Registered office address

What is a registered office?

A registered office is the address you nominate to be displayed on public record next to your company name. It will be the official address of your limited company or limited liability partnership. Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send all statutory correspondence and legal notices to your registered office address.

Why do I have to provide a registered office address?

It is a legal requirement of all UK limited companies and limited liability partnerships. You will not be permitted to register a company or LLP if you do not provide a registered office address on your application.

What purpose does a registered office serve?

A registered office has three principal functions:

  1. To receive statutory correspondence from Companies House and HMRC
  2. As a public inspection location for statutory records and registers
  3. To be displayed on the official register of companies for the benefit of the public

Restrictions to the location of your registered office

The most important restriction to be aware of is where your registered office is located: it must be a UK address and it must be situated in the same jurisdiction as the registrar with whom you incorporate your company or LLP - England and Wales, or Wales only; Scotland; Northern Ireland.

What types of addresses are allowed?

You can use any kind of permanent physical address you like - whatever is most convenient for you. The only exclusions are PO Box numbers, DX numbers and Legal Post (LP) numbers. Other than these, you can use any type of address in the appropriate jurisdiction, including:

  1. Your home address
  2. The address of your accountant or solicitor
  3. A registered office service from a company formation agent
  4. Your trading or business address
  5. The service address of a director or LLP member
  6. Any other type of residential or non-residential address you have permission to use

Should I use a residential or non-residential address?

You can use either type of address as your registered office. Lots of people use their home address for this purpose when they start a small business, mainly because it’s the most convenient and obvious choice – particularly for those running businesses from home.

An increasing number of people, however, use a registered office service. This type of service is typically provided by a company formation agent who offers the use of their business premises as a registered office for other companies and limited liability partnerships.

The main benefit of using a registered office service, or any other type of non-residential address, is privacy. Rather than placing your home address on public record, the corporate address of your registered office provider will be recorded with Companies House as the official address of your company or LLP, and this information will be displayed on public record. The use of this type of service also means that you won’t have to let members of the public into your private residence to inspect your statutory company records, nor will you be faced with unexpected visitors or corporate junk mail at your home.

From a professional point of view, a non-residential registered office address is more credible and impressive. Regardless of the size of your business, creating the right impression is really important – particularly when dealing with other limited companies or looking for investors. Something as simple as your choice of registered office can have a significant impact on the way your business is judged by others.

Can I have an overseas registered office?

In a word, no. Your registered office has to be in the UK, and it must be situated in the jurisdiction in which your company or LLP is incorporated - England and Wales (or Wales only) Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Can I have more than one registered office?

You most certainly cannot. Your company or LLP can only have one registered office. If you are unhappy with the address of your existing registered office, you can easily change it to another address in the same jurisdiction.

Can I change my registered office address?

Of course. You can change your registered office address whenever you like, and as often as you like – as long as you tell Companies House upon doing so, and provided you choose an address in the same jurisdiction.

If you want to change your registered office after incorporation, you must inform Companies House by post or online on form AD01 (or LLAD01 for LLPs). You can use Companies House’ WebFiling service to complete and deliver this form online, or you can use our website (free of charge) to report a change of registered office. Companies House will update the public record within a few hours of receiving your change-of-address notification.

To report a change of registered office, you will need to provide your full company/LLP name, your company registration number (CRN) and the full postal address of your new registered office.

Does my company have to trade from its registered office?

No, your business activities can be carried out anywhere in the world, regardless of where your registered office is based. You don’t even have to visit your registered office at all, as long as statutory mail can be delivered there and forwarded on to you.

Difference between a registered office and a service address

A registered office is the statutory mailing address of a company or LLP. A service address is the statutory mailing address of a company director or LLP member. Take a look at our Service Address guidance page for more information about services addresses for directors and LLP members.

Can my registered office be the same as my service address?

Of course. You can use the same address as your registered office and service address, as long as the nominated address meets all legal requirements and you have permission to use it for these purposes.

Difference between a registered office and business address

A registered office is the statutory mailing address of a company or LLP. A business address is where a business is located - this type of address is not a legal requirement of company formation. You may require more than one business address if your company or LLP trades in multiple locations. Take a look at our business address guidance page for more information.

Can my registered office be the same as my business address?

Of course. You can use the same address as your registered office and business address, as long as the nominated address meets all legal requirements and you have permission to use it for these purposes.

Displaying the name of your business at your registered office

You must display the full name of your company or LLP on a sign at your registered office address and anywhere else your business operates. The only exception is when you are running your business from home - there is no need to put up a sign there.

The sign must be easy to read and visible at all times, not just when it is open. There is no need for the sign to be placed on the outside of your registered office address, it just has to be positioned somewhere on the premises where it can be easily seen by anyone who visits.

If your company or LLP shares an address with more than five other businesses, for example, if you use a registered office service from a company formation agent - the rules are slightly different. You will only have to display the registered name of your business for at least 15 continuous seconds at least once every three minutes.

A registered office as an inspection location

One of the main functions of a registered office is to allow for the inspection of statutory company records. The types of records you will have to make available include:

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum of association
  • Articles of association
  • Share certificates
  • Registers of directors and secretaries
  • Registers of shareholders or guarantors
  • Register of LLP members
  • Directors’ service contracts

Anyone can request to inspect these records at your registered office, including shareholders and guarantors, creditors and investors, debenture holders, Companies House and HMRC and any member of the general public.

If you do not want to make these records available for inspection at your registered office, you can use a different address for this purpose. This type of address is referred to as a Single Alternate Inspection Location, or ‘SAIL address' for short. If you want to use a SAIL address, you require providing the address details to Companies House and telling them what records you are keeping there. This information will be added to the public register.

Disclosing your registered office address

The registered office address of your limited company or LLP will be added to the public register of companies after incorporation. This information is freely available to everyone.

To abide by UK company legislation, all companies and LLPs have to disclose their registered office details on business letters, order forms, invoices and websites. You can add it in smaller print at the bottom of documents and websites if your registered office is not your primary business contact address. This information should be accurate and up-to-date at all times.

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