By Lynne Gowers on 27th July 2017

Choosing a Registered Office – all you need to know

Running a limited company on the move

Starting a business is an exciting time, with a flurry of activity and lots of decisions to be made.
If you are running your business as a limited company, one of the first things to think about at the outset is the registered office address of the company.

As opposed to your trading address, from where you run most of your business activities, the registered office address of your company is the address that is displayed on public documents and your company literature, and also where statutory paperwork from HMRC and Companies House are sent.

Here we look at the key things you should consider when choosing a registered office for your business and the options available to you.

Firstly, what exactly is a Registered Office?

Your limited company is a separate legal entity to you, so it needs to be registered to a specified address. This is known as the “registered office” address and is listed on Companies House, which can be accessed by the public.
As well as being the address for statutory correspondence, the registered address must be displayed on your company website, and on invoices and emails.

Registered Office V Service address

While the registered office is the official contact address for the company, a “service” address is also required by all company directors, subscribers, company secretaries and PSCs (“People with significant control” in the company.
This serves as the official contact address for the individual to receive statutory personal post from HMRC and Companies House.
Like the registered office, it is displayed by Companies House on the public register. While individual service addresses can be the same as the limited company’s registered office address, they don’t have to be; in fact they can be anywhere in the world.

Note – Companies House also requires the company director’s home address to be kept up to date on their records. However if the service address is different to the director’s home address, then this is not available to the public.

3 things to consider when choosing a registered office

Location
If your company is registered in England and Wales, the registered office must be located in England and Wales. Likewise if your company is registered in Scotland, the registered office must be located in Scotland.

Accessibility
Your registered office needs to be accessible, as it is where all official post pertaining to your company will be sent. It must also be a full UK address and not a PO Box.

Privacy
It is important to remember that your company’s registered office is a matter of public record. Therefore, for privacy and security, many business owners choose not to use their home address as their registered office, instead using a third party address, such as that of their accountant.

Using your accountant as your registered office

Using your accountant as your registered office is a sensible option for reasons other than keeping your home address out of the public domain. You cut out the hassle of having to review and forward official tax and companies house correspondence to your accountant, because they receive it directly and can deal with it on the spot.

You still have your trading address to receive private or client-specific correspondence.
Having separate registered office and trading addresses can make your business look bigger and not regionally limited, and so can be commercially advantageous.

As an add-on service, Boox clients can use our office address at Port Solent, Portsmouth as their registered office for just £2 + VAT per month.
Find out more

Setting up a limited company – download our free guide

Choosing a registered office is just one aspect of getting your business off the ground. We have put together a comprehensive guide covering all you need to know about setting up and running a limited company business, keeping you one step ahead.

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Lynne Gowers Written by Lynne Gowers

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Disclaimer
Although we attempt to ensure that the Information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the date of publication it may not be comprehensive, we accept no liability for the results of any action taken on the basis of the information they contain and any implied warranties, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement and accuracy are excluded to the extent that they may be excluded as a matter of law.

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