Company registered address – how to choose one
A registered company address is your official company address. It’s where all your important post from Companies House and HMRC will go. You’ll need to put it on all of your company stationery, literature and public documents, including your website.
You don’t have to work or spend a lot of time at your registered address. You just have to be able to get to it (once a week should do) or make sure post addressed to your registered office gets forwarded to you regularly. That’s basically it.
A couple of things to bear in mind though: it should be a bricks-and-mortar address in the UK (it can be a PO box as long as the PO box is accompanied by a full street address and postcode). And it needs to be registered in the same country as your company. So if your company is registered in Scotland, your registered office address must also be in Scotland.
Why wouldn’t I choose my trading address as my registered address?
Your trading address might be your home address. It’s also the one your clients and suppliers will use if they want to get in touch with you. But, unlike your registered address, it doesn’t have to be public information.
So, if you work from home you might want to protect your personal address from the public gaze. You might also want to make sure important documents don’t get lost among the junk mail. Or maybe you want a more prestigious-sounding registered address to instill confidence in your services (financial businesses love a central London address, for example).
How can I get a third-party address as my registered office address?
A company formation agent will often let you use their address and make sure any important post reaches you quickly.
Or you can ask an accountant, they might be willing to let you use their offices as your registered address (often for a fee). As well as giving you a helpful and relatively fuss-free registered address, this also means your accountant can take care of anything that arrives from Companies House and HMRC.
In a nutshell
You have to have a registered office address if you run a limited company. It can be – but doesn’t have to be – your trading address. But it does have to be a bricks-and-mortar address in the same part of the UK where your business is registered. It’s the place that documents from Companies House and HMRC will go, and you’ll need to show it on your company stationery, literature and website. If it’s a remote address, you’ll need to arrange for someone to send on any business-related mail.