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Company Addresses

To complete the company formation process, you will have to provide a variety of addresses on the application form for Companies House:

  • Registered office address - limited companies and limited liability partnerships
  • Service address - company directors, company secretaries, PSC, LLP members, shareholders and guarantors
  • Usual residential address - company directors, PSC and LLP members

This information will be placed on public record; however, residential addresses will remain on a private Companies House register unless a residential address is used as a registered office, a service address or a contact address. It is therefore important to give careful thought and consideration to the address details you provide for Companies House.

There are three optional company addresses you may wish to use after incorporation. These include:

  • Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL address)
  • Business addresses
  • Trading addresses

Registered office address

This is the most important company address you will have to think about. It will be the official home address, or headquarters, of your limited company or limited liability partnership.

Requirements, restrictions and options

  • Must be situated in the jurisdiction in which you set up your company/LLP - England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. If you register a company or LLP in England and Wales, your registered office can be in either country; however, if you register a Welsh company or LLP, your registered office must always remain in Wales.
  • You cannot change the jurisdiction of your registered office at any time, but you can easily move your registered office to a different address if it remains in the same part of the UK. However, companies and LLPs registered in England and Wales can change the location of their registered office address between these two countries.
  • Address details will be made available to the public on the Companies House’ official register of companies.
  • Must be a physical address, and you must provide the full mailing address including the postcode.
  • You may use a PO Box address if you include the postcode, but you cannot use a PO Box number, a DX number or a Legal Post (LP) number.
  • You may use a private residential address as a registered office, or you can use a professional commercial address to protect the privacy of your home. Remember: your registered office details will appear on public record.
  • The Principal purpose of a registered office address is to receive statutory and legal company mail from Companies House, HMRC and Government Gateway. The type of mail you can expect to receive includes: business tax information and notices; reminders to file confirmation statement and annual accounts; notices to deliver Company Tax Returns and VAT returns; notification of late-filing penalties; legal notices; requests to inspect statutory records; and information about PAYE and Employers’ National Insurance Contributions.
  • It is the official inspection location of statutory company/LLP registers and records.
  • You can only have one registered office address at any given time.
  • You do not have to work or trade from your registered office address.

Quality Formations provides a professional Registered Office Service in London for only £49.00 per year, which is suitable for all private limited companies and LLPs incorporated in England and Wales. This address service can be purchased at the same time as setting up a company or LLP through Quality Formations, or it can be purchased for an existing company or LLP at any time after incorporation. Click here to find out more.

Service address

This type of address is required by all company directors, secretaries, PSC and LLP members. It is an official contact address used by Companies House and HMRC to deliver statutory and legal mail for the attention of an individual director, secretary or LLP member. It is not the same as a registered office address.

Requirements, restrictions and options

  • Can be situated anywhere in the UK or overseas, regardless of where the company or LLP is registered.
  • Address details will be made available to the public on the Companies House’ official register of companies.
  • Must be a physical address, and you must provide the full mailing address including the postcode.
  • You may use a PO Box address if you include the postcode, but you cannot use a PO Box number, a DX number or a Legal Post (LP) number
  • You may use a private residential address as a service address, or you can use a professional commercial address to protect the privacy of your home. Remember: your service address details will appear on public record.
  • Your service address can be the same as your registered office address.
  • Principal purpose of a service address is to receive statutory and legal mail from Companies House and HMRC relating to your role as a company director, company secretary, PSC or LLP member. The type of mail you can expect to receive includes: information about registering for Self-Assessment; paying Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions; filing Self-Assessment tax returns; P60s; penalty notices for late filing; and legal notices relating to your role.
  • A service address can be easily changed at any time after incorporation.
  • You can only have one service address at any given time.
  • You do not have to work from your service address.
  • Many company secretaries simply state ‘The Company’s Registered Office’ as their service address. In such instances, their service address details must be recorded as such in the proposed company’s register of secretaries.

Quality Formations provides a professional Service Address in London for only £29.00 per year, which is ideal for limited company officers who wish to protect the privacy of their home and boost their corporate image. You can purchase this service address at the same time as registering a company through Quality Formations, or you can buy the service for an existing company at any time after incorporation. Click here to find out more.

Usual residential address

Company directors and LLP members must provide their usual residential address details on the company/LLP formation application.

Requirements, restrictions and options

  • The details of your home address will not appear on public record unless you use it as your service address or registered office address. If you do not use your home address as your registered office or service address, Companies House will simply record your residential details on an internal private register. This information will only be disclosed to select government and credit reference agencies.
  • You may apply for exemption from having your home address disclosed to credit reference agencies under section 243 of the Companies Act 2006.
  • If you use your home address as your service address and it has been recorded as such in the company’s proposed register of directors’ residential addresses, simply indicate this on the application or state ‘Same as Service Address’. However, you cannot do this if your service address is the same as the registered office. You will have to supply your residential address in such instances.

Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL address)

This address is not required during the incorporation process. You will only have to provide these details if you choose to make your company’s or LLP’s statutory records and registers available for public inspection at any location other than the registered office address. A SAIL address tends to be used when a company or LLP has a residential registered office and the home owner does not wish to allow members of the public into his or her home to inspect statutory records; or, the location of a registered office is not geographically convenient for the director(s), company secretary or designated LLP members to visit to allow for the public inspection of statutory records.

Requirements, restrictions and options

  • A SAIL address must be situated in the same part of the UK as a company’s or LLP’s registered office address - England and Wales, Wales (for Welsh companies), Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  • You may use a residential address or a professional commercial address.
  • You must inform Companies House if you start using a SAIL address.
  • You must provide Companies House with a list of the statutory records and registers held at the SAIL address.
  • You may keep some or all of your statutory records and registers at a SAIL address.
  • Only one SAIL address is permitted at any given time.
  • A SAIL address can be changed at any time but it must stay in the same jurisdiction, and you must tell Companies House immediately
  • SAIL address details are disclosed on the public register of companies.
  • Members of the public must be allowed access to inspect your statutory records and registers if a request is made - most inspection requests are made by HMRC.

Business address

A business address in not legally required at any time, but it can provide many benefits. Unlike other types of company addresses, you can have any number of business addresses at any one time. This type of address tends to be used as a general contact address for unofficial (non-statutory) business correspondence. You would use a business address for communicating with third parties such as: employees; clients and customers; banks and lenders; accountants; service providers; suppliers and manufacturers; couriers; marketing agencies and anyone else with whom you do business.

A business address is often the trading location of a company or LLP - the place where its main business activities take place, which may or may not be the same as its registered office. If your business activities are carried out in a number of locations throughout the UK and/or abroad, you may wish to have a business address in each of these locations to establish a presence and provide a geographically localised contact address for people to get in touch - shop, office, branch, factory, warehouse, etc.

This is a really effective way to create awareness of, and promote, your products or services beyond the scope of your country of incorporation and registered office location. All incorporated businesses are restricted to being officially registered in one country, but they are not limited to establishing a presence or trading in only one location.

Trading address

A trading address is the place where your company or LLP conducts its main business activities, which may or may not be the same as your registered office address and/or business address. Every business has a trading location - even if you work from home selling products online, you still have a trading location: your home. However, there is no need to provide this information to anyone, including Companies House and HMRC, but many businesses do provide their trading address details to customers and clients as a means of contact.

Changing address details after incorporation

You must notify Companies House as soon as possible if you change your registered office address, service address, SAIL address or usual residential address after incorporation. This is an incredibly simple procedure that can be completed online in a few minutes. You can inform Companies House via WebFiling, or through Quality Formations’ free client admin portal.

For detailed guidance on changing your company/LLP details after incorporation, please visit our Reporting Requirements section.

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