When you apply to form a new company you will be asked to provide several different addresses. These Companies House requirements can sometimes cause confusion, so in this guide we explain the different address types – including the registered office address, directors’ and secretaries’ service addresses, directors’ usual residential address and shareholder correspondence address – and summarise why they are relevant.
Registered office address
The registered office is the company’s official address. It is the address to which government bodies such as Companies House or HMRC will send correspondence and any statutory documents. When thinking about your registered office address you should consider that:
- It will appear on the public record.
- It must be situated in the same part of the UK in which the country is registered. For example, a company registered in England and Wales cannot have a registered office address in Scotland.
- It can be your home address (but remember that it will be included on the public register).
- If you do use your home address, but you are not the owner of your property, you should check any tenancy agreement to ensure that you are allowed to use the address for business purposes.
- It does not have to be your business trading address, but it can be.
Once your company has been formed, UK trading disclosure law requires companies to include their registered office address in company letterheads, business correspondence, orders, email messages and on the company website.
Director/secretary/PSC service address
The service address is the official address of the company officer and, from 30 June 2016, person with significant control. It is the address to which government bodies such as Companies House or HMRC will send any correspondence to the director, secretary or PSC. When considering the service address, you should note that:
- It will appear on the public record.
- It can be situated anywhere in the world.
- It can be the same as the registered office address (but doesn’t have to be).
- It can be the same as the officer’s or PSC’s home address (but note that it will appear on the public register).
- It can be a corporate address provided that this is a full address.
- It must not be a PO Box number unless it forms part of a full address.
Each director, secretary and PSC can, if they wish, use a different service address or they can all be the same. It’s quite common for the officers’ service addresses to all be the same as the company’s registered office address.
Director/PSC usual residential address
This is simply the home address of the director or, from 30 June 2016, person with significant control. Note that:
- It does not appear on the public record.
- It can be the same as the registered office address (remember though that the registered office address is disclosed on the public record).
- It can be the same as the director’s or PSC’s service address (though again be aware that the service address will appear on the public register).
Shareholder correspondence address
You will need to provide a correspondence address for each of the first shareholders (often called subscribers) in a newly formed company. For each shareholder correspondence address, it’s worth noting that:
- It will appear on the public register.
- It does not need to be the shareholder’s usual residential address.
- It can be the same as the registered office address.
- If the shareholder is also a director or secretary then it can be the same as their service address.
Other company addresses
The addresses we’ve covered so far must be included in your application to register a company. Although not necessary for your company formation, we’ll also take a brief look at other commonly required company addresses:
A company’s trading address is the location where the main activities of the business happen. It does not have to be the same address as the registered office – but it can be. You do not need to supply details of the business’s trading address when you form a company.
Once your company has been formed, you may choose to keep your statutory registers and records at an address that is not the company registered office address. This alternative address is known as the SAIL (Single Alternative Inspection Location) address.
Check out our article if you want to learn more about how to set up a SAIL address, what you need to tell Companies House and what you can use it for.
Updating company addresses
If you form your new limited company using our simple online incorporations wizard, you will have free access to our company records management software. This will enable you to make easy updates to all your company details, including any address changes. If Companies House must be informed of the update (perhaps you have moved registered office address, for example) then our software will automatically file the changes – saving you the need to submit a paper form! Using our free software, it is also quick and simple to set up a SAIL address and to inform Companies House which of your company’s statutory records are held there.
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