What is a limited company’s registered office address?

When you form a new company, you must choose an official registered office address. Here we explain the legal requirements, plus options available if you don’t want to use your home address.

Definition and legal requirements

A registered office address is a physical address that is officially registered with Companies House as the official address of a limited company.

In the UK, for example, this address must be located in England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, depending on where the company is registered.

The registered office address is recorded on the company’s official documents, such as the Certificate of Incorporation, and is publicly available on the Companies House register.

For this reason, you may prefer to use a third party official address, to keep your residential address private. Scroll down for some options available to you.

Importance and uses

The registered office address is important because it is used by government authorities and other organisations to communicate with the company.

For example, Companies House will send all official documents and correspondence to the registered office address, such as reminders to file annual accounts and confirmation statements.

In addition, this will typically be the address that is displayed on your company’s website, business cards, and other marketing materials, so it is important to choose an address that conveys a professional image.

Difference between registered office address and trading address

It is important to note that a registered office address is not necessarily the same as a company’s trading address.

The trading address is where the company carries out its day-to-day business activities, such as manufacturing, selling products, or providing services.

The registered office address, on the other hand, is primarily a legal and administrative requirement.

What is a service address?

Company personnel can use a service address – a correspondence address – instead of their usual residential address. This means that their home address doesn’t appear on the public record.

This is separate from the company’s registered address, although it can be the same.

Choosing a registered office address

When choosing a registered office address, there are several factors to consider.

  • The address must be a physical location, and it must be located in the same country where the company is registered.
  • The address should also be easily accessible and recognisable, as it will be used by government authorities and other organisations to communicate with the company.
  • In addition, the address should convey a professional image and be in line with your company’s overall branding and marketing strategy. For this reason, you might opt to use a third party forwarding service.

Changing a registered office address

If a company needs to change its registered office address, it must inform Companies House by filing the appropriate form.

The change will then be recorded on the Companies House register and all official correspondence will be sent to the new address.

You can do this online via WebFiling, or use Form AD01. Find out more here.

Registered office address – third party services

Some companies offer registered office address services, which can be useful for companies that do not have a physical office or prefer to use a different address than their trading address.

These services typically provide a physical address that can be used as the registered office address, mail forwarding and other administrative services.

Alternatively, your accountant will typically provide an address service. This is also a useful arrangement, as your accountant can deal with any official paperwork right away without you having to forward it.

Partner Contractor Accountants

Last updated: 17th March 2024