It is a legal requirement for every company which is registered in the UK to provide an official address for the public register. This address is where government organisations such as Companies House, HMRC and UK tax authorities will contact your business with important reminders and serve legal notices. The registered office of a company is displayed on Companies House registers which can be accessed online.
A company’s registered office must be able to receive letters and documents related to the company, therefore a Post Office Box can not be used as the official address as it is not permitted by Companies House. This legal address must be situated in England or Wales unless the company is registered in Scotland which would then require the company to provide an address in Scotland as the recorded location.
The registered office address must be displayed on all official stationery and correspondence with the clients such as invoices and letters. The company name must also be displayed outside of the registered office address as a legal requirement. Since the introduction of the Companies Act 2006 it is also a legal requirement to display your registered office address on your websites.
Any changes which are made to the registered address must be recorded at Companies House. This can be done by filing an AD01 form either online using the registrar’s online webfiling service or by completing the form and sending it to Companies House by post. This will ensure important documents and notices relating to your company are not sent to the wrong address as this could lead to your company being struck off and dissolved.
A company’s trading address does not have to be the same as their registered office address. Therefore using a service provider can be very beneficial for owners of small businesses, particularly those who trade from their home address as it prevents their private details being displayed on Companies House registers. The data on the public register can be accessed online. Using an address service provider may also be useful to business owners who own a UK limited company and live outside of the UK as their company must legally provide a registered office with in the UK.
Using a service provider can also prevent junk mail being forwarded to people’s home address as they can filter out obvious junk mail and forward relevant mail such as accounts notices, annual return reminders and HMRC letters. This will ensure your company files the necessary forms to maintain accurate and up to date company records which will prevent penalties being incurred.