When you go through the company formations process to formally register your business as a limited company, you will be asked to provide a business service address to Companies House to add to their public register.

Your business service address is your official point of contact address for your limited company. Companies House and HMRC will use this address to send you all of your official company-related statutory post. It is the address that will be written to for communication with your company directors, your company secretary (if you have one), and anyone registered on your PSC register (Persons with Significant Control).

Can I choose any address for my business service address?

You can choose to use any address you like to act as your business service address, but you must be aware that whatever address you do choose to go with will appear on the public record for anyone to see. This is why it makes sense for anyone considering using their private home address as their service address to think twice.

Rather than have your own private residential address placed on public record, you can instead choose a different service address for your business that allows your home address to remain private and off limits to the general public.

There is a lot of confusion for those business owners that are new to company formations. Many wonder why they need to have a service address as well as a registered office address. The reason for needing two different addresses is because they are both used for separate reasons.

Your business service address is used by HMRC, Companies House and other government departments to communicate with your key company directors and staff about their role in your company or LLP. On the other hand, your registered office is used as the official contact address for your limited company or LLP in its own right.

Once registered with Companies House, your limited company becomes an entity in its own right, so will receive official statutory mail from Companies House at its registered office address. This will be with regard to documentation that should be displayed for public inspection, such as the firms’ official registers.

Who needs a business service address?

A service address will need to be provided to Companies House and remain as an active address at all times. The following people within your company will need to supply a service address:

  • Any person or legal entity with significant control or influence over a company (People with Significant Control (PSCs))
  • Company secretary (if you have one)
  • Original shareholders (subscribers)
  • Guarantors with more than 25% voting rights in a company
  • Limited company directors
  • LLP members
  • Shareholders who hold more than 25% of the company’s shares or voting rights

What rules apply to a business service address?

Although you can choose pretty much any address to register as your service address, there are certain rules and regulations that apply, but these are quite flexible when you look at them. For example, you can base your service address anywhere in the world – your service address doesn’t have to be based in the UK.

For convenience sake, you may decide to use your own private home address and you can do this if you choose because your service address can be either a residential or non-residential address. If you work from home and want to keep everything under one roof, and you are happy to have your home address displayed on a public record, then you can use your home address as your business service address with no issue.

Another convenient choice you are allowed to make is to use the same address for both your registered office and service address. However, understanding the nature of your home address being on the public record and the fact that having both your service address and registered office address under one roof means that your home should be open to allow any member of the public to inspect your company registers.

If you really don’t want strangers knocking on your door when you are trying to have some private family time, then the only way to protect your home from unwanted visitors and unsolicited mail is to register your business-related addresses elsewhere.

Your business addresses can be changed at any time

Many limited companies and LLPs are formed by excited business owners who are keen to get registered with Companies House as soon as possible so that they can start trading under their official company name. While this is a very commendable move and does help to improve your professional public image, it often means the directors registering their business addresses under their own home address for convenience.

Quite often new business owners are unaware of the rules surrounding the registering of their business addresses. Many don’t know that they can choose to use a registered office address service where they can officially register their service address and have their statutory mail taken in and forwarded to them.

Having this knowledge before going through the company formations process can actually save them a lot of time and hassle further down the line when they want to change their business service address.

While it may seem fine to have your service address under your own home address, after a few weeks of ever-increasing junk mail, business flyers and catalogues landing on your doormat, as well as cold-callers arriving on your doorstep at all hours, it does become a little wearing on your nerves.

Changing your service address

When you want to change your business service address you need to notify Companies House of your new address. As you can use the same address for both your registered office address and service address, should you want to change both addresses to a new one you can use the same new address to cover both statutory business addresses.

However, your registered office address must be located in the same country as your company has been registered. So for example, if you registered your company in the UK along with a UK based service address and registered office address, you can change your service address to an address based anywhere in the world, but your registered office address must remain as a UK based address.

While your registered office must remain in the country in which it was registered, i.e. England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, it is handy to know that if you register your business in England and Wales, you can move your registered office from England to Wales, or vice versa should you decide to relocate your business from one area to the other.

Even if you decide that changing your service address to something other than your home address is a good idea to help protect your privacy and home life, if you leave your registered office address as your home address, it will still be on public record for anyone to see.

Remember also that because your registered office address is disclosed on the central public register at Companies House, it will remain there indefinitely. This even applies should you decide to close and dissolve your company at some point in the future.

Choosing your new service address

You should consider changing your service address to a non-residential address not only because it will help to protect your privacy and home life, but it will also help to improve your business image and your perception by the general public and prospective new clients.

When thinking about choosing a new service address please remember that you are not allowed to use a PO Box number for your address.

While your company directors and those on your PSC register etc. are required to provide their home address to Companies House during the company formations process, Companies House will actually hold all of your residential addresses private. The only way any of these residential addresses are made public is when one of them is used for either a company service address or as a registered office address.

Using a professional service address provider such as us will allow you a very prestigious central-London EC1 business address for you to use as your company service address. You can choose to use our business address services when you go through your company formations process, or you can change to using our address services at any point after registration.

There will be no need to worry about any of your statutory business mail going astray because it will be securely delivered to us at our central London offices. We will then either scan and email your mail to you so you know exactly what has arrived and when, or we can forward your mail on to your chosen address.

Take a look at our Directors Service Address page for more details about how our service works and how you can benefit from using our very cost-effective business address options.

If you need to make any further changes to your company information, you can make these changes and also update your details to Companies House right away by using our online client portal.

Want to discuss your business address needs? Do not hesitate to talk to our friendly team to find out how our professional business address services can benefit you.

Company formations services

Your Company Formations provides limited company registration services to business owners who want to take their business to the next level. You can get all the help you need to form your own company using our own in-house company formations experts with over 100 years of collective experience all for a very cost-effective price.

We take the hassle out of registering your business with Companies House and can be here to support you with your business needs further down the line as your company grows from strength to strength.

All of your official legal paperwork will be handled by us and then forwarded to you as per your chosen formations package details. If you need more help to decide which formations package is right for your business, then do not hesitate to contact our helpful team. We can offer our expert advice and guidance to make sure you get your company registered properly, often within just one working day!

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