What is a Registered Office and why do I need one?
Published on June 27, 2021
The Importance of a Registered Office in the Formation of a Limited Company

The necessity of including the registered office during the incorporation of a company may cause a lot of confusion! What is a registered address? How do I get one? Can a home address be used as a registered company address?

In order to register an LLP or even a regular company, it is a requirement to provide a registered company address under the 2006 Companies Act, section 86, which specifically mentions that:

“A company is required to provide a registered office address where all notices and communications can be addressed.”

The registered office is basically your official address where legal notices, reminders, etc. are sent by the court, HMRC, and Companies House.

Thus, it is important to select a physical address which is situated in the same region of the United Kingdom where you establish your LLP or firm.

Also, this is where you must store the statutory records and registers of your company for public review, unless you are utilising a SAIL address. As an alternative, you might want to send the details typically held in statutory registers to the official registrar instead.

Finding The Registered Address Of Your Limited Firm

As most of us already know, Companies House functions under three independent jurisdictions within the United Kingdom, primarily:

  • England and Wales (one jurisdiction)
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland

Therefore, there isn’t a single option that’s widely available in the UK with regard to the formation of the company as each nation has its own judiciary system. Irrespective of your final choice, it’s important to maintain your registered company office within the same area of the United Kingdom.

  • Companies operating in England and Wales need to have their registered office in either Wales or England.
  • Companies operating in Northern Ireland need to have their registered office in Northern Ireland.
  • Companies operating in Scotland need to have their registered office in Scotland.

Irrespective of your chosen location of registration, you will be able to trade throughout the UK as well as overseas. Additionally, you may also base your services in another country. You just need to have your registered office in a suitable jurisdiction for as long as your company is operational.

What Sort Of Address May I Use As My Registered Company Office?

There is lots of flexibility here. Virtually any address that you select will be accepted, with the only condition being that it must be a physical location with a proper postal code (not just a random PO Box address), situated in the same area where your business exists.
Also, it is important to include the entire address along with your postcode.

You may use a home address, studio, office, shop, accountant’s office, factory, or even an office address provided by your company incorporation agent.

Can I Use A Virtual Office As The Registered Office Of My Company?

You must take into account your professional image as well as privacy when selecting a registered office for your company. As the registered address is likely to be included in public records, it’s crucial to create a positive first impression on potential investors and clients.

Taking the above factors into account, it’s inadvisable to use your residential address as your office address. This will not only protect your privacy but also help construct a professional image in the eyes of the public and financiers.

In the event you do not have any commercial premises, like a shop or an office, yet your best bet would be a registered office service from a company incorporation agent.

Is It Obligatory To Trade From A Registered Company Address?

It is not at all necessary to be physically present at the registered office of your company nor do you have to trade from it.

Actually, you won’t even need to visit the registered office if you decide to forward all the mail to an alternative location.

It’s actually quite common to use your registered office only for government purposes. As a result, you will come across a number of companies that have set up and used company incorporation agents for setting up their registered office. A professional registered office service allows you to enjoy all the perks of a private commercial address and you do not even need to pay for any rental or maintenance of your office.

The same address is likely to be included on public records as the official address of your firm. You can receive all government mail there and get it forwarded to any desired address or get the mail scanned and sent to your email inbox. Moreover, you will be able to use this address on your official site, business cards, emails, and company stationery, making a perfect impression on investors and clients.

Why Is It Necessary To Make My Registered Office Address Available For Public Viewing?

The registrar keeps a single public register that reveals key details about all companies incorporated in the UK including LLPs and other limited companies. The data can be accessed by anyone.

The primary objective of Companies House is to offer complete transparency, and to enable other members and companies to locate information about any firm they want to have or already have, dealings with.

Along with registered office information, the following details about each firm operating in the United Kingdom are included in the public register:

Full name of the company along with the registration number
Former and current company owners (guarantors/shareholders)
Registration date
Former and current secretaries and directors
Former and current members
Information about PSCs
Type of business operations
Financial account details
Charges against the company (if any)
Filing records
Director ineligibility
Whether the company is active, dissolved, or dormant
Insolvency report
Past company names
Debt charge information

How To Change The Registered Office Of Your Company?

Although you need to maintain the registered office in the country where the business was incorporated, you are free to change it. It is not a legal requirement to maintain the same address which was given during the establishment of up your firm.

The process of changing the registered office is quite simple. A company’s Board of Directors must pass a resolution for changing its name, after which form AD-01 must be completed and sent to the registrar within two weeks of the date of the name change. Your company address details will then be updated on public records and HMRC will receive a notification of the name change.

NOTE: The documents may still be sent to the previously registered address for two weeks after the change took place at the registrar.

Although you are given the option to complete form AD01 in paper format, we can change the registered office for you electronically. Just head over to your account and select “change registered office”. If you don’t have an account you can create one and import your company.

The registered office of your company will most probably be the standard inspection place of statutory registers and records. Nevertheless, you are free to keep a few of these at the registrar or SAIL address.

The registered office is likely to keep and maintain records in a paper or digital format. These include:

Member register
Director register
Register of the usual residential addresses of company directors
Indemnities and debentures
Record of shareholder resolution as well as votes
Company secretary register
Share distributions and transfers
Register of PSCs
Mortgages secured against any of the assets of the company

You need to inform Companies House if you have kept the records at any other place than your registered office.

Even though it is unlikely that any common person will ask to inspect of your records, it is still a legal obligation to keep them updated and ready to inspect at any given moment.

Displaying The Information About Your Registered Office

You need to also present something at your registered office address (along with any other place where your company is operating), displaying the name of your company. The sign needs to be simple enough for anyone to read and understand, and accessible 24/7. However, you do not need to display it at your residential address if you are running your business from your house.

The registered office address along with the country where your company was initially registered must be clearly displayed on invoices, business letters, company faxes, and emails, etc. Also, it is important to let people know if it is an LLP or a limited firm.

Understanding Compulsory Dissolution And Ways To Stop It

Company dissolution (or company strike off) is basically one of the means of formally shutting down a company and eliminating its record from the Companies Register.

It is possible to dissolve a company either compulsorily or voluntarily. Even though in this article, we will primarily focus on compulsory dissolution, we will also be discussing voluntary strike-off.

A Guide To Performing A Company Check

It is very easy and straight forward to do a company check on an LLP or any UK company. Before you’re able to run a business, it is necessary to register at Companies House besides filing some information with regard to its finances and operations.

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