In the UK it is a legal requirement that all businesses registered at Companies House must provide a valid UK address at the point of incorporation. This can be changed at any time after incorporation to any other address within the same region (i.e. Scotland, Northern Ireland, or England and Wales). This is known as the Registered Office address.
Which businesses have to declare a registered address?
Companies House request the following types of business provide an official registered office address:
- Limited companies (LTD)
- Public Limited Companies (PLC)
- Limited Partnerships (LP)
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
What is a registered office?
The registered office is the official address of a business that is recorded by Companies House. The main functions of a registered office address are:
- To receive statutory company mail and notices from Companies House and HMRC.
- To store statutory company records and company registers.
- To make company registers available for public inspection.
Companies House places the registered office details on public record. This information will remain on the public register of companies indefinitely. Companies House automatically provides HMRC with the registered office details of all new registrations shortly after incorporation.
What address can you use?
Although there are very few restrictions when it comes to choosing a suitable registered office. The address must be ‘effective’, accessible for delivery of notices and not a PO Box. Whilst you can use any genuine UK address, there are some important points to consider.
Start-ups often use their home address, but this will then be available to the general public online. You can use the address of your accountant or tax advisor, but if there becomes an issue with their service or you just choose to use someone else this is an added complication to move on. Purchasing a registered office service from a company formation agent or virtual office service will give you a prestigious business address and a safe pair of hands to handle your important mail, but it will incur a small annual fee.
There is no legal requirement to be physically locates at or to visit your registered office. The address can simply be used for statutory purposes alone and is often preferred by home based businesses. Keeping your family home address private from customers can avoid problems now and in the future.
Choosing an address in a recognised city location, rather than using a residential address as a registered office provides a good first impression to customers and suppliers.
Whilst you are legally required to keep your registered office in either Scotland, Northern Ireland, or England and Wales, it is perfectly acceptable to change addresses at any time, provided it is in the same part of the UK. Using a service provider can avoid frequent changes when moving house or relocating a business.
If you would like to take advantage of using one of our addresses for your business we are happy to help. These services can be added to any of our company formation packages during the registration process, or they can be purchased separately for existing businesses.