Frequently Asked Questions

Trying to Avoid Confusion

A significant part of our role in the serviced office industry is to help you understand what Serviced Offices are about.  In an attempt to clarify the terminology that people use, there are a number of terms that generally add up to almost the same thing:

Conventional Office - before Serviced Offices existed, you would have taken space on what we refer to as conventional lease terms.  This would involve a long legal document (with advice from your solicitor) and the offices would be unfurnished.  You would be responsible for all of the maintenance including heating, lighting, cleaning, repairs etc. and you would have to return the offices to their original condition before giving them back to your landlord at the end of the lease.  No furniture or equipment would be provided by the landlord - you would effectively be leasing a shell, ready for you to fit out.  In the UK a conventional lease used to be for as long as 25 years (although this is shorter now) whereas in Europe a lease would typically be for 3/6/9 years and in the USA for shorter periods of time.  Conventional Offices still constitute the largest part of the commercial property market today.

Business Centre - the collective term for an office building, or often just a floor or wing of an office building, in which a company provides a range of offices to tenants on relatively short term licenses.

Serviced Office - the type of office normally found in a Business Centre.  The term differentiates this type of office from a Conventional Office in that many additional occupier services are provided within an inclusive rent over and above those normally associated with a conventional office (see below).

Managed Office - this falls somewhere between a Conventional Office and a Serviced Office.  Even within our industry there are some variations of interpretation here, but in general a Managed Office is more likely to be slightly larger than a Serviced Office - maybe a whole floor or wing of an office building.  The rent may include some services such as heating, cleaning, lighting etc. and might even include furniture.  In some cases maybe a company with a lease on a whole building will find that they have surplus space and they will let out perhaps a whole floor, or wing, of the building (sometimes fully furnished) and because they already have cleaners and maintenance companies working for them they will include these services in the rent.  They generally won't include some of the office services more normally associated with a Serviced Office such as post room operations, secretarial support, photocopying, report binding, meeting room hire etc. but they may well allow you to use their canteen/gym/shopping facilities within the building if they have them.

Executive Office or Executive Suite - these are exactly the same as "Serviced Office".  It simply boils down to the terminology that people use in different parts of the world.  In the USA the "Executive Office" & "Executive Suite" are far more commonly used than in most other parts of the world.

Here are a few topics that might help you decide whether a Serviced Office could work for you.

Why use a Serviced Office?

Who uses Serviced Offices?

What do Serviced Offices Cost?

Information about Serviced Office Rents

What's the difference between a "Conventional Office" and a "Serviced Office"?

What is a Business centre?


Contact Us

Abacus Real Estate
Elm House
Tanshire Park
United Kingdom

UK Tel: +44 203 6422 777

Need some help? Have a chat with us on-line now. This is often the easiest way to get immediate answers...

Chat »


  • “What are the workspace options available for new and small business owners?”

  • “Ideas for creating a productive and appealing office environment”

  • “Are industry-specific managed offices better for business?”

  • “Ventia to open its thirteenth central London site in City of London”

  • “Top 5 Ways to Save Money with Serviced Offices”

  • “Help Your New Business Get Off to a Good Start”

  • “Expanding Your Business with Serviced Offices”

  • “Getting Your First Business Premises”

  • “Who Needs Serviced Offices?”

  • “Growing your firm with the help of serviced offices”