During the company formation process, it is a legal requirement to provide a registered office address. This registered address will be where all legal documents, statutory mail and written communication, for example from HMRC, will be sent. In this article we will talk through the requirements for a valid registered address and what service addresses are before discussing why you might not want to use your home address and how to change your registered address.
Registered office address
Your registered office address must be a physical address in the UK and it must be within the same country as your company is registered. For example, if your company is registered in England, the registered office address must also be in England. It cannot, for example, be in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland if the company is registered in England.
Your registered office address is public and will be available online.
What is a Service address?
A service address is an official contact address of a company officer or member (such as a company director or company secretary, PSC, subscriber or LLP member). Certain individuals are legally required to provide a service address that will be listed on the public record when they join the company or at the point of incorporation. Individuals are not required to actually work at their service addresses but simply receive and accept mail from bodies such as HMRC to this address.
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Reasons not to use your home address
As mentioned above, your registered office address will be made public on the public record maintained by Companies House, alongside information such as the names of Persons with Significant Control (PSC) of the company. Therefore, there is little protection of your personal information as your name and residential address will be displayed on the public register. Secondly, you will also need to consider whether you need any permissions prior to registering your residential address as your business address. For example, if you are renting you will want to check your tenancy agreement to see whether it prohibits you from running a business from the property or from using it for business activities.
Instead of using your home address, you might want to consider using a virtual office as your company’s official address when you go through the company registration process. Virtual offices essentially give your new company a physical address and office-related services. This type of ‘office’ is especially popular with new business owners, startups and small businesses and the use of virtual offices has expanded over the pandemic.
Similarly, a company formation agent might offer a registered office service as part of the incorporation process.
Changing your registered office address
As is made clear in the Companies Act 2006, you can change your company’s registered office address at any time online provided you meet the same requirements stated above. The address will not be formally or officially changed until it is registered with Companies House.
However, it is important to know that previous addresses will remain on the register for the company’s lifetime and for 20 years after the company has been dissolved.
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.