000
  • Total VAT owed to HMRC: £1,000

As you can see from the example above, under the Flat Rate VAT Scheme, you pay a lower amount of VAT than the standard 20% rate. This is because the percentage you apply already takes into account the average VAT incurred by businesses in your sector.

It’s important to note that under the Flat Rate VAT Scheme, you cannot reclaim VAT on your purchases, except for certain capital assets over £2,000 (including VAT). This is because the fixed rate percentage you apply already includes the VAT you incur on your purchases.


Cons of the Flat Rate VAT Scheme

Your business may not benefit from the Flat Rate Scheme for a few reasons. Many service led businesses, such as contractors, spend little on goods. Therefore, VAT may not be a big expense for you. 

Secondly, if your business buys or sells goods from outside of the UK, such as a drop shipping business, the scheme will be more complex for you. 


Disclaimer: This blog is for general information about the Flat Rate VAT scheme, and is based on our understanding of the laws at time of writing. As tax laws are subject to revisions we recommend you consult a professional before making any tax related decisions or if you require any further information in the contents. 


3 Ways To Optimise TikTok for your Business



How to form your freelance writing business

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there. With over 30 million daily users and a hyper-curated user algorithm, it’s a great place to promote your small business. 

However, getting started on TikTok can be daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with the platform or any social media. In this blog post, we’ll go through three key tips on how to optimise TikTok for your small business.

Before beginning, you may want to claim your username, even if you are planning to start later. Just like making sure your business’ name is claimed and free for use before forming your company. 


1. Understand your audience, understand their trends.

The first question to ask yourself is, who is your audience, what kind of videos would pop up on their FYP (For You Page). TikTok curates a feed based on the user, this is why you might hear terms like ‘BookTok’ or ‘I’m on the F1 side of TikTok’. 

If your business sells high end scented candles, perhaps your audience is engaging with the ‘self-care’ side of TikTok. Once you’ve determined an audience, look at the kind of sounds and video formats trending under ‘Self-Care’ and start building a strategy from there. 


2. Consistency

TikTok is all about consistency. To optimise your TikTok account, you need to post often. This may sound daunting, but not every video has to be high quality or even clever. As long as you make use of sounds and trends, even a short 3-6 second video has the potential to reach thousands. 

Make sure your video content is relevant to your services or products, but have fun with it. The audience on TikTok do not require 4K, professionally lit videos, as long as you show authenticity and personality, your videos have the potential to go viral. 


3. Engage your audience

Engaging with your followers is a great way to optimise your TikTok account. When someone comments on your video, respond to them. If someone tags you in a post, thank them. By engaging with your followers, you’ll build a loyal fan base that will help promote your business. It is a great way to receive feedback on your products and services, conduct market research before launching and cultivate a loyal fanbase for your business. 

There are many ways to ensure the success of your business, by utilising TikTok you are sure to start your marketing plan on the right foot. Read our blog for more advice on how to create, own and operate a successful business.


Advantages of using a co-working space


WorkHub, Central London Co-Woking space, displaying a pink meeting room and a long work bench

In recent years, co-working spaces have become increasingly popular among professionals seeking a flexible and collaborative work environment. 

A co-working space is a shared workspace where individuals from different companies and industries work alongside each other. 

If you are a smaller company, or just yourself, you may want to consider a co-working space. 

Here are some of the advantages of using a co-working space:

  1. Cost-effective: Co-working spaces are typically more cost-effective than traditional office spaces. Rent, utilities, and other expenses are covered through your booking/membership, making it more affordable for individuals or small businesses.
  2. Networking opportunities: Co-working spaces provide an opportunity to meet and connect with other professionals from different industries. This can lead to potential collaborations, partnerships, and even new clients.
  3. Flexibility: Co-working spaces offer a flexible work environment where individuals can choose to work whenever they want. This is particularly useful for freelancers, remote workers, or those who have irregular work schedules.
  4. Productivity: Working in a co-working space can boost productivity by providing a structured and professional work environment. Co-working spaces are designed to facilitate work, with amenities such as high-speed internet, printing, and meeting rooms.
  5. Credibility: Co-working spaces often have meeting rooms, which you can book to host your clients or suppliers. This can add a level of professionalism to your company operations. Secondly, having a quiet and well equipped space for meetings is more productive than using a noisy cafe or your home. 

Another additional benefit to using a co-working space with meeting rooms is being able to rent a room as a ‘day office’. By renting a ‘day office’ you can host a collaborative day with your team, a workshop or seminar for your clients and network. By using a co-working space you know you’ll have state of the art equipment, adequate space and a good location for a fraction of the cost. It is an easy way to level up your business or treat your employees. 

Overall, co-working spaces offer a cost-effective, flexible, and collaborative work environment, with numerous benefits for individuals and small businesses. For Companies Made Simple clients, our ultimate package gives you free access to our modern state of the art WorkHub, based near Old Street Station in London, UK. 



5 ways to set up your small business for success.



A lady on a business phone call in her small business workshop

Starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavour, but it also requires careful planning and a strong strategy to achieve success. As a small business owner, it’s important to set your business up for success from the very beginning. 

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

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