A registered office is the official address of a limited company and having one is a legal requirement for any incorporated business trading in the UK.
The registered address must be a physical location where official paperwork, such as communications from Companies House and HMRC, can be delivered.
Many small business owners use their accountant’s address, for free, or in return for an annual fee. This has the obvious benefits of ensuring any important mail addressed to your company is received directly by people tasked with overseeing your tax and statutory affairs.
The registrar of companies will automatically provide HMRC with the registered office details of all new companies immediately after incorporation.
Where should my registered office address be?
There are a several rules governing the suitability of registered office addresses:
- It must be a physical address somewhere in the UK.
- You are permitted to use a PO Box Number, but you must also provide a full address and postcode.
- There is no legal requirement to work from, or to visit the address. It can simply be used for statutory purposes alone.
- The location of that address must match the registration region of the company. So, you must use an address in England & Wales if your registration was completed in one of those countries. The same applies to companies registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- You can use your home address, or the address of someone who helps your company manage your affairs, such as your accountant. You can change these details at any time, as long as the new address also meets the rules.
- Your company’s registered address is kept on the public record, and anyone can search for this, and other details, via the Companies House website.
- Your company’s statutory records and registers should be available for inspection at this address, however unlikely you are to be asked to produce them. If you are asked to produce your company records, you must reply to the applicant within 5 days.
Using your personal address
There are benefits to using your home address as your registered office address – such as ensuring you receive any important mail – but it may not necessarily be the best choice.
Using a non-residential address protects your privacy and may provide your clients with a more professional image for your business.
A simple Google search will reveal dozens of companies who will happily provide you with a secure prestigious office address. You pay an annual fee for the service, and all mail will be forwarded to an address of your choosing.
How do I change my business address?
The Companies House database holds the registered office address of all companies on the register
If you want to update the address at any time, you (or your accountant) can submit Form AD01 online, via WebFiling, or file a paper version.
Once your update has been processed, you can still use your old address on company websites and stationery for up to 14 days. After that, you will need to update all instances of your registered address.
Registered office service via Clever Formations
If you’re thinking of setting up a company and would like to use a third party address, rather than your own residential address, there are many options open to you. Most company formations providers as well as accountants will happily provide a commercial address for your company to use, for a modest annual fee.
If you set up a company via Clever Formations, you can use their registered address service for no extra charge for the first year. Find out more here.