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A service address and a registered office are two types of addresses that must be provided during the company formation process. To help you to get to grips with these important addresses before setting up a company, we will discuss the different purposes and requirements of a service address and registered office below.
A service address is also required by all company directors, subscribers, company secretaries, LLP members, and People with Significant Control (PSCs). Serving as the official contact address for the individual, official government mail from HMRC, Companies House, and other government agencies are delivered to that location.
A registered office, on the other hand, is the official contact address for the company or LLP itself. It serves as the official contact address for the receipt of official government mail and for the public inspection of the company’s statutory registers.
About service addresses
A service address must be provided to Companies House and maintained at all times by the following individuals:
- Company secretaries
- LLP members
- Guarantors with in excess of 25% voting rights in a company
- Shareholders who hold more than 25% of the company’s shares or voting rights
- Any other person or registrable legal entity with significant control or influence over a company – these individuals are known as People with Significant Control, or PSCs
A service address is the official contact address where the registered individual will receive official government mail and correspondence from Companies House, HMRC, and other official bodies regarding their role in the company or LLP
Companies House will display the address details on the public register. All members of the public have access to these contact details.
A service address can be:
- located anywhere in the world – it does not have to be in the UK
- a residential or commercial (non-residential) address
- the same address as the registered office (you can also ‘link’ the service address to your registered office so that it will automatically change whenever the latter is changed)
Due to the public disclosure of this information, the majority of individuals prefer to use an address that is not their place of residence. A non-residential service address will allow you to keep your home address off the public register of companies and protect your privacy.
You can change your service address at any time, but you must notify Companies House as soon as possible to ensure your details are accurate and up to date on the public register. You can report a change of service address for a director, company secretary, PSC, or LLP member online via Companies House WebFiling or Rapid Formations’ free Client Admin Portal.
Does my service address have to be in the UK?
No, your service address can be located in any country and you can change it at any time, as often as you wish.
Can I use my registered office as my service address?
Yes, you may use the same address as your registered office and service address.
About registered office addresses
A registered office is the official contact address of a limited company or LLP. One must be provided to Companies House during the incorporation process and maintained throughout the life of the company.
Under the Companies Act 2006, a registered office must be located in the UK jurisdiction in which the company is incorporated (i.e., England & Wales, Wales only, Scotland, or Northern Ireland).
Registered office details are disclosed on the central public register at Companies House. This information remains on record indefinitely, even if the address is changed or the company is dissolved.
The principle purpose of a registered office is to receive statutory correspondence and legal notices from official bodies such as Companies House and HMRC.
A registered office can be a residential address or a commercial address, as long as it’s located in the correct jurisdiction and the full postal address is provided. However, a non-residential address is more appropriate. Aside from protecting the privacy of your home, your business with benefit from a more professional, corporate image.
You can change your registered office at any time and as often as you wish. Companies House must be notified of any change of address immediately – you can report this change free of charge online via Companies House WebFiling service or Rapid Formations’ free Client Admin Portal.
HMRC will be automatically notified of by Companies House, so there will be no need to report the change to HMRC yourself. Please note: documentation can still validly be served at your old address for fourteen days after the change.
Can I move my registered office to a different country?
No, your registered office must always remain in the country of incorporation. However, if you register your business in England and Wales, you can move your registered office from England to Wales, or vice versa. These two countries are classed as one jurisdiction for the purpose of company formation and registered offices.
Confidentiality of residential addresses
Directors, LLP members, subscribers, and PSCs are required to provide their residential address details during the company formation or appointment process, although this information will only be made available to the public if used as a service address or registered office.
Rapid Formations offers a professional Service Address in London or Glasgow from just £24.00 per year. All of your official government mail will be delivered to your chosen service address, scanned by our Mail Team, and emailed to you free of charge within one working day.
We also provide a London Registered Office in Covent Garden, which is suitable for companies and LLPs in England & Wales, and a Scottish Registered Office in Glasgow city centre for £39.00 per year. All official government mail addressed to your company will be scanned and forwarded to you by email within one working day.