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I'm a solo freelancer working from home in a developing country. Sometimes I need a trusted-feeling address to show for my clients.

Is it illegal to rent a virtual address from a developed country to show it in my contracts and email signatures? Are there any harms that might come to me later?

Beside that, I feel it a bit of cheating.

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The answer to your question is "Legal," by whose jurisdiction and in what country.

In America, it would not be illegal, as long as the address was then truly your, and you in fact could and were capable of being contacted at the address. This is because if you can be contacted there, it is truthfully your address. However, if you could not be contacted at the address, then you would have committed a fraud. Many businesses utilize PO Boxes, or mail services in order to obtain a lawful street address. It is all perfectly legal and a very common practice in America.

I can not speak to the laws of your particular country, as I do not know the laws or customs of your country.

Furthermore, I am not a licensed attorney, and the advice given should not be relied upon or utilized as a substitute for the well reasoned advice of a lawyer, licensed to practice law in the particular state in which you seek to conduct or transact your business.

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In the United Kingdom, you could register a Limited Company with the 'UK resident company secretary/director' for service of any legal documents being a company secretary agency who act as company secretaries to foreign persons wishing to trade from a UK Limited Company, however you would also need a local accountant to do the bookkeeping, submit tax reports etc. This is similar to the USA answer above. Disclaimer: This was route I advised to a Chinese friend who needed a UK incorporation for some business, but I was never part of his business. Such foreign director companies acting through company services agencies are I understand quite normal, but costly. However you are well advised to take appropriate legal and financial advice on such a method of trading. An accounting firm who specialise in this trade is given below (NOTE : I have no connections with them and only know them from web browsing among accountancy firms) Quote https://www.accountsandlegal.co.uk/small-business-advice/can-an-overseas-investor-or-non-uk-resident-own-a-uk-company UNQUOTE NOTE: Treat all information with the utmost caution. Take legal advice.

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