Virtual Office - Yea or Nay?
November 18, 2007 9:49 PM   Subscribe

Do you use a virtual office?

I would like to start my own law firm one day, and I've heard of virtual offices where you rent conference room and/or office space on an as-needed basis. And you use the address of the virtual office on your business cards. If you've tried this virtual office thing, what are the advantages and disadvantages? Which questions should I ask to the virtual office company before signing on?
posted by Kimpossible to Work & Money (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My wife (also an attorney) did this for a while as a satellite office for a larger firm. It worked out pretty well for them. She actually had an office in the building, but it was rarely used. It had a shared internet connection, printing and copy area and reception. The receptionist will answer your lines accordingly and all that jazz. All in all, it seemed to be a great way to get started.

I can't think of any specific questions to ask. Most of those were answered just by checking out their website. It did a great job of listing all of the amenities.
posted by cdmwebs at 10:44 PM on November 18, 2007

Depending on where you are, Regus is a really good virtual office provider. I have used them on occasion when I need to organize a consultant meeting outside of work. They seem to be in most places and they have great service options and good rates.
posted by parmanparman at 10:56 PM on November 18, 2007

Until you reach a scale where having your own office makes sense there really are no disadvantages.

All the other people renting space at the office will probably give you some business as well so you might want to ask for a rough list if their clients. For instance, I can imagine being a lone lawyer in a sea of accountants being quite profitable.
posted by uandt at 11:21 PM on November 18, 2007

I have no experience on point, but I wanted to chime in and recommend Solosez, the ABA's email discussion list for solo attorneys. It's a lot of email, so a separate gmail account is not a bad idea.

Anyway, there are a ton of threads about this subject; they often include discussions about the merits of specific virtual office organizations, and you would have a pretty good shot of getting somebody who's used one in your area, and be able to comment on the merits.

They've got searchable archives on their site, and if it would be helpful, I can search my email for some of the more recent threads and forward you a few. My email's in my profile.
posted by averyoldworld at 7:20 AM on November 19, 2007

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