As a freelancer or owner of a small firm, you are probably used to being phoned by people trying to sell you a new energy contract or entry in some corporate guide. But you may work in a field that makes you vulnerable to online threats, want to avoid potentially angry customers or simply keep your home address private.
In the Netherlands, if you are a freelancer, self employed (a zzp’er) or a small business owner, by law you have to be registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce or KvK. And because the basic listing is public, that means all sorts of people can get hold of your address.
One way to avoid this is to use a company like Easystart Office which specializes in providing representable office addresses so you can use a different one on your website and invoices than the place where you live.
If you do work at home, a registration address can also give your company more cache, particularly if it is a part of town popular with businesses. And it also means that potential clients who are checking out your business, are likely to take you more seriously if you have a proper business address.
A virtual office is part of the burgeoning flexible workspace industry that provides businesses with a combination of office services, without the cost of owning or leasing a traditional place of work.
Easystart Office offers business addresses for as little as €69 per month which comply with all the requirements of the KvK. You can usually activate the address within one day and cancel with one month’s notice.
Of course, it may be that you actually want to work at your business address because home is too cramped or has too many distractions, for example, and this is also possible with some providers. Easystart Office, for example, has flexible workspaces to rent from €179 per month, which includes tea, coffee, printing and use of a meeting room. But you can also have your own desk, locker and a network phone number for a little more. The company also even offers a telephone answering services if necessary.
‘Our aim is to offer the small firm owner all the advantages of having their own office but without the disadvantages,’ says spokesman Asjer van der Meulen. ‘We are doing all we can to develop our locations and communities into a welcoming and stimulating environment. And we will continue to work toward this.’
The company has four main locations – on in Amsterdam’s up and coming Oost, and three in Rotterdam. ‘We opted for Amsterdam as a business location because it is a place where many Dutch and foreign firms chose to locate,’ says Van der Meulen. ‘It is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and has masses of opportunities to start or built up a successful company.’
The port city of Rotterdam, Van der Meulen says, also a great place for small firms and start-ups which want to grow, thanks to the logistical opportunities and its driven entrepreneurial spirit. The Rotterdam centre office is located in the heart of the city and within a short walk from both metro and railway station.
Both cities also have great transport links to the rest of the country, of course, and if you work with a lot of international customers, then Schiphol airport is conveniently close as well.
Interested in the advantages of having a virtual office? Read more