Virtual office packages in Singapore are a dime a dozen, from small unknown operators located in far-flung industrial estate to big-name serviced office operators in premium grade office buildings in MBFC (Marina Bay Financial Centre) area.  Depending on the brand and the scope of services provided, the best virtual office packages in Singapore can range from $8 to over $150 per month.

What is a virtual office?  As incorporating a company in Singapore requires a registered business address, which cannot be a residential address, new businesses who like to keep overheads down at the start often look at “renting” a business address for this purpose.  A business address is the simplest form of a virtual office package, which a friend who operates from a commercial office address could very well provide the same as little or no cost.  Not every one has a friend like that.  Even so there may be other factors to look at which becomes essential to the success of the new business.

In this article, we share 10 considerations (in order of priority in our opinion) business owners ought to look at when choosing the best virtual office in Singapore.

1. Price

Unmistakenly the number one factor for most new business startups.  The most basic no-frills virtual office service is simply the renting of a business address.  Most operators would notify you via email whenever there are new mails to be self-collected.

As highlighted prices can range from $8 to $150 but average at $30-40 for most mid-sized operators in town area.

2. Location

The cheapest business address rental logically should be located outside of CBD (Central Business District), however these days there are decent operators who can provide this no-frills service at fractional price within the CBD.

However, business owners should take heed and look carefully at the total costs of all the add-on services eg. dedicated phone number, concierge or reception services, mail forwarding, etc.  This is because many a times these services become quite necessary soon after the business takes off and no one wants to be caught in a fix where they have to change the business address.

Ease of access is also important as one should be able to travel with ease to pick up the frequent mails especially those businesses with cheques for payment.  Even if the price is slightly on the high side, it is worthwhile paying for a location within walking distance or better yet sheltered to the MRT station.

Related to location is a very real and practical issue for those who drive in Singapore – availability of quick and cheap parking, ie. the “grab-and-go” type.  If one prefers a business address within the CBD, then without doubt there will be more such public parking lots or street parking lots in the Tanjong Pagar precinct compared to Raffles Place or Marina Bay precinct.

3. Prestige

In the context of virtual office, prestige is bestowed by the name of the street as well as the type of building.  Certainly a “Raffles Quay” or “Robinson Road” address is more prestigious than that of an industrial area like “Kaki Bukit”.  This works for most industries in general but you will not expect a food catering business to have an office in CBD of course. Remember, most clients do not visit the office (but some do, which is why meeting room facility can be an important factor, see below).  For slightly incremental cost, it is wise to invest in business address that conveys a level of prestige that commensurate with the type of business or industry one is in.

4. Commitment Period

Most virtual office packages have a minimum lease period of 6 months, some may be longer.  It is entirely possible to negotiate for longer or shorter term, and find out what happens when there is early termination will unused portion of the rent paid be refunded?

Virtual office operators with more flexibility in lease period and refunds will minimize the risk of over-committing for new businesses.

5. Meeting Room Facility

Even if one does not think this is necessary at first, it is always good to have virtual office operators with meeting room facilities for booking as you never know when someone important is going to request to meet in the office instead. 

This could be a VIP customer, a business partner or even potential investors.

6. Other Office Solutions

As one’s business grows over time, the next step is to move into a physical office space where more serious work with all mails, phone calls, meetings, follow-ups, etc accomplished at one place.  When shopping for the best virtual office package in Singapore, it is good to anticipate a few steps ahead and look beyond just virtual office services but ask if the operator also provide nice coworking seat, dedicated desk or even private room solutions at a reasonable rate.

Although most virtual office operators are also serviced office operators, there are those who are not.  For example, there are many accounting firms or corporate services firms providing virtual office packages in Singapore.

7. Credibility

Credibility of the virtual office operator helps to ensure that you can use the business address for a long time without disruption due to sudden cessation of the virtual office business.  Working with a credible name also ensures that there is consistency in the quality of service delivered by a well-trained team which indirectly translates into better service experience for the customers of virtual office tenants.  This can come about from phone concierge service or when customers and business partners come down for meetings.

8. Flexibility

Often overlooked by most.  What all new businesses need is support.  An operator who is more flexible in how it handles day-to-day operations and who is prepared to some bend some rules or policies from time to time will be a great advantage.  For example, there are virtual office operators who will take notice and not return mails addressed to names of individual company directors instead of being to the company itself.  Other virtual office operators may charge an additional fee for such exception treatment as all mails are supposed to be attentioned to the company itself.

9. Opportunity For Networking

Of a lesser importance are these last two considerations on networking opportunities and availability of corporate services, as strictly speaking these need not come from virtual office operators.

The big boys in the industry the likes of WeWork, Regus & Justco just to name a few, boast of a large membership base of tens or hundreds of thousands of companies where they will be able to host interesting talks and events at their premises regularly.  Such networking opportunities may present business opportunities for new businesses to meet strategic partners and even acquire new customers.

10. Corporates Services Bundling

Many accounting and corporate services firms offer virtual office packages as a “bait”, in a bid to get more business for their core business of doing accounting, taxes or corporate secretarial services which may not be of the best value in the market.

There are other virtual office operators who are not in the corporate services market but who do strategic alliances or promotional tie-ups with the “best-in-class” accounting firms and corporate secretarial firms. Such referral model may actually bring more value to virtual office customers especially when there is “product-bundling” prices where there is substantial cost savings to the end-customer.

Finally, we hope this fairly objective article will set you thinking in the right direction if you are planning to sign up for a virtual office package in Singapore soon.

Though every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our writing and analysis, we do not warrant that our research findings will be 100% true and unbiased as we are also in the business of operating a co-location office in Singapore ourselves.  We stand corrected and welcome any such feedback to

Through our blog, we aim to summarize useful information on office rental market in Singapore and to bring you coverage on interesting developments in the industry.  We also express our opinions in our writing which must not be taken as facts without validation or further checks.  Our sources of information will be limied to those from the authorities, and whatever that is published in the public domain as well as insights gathered from our day-to-day marketing and operations in our business.  You should not base any decision on any representations given in any of our blog articles without fully verifying the said information with the relevant parties concerned and we cannot be made liable for any losses suffered as a result.

There are many virtual office plans in Singapore ranging from $8 to over $150 per month.  For anyone looking to start a new business in Singapore and who wishes to keep all unnecessary overheads down to a minimum, a virtual office package makes for an excellent choice.

In this article, we will look at Singapore’s virtual office packages – what it typically entails? As well as compare the costs involved versus that of the next cheapest option – taking up a coworking space in one of the many coworking centres sprouting up all over Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD).

Table of Contents

1. Virtual Office In Singapore Vs Physical Office Rental In Singapore
1.1 What is a virtual office?
1.2 What are important considerations when choosing a virtual office service?
1.3 Comparison between virtual office and physical office
1.4 Cost differentials between virtual office and physical office
2. Different Types Of Virtual Office Packages In Singapore
2.1 Location
2.2 Types of services offered
2.3 General comparison
3. Summary


1.1 What is a virtual office?

A virtual office, as opposed to a physical rented office, is one where the tenant just “rent” the use of a business address or commercial mail box, without the need for a physical workstation or work space.  And in order to project a professional outlook, and since the relative costs of renting a business address is so much cheaper than a physical space, most would prefer a more prestigious business address in the heart of business districts in Singapore – Raffles Place or Tanjong Pagar, or within the CBD precinct which then includes Suntec City, Marina Bay, etc.

In reality, virtual office operators offer more than just the rental of a business address where all incoming mails received would be alerted to the tenant on a daily basis.  Various ancillary services would be offered along with primary service of business address:

  • Dedicated local land line number
  • Phone answering service – all incoming calls handled by a trained company “receptionist”
  • Mail scanning service
  • Mail forwarding service
  • Cheque-dropping service
  • Meeting room rental
  • Business services ranging from accounting, production of company stamps, preparation of financial statements, corporate secretarial, tax-filing to even logo design, website design, etc.

These services are usually add-ons with additional costs above the price for a virtual office package in Singapore.  Sometimes they could also be bundled in as a whole virtual office package at a higher cost.

1.2 What are important considerations when choosing a virtual office service?

As virtual office targets primarily startups or businesses at the very initial phase of their growth with few customers, and where the business owners typically work out of their homes or cafes, cost is a major consideration. Price becomes the overarching factor to most when choosing between the various virtual office packages in Singapore.

However, we think what is more important than monthly rental per se is – the overall value in a virtual office package.  After all, most would agree it would be penny wise pound foolish to lose any single customer due to inadequate corporate branding or office presence, or simply due to a lack of connectivity especially when one travels out of the country.

Below is a list of considerations that tenants ought to think through before committing to any particular business address service:

  1. How prestigious or “recognizable” is the address to target customers
  2. Proximity to train (MRT) stations (for ease of routine mails collection)
  3. Reliability of the operator in the long-run (prompt alerts of new mails, ease of collection, etc)
  4. Offering of dedicated local numbers
  5. Offering of phone answering concierge services
  6. Offering of mail scanning/forwarding service (more for overseas tenants)
  7. Availability of meeting rooms for rental

1.3 Comparison between virtual office and physical office

Virtual OfficePhysical Office
(Dedicated Desk)
CommitmentOffers the least commitment both in terms of absolute costs and the length of contract to be signed.  Think of it this way – even a 12-month contract on a virtual office (eg. $30x12mths = $360) is cheaper than the rent of a dedicated desk for a single month!Even the usual shortest lease of 3 months can set one back by $1,500 to $2,000. And businesses usually need more than 6 months to breakeven, most longer.Of course, some operators may offer day rate for use sporatically within the month but these usually do not come with business address service which is not the basis of our comparison.
Brand presenceThis is the biggest setback for virtual office where the business requires physical interaction with its clients in an office setting.A virtual office will not give any form of assurance of business continuity or instil confidence in prospects to do business with a new business.A physical office, especially one where it is “seen” as a proprietary whole-unit rental portrays the strongest brand presence to clients.Dedicated private rooms or desks will be the next cheaper option as the market has come to accept coworking space tenants as well-run businesses with a millennials-friendly work culture.
Meeting settingThose who provide meeting room for rental at reasonably good rate will offer a huge advantage over the rest.People-to-people meetings, whether clients or business partners, can make or break a business and some meetings just cannot take place outside the confines and privacy of a professional meeting room behind closed doors.Coworking centres offer meeting rooms for rental by the hour.Some operators also offer “breakout areas” where quick short meetings can be held without having to pay for meeting room rental, albeit this is akin to meeting in cafes where conversations are in the open.
Work productivityVirtual office means one does not have a dedicated desk for work, apart from home which is certainly not the most conducive of places with various temptations in the house.Still, for those who are disciplined enough, it still offers the cheapest form of work arrangement & correspondence as long as there is no need to have clients down at the office.Productivity usually goes up when one is bound to a desk for work rather than wasting time commuting places.Having a proper dedicated desk also means full access to all records, files, wifi, printers, etc. which ensures no time is wasted in getting back to clients quickly on their requests.For these reasons, a startup should consider upgrading to a physical work space in the shortest time possible and virtual office operators who offer competitive packages for dedicated desks rental will be a bonus.
Dedicated phone numberWithout physical work desk, the need for a dedicated phone line becomes even more important, instead of merely showing a mobile number on one’s website.Virtual office operators who are able to offer such dedicated local phone number bring the most value to new businesses, especially when it also offers call forwarding at reasonable rates.Most serviced office operators would offer dedicated phone lines which usually come at additional costs for both the lines as well as usage charges.This is usually not avaible to coworking tenants who still by and large rely on their mobiles for transacting businesses.
Networking and collaborationAs virtual office tenants are typically cost-conscious startups on one or two-person operations, there is usually lack of opportunity for interaction with other startups or businesses when there is no physical desk to be stationed at on a daily basis.On the contrary, serviced office and coworking tenants would have plenty of such opportunities when they come in to work in the office.  Even though the new business could be just a one or two-person team, there will be other “collegues” to have small talk or do lunch with on a regular basis.

1.4 Cost differentials between virtual office and physical office

Physical Office
(with Dedicated Desk)
Virtual Office
Business address
Use of desk, wifi, utilities & pantry
Local Dedicated Phone Number
Self-managed (with line/phone set)
Phone usage chargesORConcierge answering service
$40-50Not applicable
Other Costs
Meeting room use
(meet at cafes ~$12)
Total Monthly Cost
(on self-managed phone & 2-hr meeting/wk)
($710 + 4x$40)
(Midpoint $80 + $45 + 4x$12)

*assume 10 days out of 22 working days in a month where one works out of a café with wifi connection and with order of 1 drink at $6, ie. $6×10 = $60.  The rest of the time one works from home which is free.

A virtual office package could possibly cost only one-fifth that of a dedicated desk. For startups and new businesses, the savings here could certainly be put into much better use like advertising budget to get more leads or pay per click.  Even if we compare the costs with that of a coworking desk (non-dedicated open desk), which can be half the costs of a dedicated desk, virtual office would still save quite a few hundred per month.


2.1 Location

Is location important at all for virtual office address?  What may seem as trivial could actually play a part in one’s business success in two ways.

First, targeting a specific country or city requires a brand prescence and more often than not, potential new customers often seek out the location of a new business to ascertain how well-established is the firm.  So having a well-known address will help to give a good impression.  Next, having an address in a central location especially in the business district will help motivate new entreprenuers to network more during lunch time when they also swing by to pick up their mails.  This is important to prevent new entreprenuers from being holed up at one corner of Singapore and working in silos.  Running a new business can be a lonely venture at times.

2.2 Type of services offered

As highlighted earlier, most virtual office operators do bundle up or offer a menu of add-on services for customers with the most common listed below:

Phone answering & concierge service
This usually adds quite a bit of fixed cost to a virtual office package but is necessary if one’s business requires a putting on a full façade of frontdesk receptionist with fairly sizeable team in backroom operations. Be prepared to add $100-150 per month for having a “dedicated receptionist” that greets all callers by your brand.

Dedicated phone line
In order to print a direct line or DID number on one’s namecard, this requires subscribing for a dedicated phone line with the operator.  This usually will add another $30-100 per month charged by most operators and does not include the cost of call forwarding or having all calls routed to one’s mobile when not in the office.

Call forwarding service (with call forward charges)
Do not overlook this as it is important for new businesses not to miss any call or lead especially if the dedicated phone number is used as a sales hotline on the company’s website in order to look more professional and not some fly-by-night operations.  Depending on the phone system used by various operators, be prepared to pay for usage charges including call forward charges.

Mail scanning and forwarding service
For virtual office customers based outside of Singapore, and who does not fly in every month to pick up all their mails and cheques, this becomes a key add-on service for obvious reasons.

Meeting room for rental
For some businesses, conducting professional and confidential discussions behind four walls cannot be substituted with meetings in cafes.  As one can never anticipate when there is such a need for proper meeting with a very important VIP client or business partner, choosing a virtual office operator with easy access to such meeting venue is paramount.

2.3 General Comparison

The virtual office packages in Singapore are highly fragmented with price ranging from $8 to few hundred dollars depending on the location, prestige and type of add-on services offered or bundled in.

We have provided a list of important considerations to mull over in section 1.2 earlier and we believe operators who could provide satisfactory solutions to these seven factors and at a reasonably price ought to be shortlisted.


In this article we have introduced you to the various types of services offered alongside a typical virtual office package in Singapore. Most operators would break them down into an “à la carte” menu with the business address and mails management as core or basic service in the virtual office package. This basic service alone commands a wide range of prices from $8 to $150 depending on the location, prestige, and the type (mass-market versus premium brands) or scale of operators.

We hope the information provided here will be of great relevance to your search process.  As this article is essentially an opinion-piece from an existing virtual office operator, we ask you to validate the figures and statements presented though every effort has been taken by us to ensure its accuracy and objectivity. Please also do read our disclaimer clauses at the end of the article.

Speak to us today to find out more about our office solutions (dedicated desk and serviced office only) and to arrange for an obligation-free viewing of premises.  We look forward to welcoming you to the StartWise family.

Though every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our writing and analysis, we do not warrant that our research findings will be 100% true and unbiased as we are also in the business of operating a co-location office in Singapore ourselves.  We stand corrected and welcome any such feedback to

Through our blog, we aim to summarize useful information on office rental market in Singapore and to bring you coverage on interesting developments in the industry.  We also express our opinions in our writing which must not be taken as facts without validation or further checks.  Our sources of information will be limied to those from the authorities, and whatever that is published in the public domain as well as insights gathered from our day-to-day marketing and operations in our business.  You should not base any decision on any representations given in any of our blog articles without fully verifying the said information with the relevant parties concerned and we cannot be made liable for any losses suffered as a result.

Virtual office packages are aplenty in Singapore, with competitive prices ranging from as low as $8 from small operators to over $100 for big brandnames like WeWork, Regus, Justco, The Great Room, etc. just to name a few.

For those starting out on new businesses, it makes perfect sense to scale up slowly in operations and fixed costs like office space as the business grows, especially in a country like Singapore where the costs of doing business keeps rising over the years.

In any typical business, besides labour costs, rent would likely form the next biggest expenditure item on income statement.

For this reason, new entreprenuers just starting out may wish to keep costs down by working from home or in cafes, as long as the business can acquire new customers and grow existing ones with no need for renting of office space.  A virtual office package caters to this need as it provides a commercial business address for correspondences which presents a professional “façade” when interacting with customers who do not come down for sales presentations in an office setting.

Still there are important considerations to evaluate when you choose to work anywhere with a virtual office plan in Singapore:

1. Location Of Virtual Office Address

There are many cheap virtual office packages in Singapore with most of these located in fringe areas outside the city centre. When you decide to sign up for a virtual office package, do not loose sight of the primary purpose of why you are doing that – you want a good office location just like when you choose to rent at a physical office location.

Why do we say that? There are two reasons. First, a CBD (central business district) address that is easily recognized by customers would instil confidence in them to want to deal with you – this is paramount as that is the whole purpose of why you have to sign up for virtual office in the first place! Is is not penny-wise, pound-foolish to decide on virtual office address simply on price when you are trying to ensure the existence and continuity of your new business?  After all, you have already decided to save so much more by taking on a virtual office versus renting a physical desk space.  Then, go all out and get what matters most to ensure you can grow your business.

Second, think of all the times you will give yourself excuses not to go down or procrastinate to pick up all your mails weekly just because you have to go “out of the way” to do so, if you choose a non-central location for your virtual office address in Singapore.  There might even be slight financial consequences like cheques waiting for you to clear, or a penalty to pay should you be late in making some payments as you have “yet to receive” the invoice, and so on.

On the contrary, when you choose a virtual office address in CBD, you turn this “chore” or negative event into a positive one which yields great results especially when you do this weekly as a routine.  This is because instead of making a trip just to pick up your mails, you would make it worthwhile by arranging for appointments to meet friends or even clients for lunch and/or coffee who work mostly in and around the CBD areas of Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar in Singapore. Think networking and opportunity to catch up with friends and business partners.  In fact, you will be looking forward to these meetups and picking up your mails is now becomes “by the way”,

2. Uptime 24×7

As you decide on virtual office setup in the beginning, this means you will not have a desk with a dedicated fixed line number or a DID.  Even though we are officially a millennial work force, we may be dealing with customers who are more old-school and who likes to see a DID number printed on your business card apart from your mobile. For this reason, it is recommended to sign up for a dedicated phone number (usually pre-fix 6) when you take up any virtual office plan.  Make sure the service provider has this option.  Incidentally, you should be using this dedicated number as a hotline number on your website.  How many times have you seen websites featuring a mobile number and you wonder to yourself “This looks like a one-man operation or some freelancer and I would rather deal with a company”.  Don’t give the wrong impression to prospective customers.

And if you have to sign up for a dedicated phone number, the running costs ie. the call charges become important as we know of operators who would charge very low on the main virtual office package but makes back from all the recurring services from dedicated phone number, usage costs, and other pheripheral business services.  Select an operator who can provide the best overall value in terms of a dedicated phone number with cheap calling rates or better yet free incoming calls so you know there is minimal add-on or hidden costs later.

Remember as a new business, every call is an opportunity knocking on your door.  And if you do not have a big budget to employ a whole sales team or customer enquries team, this dedicated phone number or your hotline is vital for business success and needs to be “always turned on” 24×7 (except when you sleep of course).

3. “Moments Of Truth” In Customer Acquisition

There will be times when it is necessary to impress a client who request to meet at your office for whatever reasons, perhaps to size you up before he or she would decide to give the business to you.  This is where it becomes a dilemma for the startup business owner.  As the saying goes, some costs you simply cannot do away with and you just have to invest for the future.  For this reason, we believe all successful businesses should not stay as a virtual office client for too long.  Whichever operator you choose to work with for your virtual office address at the start should be able to offer you more, if not the full suite, work space solutions later on from coworking desks, dedicated desks to private rooms.

Singapore can be a very small place for doing business, and do not be surprised more often than you think, clients may request such a meet up, sometimes at the eleventh hour.  Virtual office operators who can provide a professional meeting room at minimal costs to host your clients when such “moments of truth” occurs would help you to win over and acquire a new customer to your business. That certainly justifies paying more than market rate for the virtual office address service.

Speak to us today to find out more about our office solutions (dedicated desk and serviced office) and to arrange for an obligation-free viewing of premises.  We look forward to welcoming you to the StartWise family.