A registered office address is a legal requirement for limited companies, and it’s important to determine what the address will be and how to register it with government bodies such as HMRC.
While it may seem trivial, a registered office address serves as a legal address where official correspondence, such as legal documents, is sent.
It is publicly available, so you might not want to use your home or a personal residential address.
Read our guide on 10 big challenges of starting a business opens in new window.
What is a registered office?
If your business is a limited company opens in new window or a limited liability partnership (LLP) opens in new window, a registered office is where any official mail regarding your business is sent.
Official mail can include legal notices from Companies House opens in new window, HMRC, or others.
It is also a legal requirement opens in new window to have a registered office address, and you must be able to access any mail sent to that address regularly.
Any mail sent to this address could require action as part of your legal duties as a business owner.
You do not need to work from your registered office, and many businesses use special registered office services or the address of their solicitor or accountant as the office address, especially if the business does not operate from commercial premises.
You could also store your company registers for inspection at this location or use a Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL) address opens in new window.
Business address vs registered office
While a registered office address serves a legal purpose and provides a location for important documents to be sent, a business or trading address may differ and is usually the physical location of your business’s operations.
This could be an office building, a warehouse, a co-working space opens in new window, or a campus.
A business address is generally a contact point for dealing with clients, employees, and other commercial services opens in new window your business may require, such as receiving supplies and materials.
Your business and registered office addresses can be the same.
Businesses with commercial premises, such as an office, may choose to make that both their registered office address and their business or trading address.
Learn more about government legislation on company addresses opens in new window.
What type of address should I use as a registered office?
If the address is a real, physical postal address, you can use any address you would like for your registered office.
One stipulation is that the address must be of a location that is in the same country where your business is incorporated, as stated by Companies House opens in new window.
This does not include PO box addresses.
It is important to remember that your registered office address will be made publicly-accessible – this may influence your choice of registered office address.
It could be worth noting that if you use a residential address as your registered office address and rent that property from a local authority or private landlord, you may need to gain permission from them before using that address.
Which address can I use as my registered office?
There are several addresses you could use for your business’s registered office.
Companies House opens in new window will accept any residential and non-residential address in the UK as long as it is within their guidelines.
If you outsource your finances to an accountant, you could use their address for your registered office.
This could be a secure address, and any financial documents from HRMC would be automatically delivered to them.
However, not all accountants may allow this or may charge for the use of their address.
You could also use your solicitor’s address for your registered office.
Some firms offer a registered office service.
For a fee, this service provides business owners with a registered office address that can also include a mail-scanning system to email any important letters to you without you needing to make the trip.
Read our guide to registering your limited company with Companies House opens in new window.
Can I use my home address?
There is no rule to stop you from using your home address opens in new window as your registered office address as long as it is in the same country your business was incorporated.
However, there could be potential drawbacks to using your home address, including:
- your address would become public knowledge and could present privacy and security issues for you and your family
- your business may have a less professional image
- it could appeal less to customers and potential investors opens in new window than a non-residential address
- you could see an increase in unsolicited mail to your home.
Why is my registered office address public knowledge?
Your registered office address is added to the central public register of companies that Companies House maintains.
This register provides transparency to the public about any UK companies they may want to or already deal with.
Where must you display your registered office details?
Registered office details could be best displayed and accessed on your business’s website opens in new window, stationery, order forms, business letters, and company emails.
Alongside the registered office address, you would also need to include your company registration number, whether your business is a limited company or LLP, and where your business is registered.
How to change your registered office
If you wish to change your registered office address, you can do so quickly and for free.
Once the directors of your business approve the change, you will need to complete form AD01 opens in new window or form LL AD01 opens in new window and send it to Companies House within 14 days of the change occurring.
This can be done digitally or by post.
Companies House will then update your registered office address details on their public record and notify HMRC for you.
Once the change has been completed, you need to adjust any displays of your registered office details to provide the correct information.
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Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.