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What is the registered address of a limited company?

In the UK, all limited companies and LLPs are legally required to have a registered address.

In this guide, we explain what the purpose of a registered address of a limited company is, why you need one and how to change your registered address if you relocate.

What is the registered address of a limited company?

A registered address of a limited company is the official address for the business, which is a physical location where it can receive official paperwork from Companies House, HMRC, or any other official body.

The address must be located in the same country in the UK or jurisdiction where the company itself is registered, so either Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland. However, the address doesn’t have to be in the same country where the company conducts business.

This address must include a complete postal address in order to function as a registered office. Either residential or non-residential addresses are acceptable, although most companies opt for a commercial address due to privacy concerns.

What is the purpose of a registered address for a limited company?

There are a few reasons why a registered address is necessary (and a legal requirement) for limited companies. This includes:

• It establishes a contact address so that HMRC, Companies House or any other Government organisation can send out correspondence to a limited company.

• It promotes transparency around a limited company so you can trust they are legitimate.

• It creates a physical location where limited companies store statutory company registers and makes them available to the public.

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Can you use your home address?

Yes, you can use your home address as a registered address for the limited company. However, many people choose not to do this to protect their privacy.

Using your residential address might result in things like unsolicited correspondence or potential issues around privacy.

As a business, your address also will impact your credibility

With more and more businesses being based from home, it may also be attractive to use a third party to provide your company with a business-like address – based in London, Manchester, or another major city, for example.

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Registered address vs. service address

The registered address relates to the limited company itself.

Directors, secretaries, subscribers and PSCs must also provide a personal service address to Companies House where official paperwork can be sent.

For the sake of simplicity, company officers often use the same third-party address to act as both a registered office address and a service address for individuals.

Moving a registered address to a different country

Companies House is a UK-wide body, but they have three unique jurisdictions that encompass England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Each of these jurisdictions is governed by its own system.

So if a limited company is embroiled in any legal proceedings, it goes to the court of whichever governing jurisdiction the registered address comes from. As a result of this, registered addresses can only be in the country where the company is incorporated.

There are a few things to note here, however. If you wish to move your registered address from England to Wales, this is acceptable because they both fall under the same jurisdiction.

In any other scenario, you’re unable to move your address to another country once the company is formed. This doesn’t impact trading in any way, though, and limited companies are free to operate across all three jurisdictions with no issue.

How to change the registered office address of a limited company

If you’d like to change the registered office address of a limited company, you must first let Companies House know of the change as soon as you can.

The public register is then updated with the new address within 24 hours. It’s important to move all statutory records over to the new registered address to stay compliant with the regulations for limited companies and their registered address.

To begin the process of changing your registered address, the company director must first approve the changes being made.

From here, you must fill out Form AD02 for limited companies and send it to the Registrar through WebFiling on Companies House. Once this is done, Companies House verifies the new address via the Post Office database. It usually takes 24 hours for this process to be completed.

What statutory records are kept at the registered address of a limited company?

Unless you’re using a SAIL (Single Alternative Inspection Location) address for your limited company, all of your statutory records must be kept at the registered address. Not all statutory records are applicable for every limited company, but they tend to include the following:

• Register of members

• Register of all company directors and company secretaries

• Register of people with significant control

• Director’s service contracts

• Copies of any resolutions or minutes of meetings

• Contracts that relate to buying company shares

• Any documents related to the redemption or purchase of shares by a private company

• Register of debenture holders

• Register or charges and any instruments creating charges

These records are normally stored in a physical format in a booklet, although it’s becoming increasingly common for them to be stored digitally. Any other registers that a limited company holds, such as registers of allotments, are also stored in this way.

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