If you’ve just set up a company, or are in the process of doing so, you may not want your home address to appear on the public record.
Following the introduction of the Companies Act 2006, limited company directors have been able to provide a ‘service address’ to Companies House – offering privacy for those who need it.
The Companies Act was the largest piece of legislation ever created, and in an earlier implementation removed the obligation of limited companies to appoint a company secretary.
More privacy afforded to company directors
Another small measure contained within the Act provides an extra degree of privacy to any limited company contractors who would prefer to use another address for company-related paperwork.
This can be your accountant’s address if they offer such a service, or a mail forwarding service, for example.
As a result of the new rules, which took effect from 1st October 2009, if you are a company director, you must provide both your residential address and a service address to Companies House.
For many directors, the service and residential address are the same, but you may prefer to use a serviced office or other address to appear on the public register for privacy reasons.
Important notes about the service address rules
- You can choose any address as your service address, but you must be able to receive documents at this address, and it cannot be a PO Box of DX number.
- You must provide Companies House with your ‘usual’ address, but this will be kept private and can only be viewed by specific public bodies, and credit reference agencies who need to carry out Money Laundering checks.
- In some cases, your residential address can be kept confidential from credit reference agencies, if you submit a confidentiality order, or have past or current links to the security services, for example.
- If you do provide the same address for both residential and service purposes, the fact that the two are the same is also ‘protected information’.
You can find out more about directors’ addresses at Companies House.
Service address options for limited company directors
If you’re setting up a limited company, broadly speaking you have three choices when it comes to choosing a registered address for both the company itself, and for your service address (as a director).
- Use your residential address for the company and/or you (as a director). This may be a simple solution for many, but not a good option if you don’t want your residential address appearing on the public register.
- Use your accountant’s address. Many accountants will let you use their trading address for both the company and the directors’ service addresses. One added bonus of this option, aside from privacy, is that official documents from Companies House and HMRC will arrive directly on your accountant’s doorstep, without you having to scan and forward them.
- Use a third-party registered address service. This is a widely available option – one you can choose during the formations process, or any time if you have already set up a company. This provides privacy, and typically a prestigious address for your company (e.g. Central London).
We work closely with 1st Formations. Their registered office address service costs from just £39 per year. Find out more here.