When you set up a limited company, you need to provide Companies House with a registered office address. This must be a real physical address, where paperwork can be delivered, and not a PO box.
Importantly, your registered address need not be the address where you actually conduct your business, but it must be a real address all the same.
Limited company directors often use their accountant’s address for this purpose. This has the added benefit of enabling your accountant to keep on top of your Companies House and HMRC communications, without you having to forward documents to them all the time.
Alternatively, you may prefer to use a registered office service which will then forward any correspondence to another address for a monthly or annual fee. This has the added benefit of allowing you to keep your home address private.
As well as a registered office, virtual office service providers often offer additional services such as call answering. Combining these services can help you to provide a more professional image for you company if you are just starting out, or work from home.
Changing your registered office address
If you decide to change the registered address of your limited company at any time, you should inform Companies House via Form AD01. Prior to the implementation of the Companies Act 2006, Form 287 was used for this purpose – this is no longer used.
When updating the address, you must ensure that the new address is in the same region as the address you originally supplied during the incorporation process (England & Wales, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland).
You should be aware that any change of address only becomes active once the new address has been added to the Companies House database. You should take care when entering your new address details to ensure that they are correct, as all details must match Post Office records.
Companies House also points out, in the rare event that someone you deal with in business ‘requests in writing the address of your registered office, or the location where they can inspect your company records, or details of the records that you keep at your registered office, you must respond within five working days.’
You can download a PDF version of Form AD01 here and may file a paper return, submit the change online (via the WebFiling service), or ask your accountant to make the change on your behalf.
Further resources on setting up a limited company
For more help on the various aspects of forming a company, read these other ByteStart guides;
- How to set up a limited company
- Limited company or sole trader – which is best for me?
- 10 advantages of running your business as a limited company over being a sole trader
- A Shareholders’ Agreement – Why you should get one if you are setting up a company with others
- The responsibilities of a company director
More on starting and running your own business
ByteStart is packed with help and tips on all aspects of starting and running a small business. Check out some of our most popular guides;
- 10 Do’s and Don’ts of writing a business plan
- How to choose the best online accounting software for your new business
- How to create business cards that make a big impression
- ByteStart’s 60-second guide to Value Added Tax (VAT) for start-ups and small businesses
- Which types of insurance must your business have?
Funding your business
- How to maximise your chances of securing a small business loan
- A Guide to ‘Alternative Finance’ – the new funding options for startups and small businesses
- Finding finance for your new business – funding advice for start-ups
- 10 Top tips to ensure your crowdfunding efforts are rewarded
- What to do when the bank says “NO”!
Money & Tax matters
- 10 ways small business owners can pay less tax
- Sole trader tax – a guide for start-ups and the newly self employed
- Dividend tax changes from April 2016 – A summary of the financial effects for small business owners
- ByteStart’s Guide to the main business taxes
- Corporation Tax – How to reduce your bill
Promoting your business
- Making your small business a BIG hit online – A Digital marketing guide for small business owners
- 7 Brilliant branding tips for start-ups
- The “Magic 10” Tips on networking – how the experts build great networks
- How to attract customers from heaven – not clients from hell!
- 10 Top tips for small businesses starting out with social media
- Employers liability insurance – do you need to get cover?
- Becoming an employer – Your responsibilities when you hire staff
- Health & Safety compliance for small businesses – where do you start?
- A Guide to the National Living Wage for small business owners
- Why it’s vital you have clear ‘Terms & Conditions’ for your business