A lot of people that move to Portugal have legitimate reasons to want to keep an address in the UK. Some expats have businesses there, and need to hold a registered business address. Others need a more residential address so that they can receive things like bank statements or new bank cards and other important documents, especially those that are only moving to Portugal for a few months at a time.
The residential address is definitely the bigger challenge of the two. There are companies like Mail Boxes Etc. in just about every town in the UK that specialise in virtual addresses for businesses but, unfortunately, you can’t use them for things like renewing your driving licence or passport, as well as receiving personal mail from many banks, credit cards, or insurance companies.
Tip: When forwarding your mail to Portugal, use a courier rather than the Royal Mail. Royal Mail work with GLS a lot, and it’s fair to say that packages sent with them seem to go missing or just not get delivered. While that’s merely frustrating if you’re ordering some online shopping, it’s not a risk that you want to take if you’re forwarding important documents like bank cards, a passport, or a driving licence.
The best option: ask a friend or family member
For residential addresses, the best option is probably to ask a friend or family member and even offer to pay them what you would pay a virtual mailbox company (typically £10-20 a month).
Of course, it’s not an option for everyone.
UK residential address options
A lot of people have legit reasons for needing a residential address in the UK including those who travel full-time, students who want to maintain one address for their credit rating, landlords, those who live on a canal boat or in a caravan, digital nomads, and people whose work involves full-time travel.
The following companies can provide UK residential addresses (which normally can be used for business purposes as well).
Expost (discount available)
Expost offer residential addresses in several locations in the UK, and are planning on opening another hub in Ireland as well.
Although a lot of people want a London address for their business, not everyone wants a residential address in London. For various reasons, they may want an address in another part of the United Kingdom.
Thankfully, Expost can offer that. They currently offer mailboxes in several locations including the South East, South West, Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
- Discount: Use the code SAVES to get 1 month free when you sign up for 12.
- Expost Website
UK Post Box
UK Post Box offers addresses in London that can be used for receiving either personal or business mail.
They offer a number of services that are helpful to anyone trying to maintain an address in the UK: they’ll scan your mail and upload it to your account, forward it to you, and they also allow you to upload a letter to them which they can post from within the UK on your behalf.
Postaladdress.co.uk offers an address in Central London that you can use for personal or business purposes. According to their website, they’ve served thousands of customers and has been in business since 2012.
There’s no limit to the amount of mail that you can receive at their address which is ideal for those of us that have banks that keep sending us letters and statements that we don’t need.
European Business Centre (EBC)
European Business Centre offer an address in London or Wakefield in West Yorkshire. According to their website, it’s ideal for students, landlords, expats, and travelling individuals, but it has certain restrictions: it shouldn’t be used to open a bank account and it shouldn’t be used to add your name to the electoral register.
Lets Letter Box
Lets Letter Box offers addresses in Northern Ireland that can be used for business or personal mail. Their customers include people registering in Northern Ireland for business purposes, as well as those who’ve needed a residential address for personal reasons like going through a divorce or moving around a lot.
What about Mailboxes in Portugal
Some people have the opposite problem: rather than needing a mailbox in the UK, they need one in Portugal.
Unfortunately, there aren’t as many services available in Portugal as there are in the UK, but some options include:
Another option would be to speak to a coworking space like Cowork Central and Workup (both in Lisbon), both of which offer mailboxes for members.