When setting up a new company for future UK contracting, you need to choose a registered office address for limited company (UK) and service address for director. Therefore, for the official UK company address and your director address, what should you consider? As part of setting up your own UK contractor limited company, there’s a number of things to consider for your registered office and director’s service address. In terms of the director service address, this is your official address as director and your UK business address for the company. Today, anyone can perform a simple company directors search (UK) on the Companies House website. As a result, your details may come up and although this only shows basic details, it does include your official service address. Therefore, your Companies House service address as a director and registered office need careful thought as they’re both an official business address.
The official service address is important because it’s part of your official director information (UK). What’s more, it’s shown online on the Companies House Public Register, which is a public record. Also, it’s the official director correspondence address where Companies House and other official bodies can send mail to you. Therefore, your official director’s details (Companies House) as a UK limited company director, will need some careful thought. In this guide, we’ll go over what you should consider here for your contractor address as a limited company director. We’ll also look at what are the various options available for this official director business address (UK). In addition, we’ll look at the process when you are changing address at Companies House. This will include how you can easily change address on Companies House online.
Company registered office address (UK)
In the UK, when you set up a company, you need at least one director and they’re also known as a company officer. The registered office is the company service address (UK) while the director service address (Companies House) is your official address as director. Choosing these business addresses (UK) is one of your legal requirements as a limited company contractor when you set up a new company. Therefore, it’s important for company directors (UK) to consider and choose wisely their registered office and official address as director.
When you’re a UK director, you may have questions about your official company address (UK) and how this shows up on public record. Therefore, such questions could include:
- How to find the home address of a company director?
- What is a director service address?
- Can I use a po box for Companies House?
- What is a service address Companies House?
- Can I hide my address on Companies House?
- Can I remove my address from Companies House?
- How to change a director’s address on Companies House?
- How to remove address from Companies House?
- How many companies can be registered at one address?
In this guide, we’ll research what is the service address and how to change this officially, should you need to.
What to think about first
How to set up your company
When you set up a new UK company for contracting in the UK, you’ve three choices:
- Do this yourself.
- Ask your accountant to do this.
- Use a company formation agent.
Official documents filing
As a UK limited company owner, there’s two main authorities that your business will deal with regularly. These are HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Companies House. The latter one of these is the official body that looks after all of the administration and official filing for UK limited companies. Besides dealing with company formations, Companies House also administers the routine filing of the following documents for UK limited companies:
- The filing of annual accounts.
- The filing of statutory information -this is known as the Confirmation Statement.
- Filing of any official company changes, such as the company’s address or officials.
Choose your official director address (Companies House)
When you’re a new UK contractor or consultant and set up your own company for the first time, you need to choose a registered office and director’s service address (and a service address as a PSC -see later). This `service address’ is your official Companies House director address, and it shows up on the UK public register.
Many limited company contractors who are directors themselves, may have been running their company for several years. In many cases, they may have just used their home address at the outset as their official address, without considering the visibility of this on the public register. Therefore, when you set up your new company, the address as a company officer is something you should consider.
When you start up as a contractor with your own UK company, you must choose a registered office (this is effectively the service address for limited company). When you select an address for this, you may be concerned that your official home address will appear on the UK public record. Companies House maintains an online catalogue of UK companies, called the Companies House register or public record. This shows certain information about every company in the UK.
Choose your company officers
Besides choosing a registered office, you’ll also need to select an address for each company officer. The officers are the company’s directors and, if appropriate, the company secretary. The address that you’ll need to decide on is the officer’s service address for each person. What’s more, the director can live anywhere in the world. However, they’ll need to provide a full postal address as their official address as director, known as the service address. If the company is registered in England or Wales, the official address of company officers and the registered office also needs to be in one of these countries. Therefore, when they’ve their home address in England or Wales, they may decide to choose this as their company officer address. The same applies to companies set up in Scotland or Northern Ireland. i.e., the official addresses need to be in those countries too.
Other useful guides
Besides this guide on your official director’s address, we’ve many other guides that’ll help you navigate Companies House, explaining how to report and make specific changes. Indeed, we’ve covered in our guides:
Considerations with regard to your official addresses
A brief history
Before 1 October 2009, as a UK limited company director, your home address appeared on the public record. After the introduction of the Companies Act 2006, company officers are now able to provide a service address. This Act now gives privacy to those who need it.
Another recent change is that UK companies must report PSCs to Companies House. PSC stands for Person with Significant Control.
The Companies Act 2006 was one of the largest pieces of law to come into play in recent years. Indeed, an earlier version took the step to remove the duty of companies to appoint a company secretary for small companies. With the Companies Act 2006 came some welcome changes, and within this came more privacy for UK company directors.
Director’s residential address vs director’s service address
When you own a UK company, what is a director’s service address? Basically, this service address is your official address as a limited company contractor. As company officer and your director’s address (Companies House), please consider these points:
- The service address can be your own personal home address. However, if you’d rather keep this private, you can usually use your accountant’s address. Also, you can use a company which offers a UK address service for companies and company officers. However, can you use a PO Box for Companies House? When considering a Companies House PO Box number, the rules state you can’t use a PO Box for limited company Neither can you use a DX number. This is because it needs to be a postal address for Companies House and other government bodies. What’s more, most accountants allow using their address free of charge. Therefore, you can use either of these as a mailing address where you can physically receive your mail. Furthermore, any official mail delivered to one of these will be scanned and emailed to you by your accountant or address service provider.
- As a company director, you must also provide a residential address. This must be your official home address, but it’ll not be shown on the public record for all to see.
- Companies House keep your director residential address on a private register, only viewable by certain public bodies. These bodies include credit reference agencies as they need to carry out certain checks.
- In some cases, your residential address can still be private from credit reference agencies. To organise this, you need to submit a privacy order. For example, it may also be private if you’ve past or current links to the security services.
Change your official company addresses
Your service and residential addresses
Companies House will be informed of a director’s (and PSCs) service address when a company is formed. On an ongoing basis, UK contractors have to inform Companies House when there’s any changes in:
- A director’s service or residential address.
- A PSC’s service or residential address.
How to change director’s address on Companies House
Let’s now look at how to change correspondence address on Companies House. You can change the company’s registered office (and correspondence address) or the director / PSC service and residential addresses at any time. Indeed, you’ve to inform Companies House of your new address, if you move house. As a result, you will update your residential address and service address (if appropriate), and registered office too if it’s at the same address when you move.
When you change director’s address (Companies House), you need to update the new details on Companies House. Therefore, when you update your address (Companies House), you can complete the director change of address form CH01. When you do this, you can complete CH01 form (Companies House), either online or through the post. The reason for updating this, as and when changes occur, is to keep the Companies House register up to date as best as possible.
Most directors (or their accountants) will use the Companies House WebFiling service to update this change as it is much simpler, quicker to complete, and more secure. The change or changes can also be reported via the CS01 Confirmation Statement form which a company files once per year. However, you shouldn’t wait to inform Companies House on this form, but rather complete Companies House CH01 form, as and when the change occurs.
UK director services companies
As mentioned earlier, there’s UK companies which offer company director services. This is usually part of an overall company address service (UK) for companies. These online companies specialise in looking after multiple companies registered at one address. You can find these online by searching for `registered office address provider UK’ or `UK service address provider.’ Basically, they’ll provide you with a UK residential address service for both the company registered office, and your official addresses as a director and PSC if you so choose. Besides registering your registered office and service addresses here, they may also offer other basic services such as a mail forwarding service.
Director’s service address -date of birth change
With the Companies Act, 2006 also came another change. The change is that the public register now only shows the director’s year and month of birth. Before this, their full date of birth, including the day they were born, was shown on the public record.
A person with Significant Control (PSC)
As mentioned earlier, all UK companies now need to show who their PSCs are. A PSC is someone who owns at least 25% of the share capital or voting rights in a UK company. Companies House will give you a list of the possible reasons for someone being a PSC when:
- As part of your company set up.
- When you’re filing the annual Confirmation Statement.
From this list, you’ll need to choose the correct option for the PSC in your company.
As with the director service address (UK), you must submit an official address for each PSC. Companies House will also need the residential addresses for each PSC. However, only the service address for director and PSC will show on the public record.
Director’s service address -personal statutory mail
The service address for director is the official address for the company. Indeed, this is the official Companies House mailing address, along with the registered office. What’s more, the address of director is where other government agencies, such as HMRC, ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), ONS (Office for National Statistics) and other government bodies will send official mail and correspondence.
As your official service address is a Companies House correspondence address, they’ll send notifications and reminders to file official documents to this address. What’s more, they’ll send legal notices and any other official letters here too. Further still, they may also send other mail from time to time.
Your business will need a registered office address where it can receive its statutory mail. For several reasons, you may not wish to show your home address as your registered office.
As with your official address as a company officer, you could opt to set your registered office at either:
- Your accountant’s address, if they offer this service.
- You could use a business that provides address services. A quick online search will show the providers who offer these services. Their fee will also depend on the level of service.
Any formal government mail and legal notices will be posted to the registered office and the company officer addresses. In both cases, you must ensure that your accountant or registered office provider forwards any statutory mail to you.
When you run a limited company, you should keep statutory books. Basically, these records contain various registers of statutory information. What’s more, one of these will be the register of directors’ residential addresses or directors’ residential addresses register, and this will include the address that you choose above.
Director’s service address London
Many businesses, including the larger ones, may also prefer a London service address for the company registered office and service addresses. It’s also quite common for UK businesses, especially the larger ones, to have a Companies House London office as their official address. Basically, the Companies House London address can have its benefits, by way of the details online which show that your company has its official address and Companies House headquarters in the UK capital.
Protecting your name and other details
Can you hide your name on Companies House or can you hide director details on Companies House records? If you work under certain circumstances, you may be able to apply to protect your personal information on the Companies House register. As a result, you can apply to remove details from Companies House records. There’s a process to follow when you apply for this, and you can apply either online or through the post.
This is the official guide from Companies House, which covers this area in more detail.
Your registered office and director service address show online and are used as a Companies House postal address. You may plan to set up your own company now or in the future. If you do, there’s things to consider. This includes choosing your official company director address, your company’s registered office, and your PSC service address. If you don’t wish to show your home address your official address as director on public record, you could use your accountant’s address or a mail forwarding service instead. In summary, if you do this from the start for both your registered office and service addresses, your official home address will never appear on the public record.
It could be the case your company was set up before 1 October 2009. If so, you may have used your home address as your company’s registered office or your service address as director. When this is the case, it’ll have shown up on the public record for several years. On the other hand, you may have set your company up after 1 October 2009. If so, you might have used your home address as the registered office and service address for director. Once again, if this is the case, it’ll have shown on the public record for many years.
In both instances, if you’d now prefer privacy and your situation suits this, you might look into steps to close your company. You can then start up a new company in due course. As part of the new company set-up, you can take the above into account and set the registered office and director’s service address at an address other than where you live, if you want to keep your official home address private from the outset.
Link to Contractor Advice UK group on