The first most important thing any new Limited Company and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) needs to be thinking about is having a registered office address. In fact it’s a legal requirement as it provides both the tax man (HMRC) and Companies House with an official address to which deliver legal notices as well as statutory company mail.
It is permitted for companies to use their residential address; however this is not advised unless absolutely necessary. It’s far better practice to keep a home addresses separate and private. It is also mandatory for a registered office to be a full physical address as PO Boxes are not permitted.
If you are looking to launch a new company, you may not be aware that a registered office doesn’t even have to share the location of where your main work place is. In fact it is not even necessary for you to visit your registered address so it can literally be based anywhere as long as it’s in the same part of the UK as to where your company or LLP is registered i.e. England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Island.
Why do I need a registered office for a ‘Limited Company’?
A registered office address is a legal requirement under UK Company Law; so you cannot start or run a Private Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership in the UK without having a registered office address.
In order to create Corporate Transparency, your registered office address details will be placed on to public records. You are however permitted to change your registered office address at any time should you wish, as long as it remains within the same part of the UK jurisdiction.
Your registered office address will be your official company mailing address where all official company mail and legal notices will be sent to. It must always be displayed on all company forms, business stationary, emails, brochures and websites. In addition to this the registered name and address should be clearly displayed on signage at the office unless the properly is primarily used as a residential address.
Why do I need a registered office for a ‘Limited Liability Partnership’ (LLP)?
For the same reasons as for a Limited Company; it is a legal requirement to have a registered office address located within the same area of the UK to where the Partnership is incorporated i.e. England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Can I use my Home address as my registered office address?
Whilst it is permitted for a Limited Company or LLP to use a residential address as their registered office it is never recommended. A separate registered office is far more professional and it is advised to keep your home address private where possible.
There are many benefits from using a non-residential address:-
Is there a difference between a Registered Office Address and a Director’s Service Address?
A directors’ service address can be located globally; whereas a registered office address must be within the UK. That being said; if both addresses are UK based; then there is nothing preventing a business from using the same address for both.
UK law dictates both the registered office address and directors’ service address are required and necessitates that they are also displayed on public record.
A director’s service address is the authorised contact address of a company director where they will receive personal statutory mail directly from both HMRC and Companies House, whilst a registered office address is the official domain for a Limited Company and LLP where statutory mail is received.
Is there a difference between a registered office and a business address?
The main difference is that there are no legal requirements associated to a Business address. There is also no limit to the number of Business addresses you have and these can be based anywhere in the world as a contact for generic business related correspondence and to establish a presence in varied locations. It is also permitted to use the same registered office address as your business address should you wish, but it must meet the same required criteria however.
Can a PO Box Number be used as a registered office address?
A PO Box can only be used if the full physical postal address is provided to Companies House, otherwise no, it cannot be used.
Can a Council House or Rented accommodation be used as a registered office?
Any residential or non-residential full physical postal address can be used as a registered office address providing they are based within the same part of the UK as the Limited Company or LLP is incorporated. However, tenants of privately rented or council properties must obtain permission from their landlord or the council before proceeding to use that address as a registered office. Tenants may find gaining consent tricky, as landlord’s maybe cautious allowing business to be conducted from their property. For example reasons such as causing annoyance to neighbours with increased people coming and going; parking issues, advertising, privacy issues with their property appearing on public records and the risk that any negative business dealings might have on the ability to let their property in the future etc.
It is important you do not start business from a rented property until permission is granted. An application can be made to your local council in writing to the head of the relating housing authority. Full details will need to be provided regarding planned business use, any planned alterations or changes to be made to the property, the erection of sheds; the use of commercial vehicles, the business hours you wish to conduct and any resulting noise from such business. It’s important to be aware also that depending on your local authority’s regulations you may also be required to pay additional business rates.
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Can I change the registered office address of my company?
Yes, it is possible to move your registered office address to a new one at any point after your initial company formation but you will be obliged to keep the address within the same UK Jurisdiction and must update Companies House of the change immediately. You can change your registered office address either through Companies House Online service or we can take care of this for you here at Your Company Formations. If Companies House agree the new address is suitable, they will authorise it and it will subsequently appear updated on the public register within 24 hours.
What are the ‘statutory’ records required to be kept at a registered office address?
UK Company Law states that a limited Company must hold updated statutory records and books at their registered office premises at all times. Companies House are permitted to advise any person with a direct enquiry to your Business to visit your registered office in order to inspect these records, unless they are kept at a SAIL (Single Alternative Inspection Location).
The records are permitted to be held in electronic format as an alternative to holding a hardcopy, bound or loose-leaf book. Records must incorporate details of the following: Register of Members; Register of company directors; register of secretaries; Director’s service contracts; Director’s indemnities (security against liability claims / legal costs etc); Copies of resolutions; Minutes of meetings; Contracts relating to purchase of own shares; Documents relating to redemption or purchase of own shares out of capital by private company; Register of debenture holders; Instruments creating charges and register of charges.
John Carter is a leading expert in the company formations industry. He has assisted countless business owners incorporate companies and is a font of knowledge when it comes to starting a company!