Limited companies – what is a registered office?

By law, every company in the UK must have a registered office. This is a physical address in the UK where the company can receive documents from Companies House and other organisations.

The actual office need not be where the limited company actually carries on its daily business, but it must be a real location.

You need to supply a registered office address when you apply to incorporate a new company.

Choosing a registered address – what are your options?

1. Use your residential (home) address

You can choose to use your home address, although you should be aware that this address will appear on the public record. This may not be a concern to you, but many business owners prefer to use a non-residential address.

It is worth remembering that when you appoint directors, you also have to provide your residential address (which is kept private), and also a ‘service address’.

The service address will also appear on the public record unless you use one of the options below.

2. Use your accountant’s business address

This option 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.

Your accountant may charge you an annual fee for the privilege – typically £10 or so.

You will usually be allowed to use your accountant’s registered address for your director’s service address.

3. Use a registered office / virtual office provider’s address

If you opt to use a registered office service, any correspondence will be forwarded to another address for a monthly or annual fee, keeping 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 your company if you are just starting out, or work from home.

Whichever option you choose, don’t forget; it is ultimately the responsibility of the company directors to ensure that official and business-related documents can be received at the registered address.

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 within 14 days of the change taking place.

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.

Last updated - 27th September, 2019

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