Aspiring entrepreneurs know that an impressive office address can be a powerful asset.

Customers assume that if a business can afford to be based in an affluent area, it must be successful. But a Money Mail investigation today shows why you should think twice before trusting a grand-sounding location.

Number 207 Regent Street is a smart Portland stone building in central London, with five floors based above a shoe shop.

Virtual office: Number 207 Regent Street is a smart Portland stone building in central London, with five floors based above a shoe shop

You might assume the rent would be eye-watering. Yet floor three could be yours for just £24 a month — as long as you don’t mind sharing with 3,900 other companies.

That’s because 207 Regent Street is what’s known as a virtual office.

It means that none of the firms’ staff are based at the address, and any post is just forwarded on to their ‘real’ location.

They are paying to be able to use the…

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