My official address as director -this is something that is often missed when you set up your own company. Many contractors who have been running their company for a number of years may have never even considered this. However, this is something that you should think about this when you set up for the first time.
When you start up as a contractor with your own company you will need to choose a registered office for it. When you choose an address for this you may then have a concern that your home address may show up on public record. Companies House maintains an online record and this is called the public record. This shows certain info about each company in the UK.
I have many other guides that will help you navigate Companies House and these explain how to report and make certain changes. I have covered in my articles the UK Public Register, the duties of a company director, the Confirmation Statement, the SIC code, how to change your company name and if you need a company secretary.
A brief history
Before 1 October 2009, your home address used to show up on the public record. After the intro of the Companies Act 2006, directors are now able to provide a service address. This Act now gives privacy to those who need it.
The Companies Act 2006 was one of the largest pieces of law to come into play. Indeed, an earlier version took the step to remove the duty of companies to appoint a company secretary. With the Companies Act 2006 came some welcome changes, and within this came more privacy for company directors.
Service address and residential address
Your official address as director, here is what to consider:
- The service address can be your accountant’s address if they offer this service. It can also be a mail forwarding service. Please note, it cannot be a PO Box or DX number, and it needs to be an address where you can receive your post.
- As a company director, you will also need to provide a residential address. The address must be your home address, but it will not be on the public record for all to see.
- Companies House will keep your residential address on a private register, and it is 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 will need to submit a privacy order. It may also be private if you have past or current links to the security services, for example.
Date of birth change
With the Companies Act, 2006 also came another change. The change was that the public register now only shows the director’s year and month of birth. Before this, these details, along with the date that they were born on, was also on the public record.
Your official address as director -here is what else to consider.
Your business will also need a registered office, where it can receive the post.
For several reasons, you may also not wish to show your address as your registered office. What’s more, as with your service address, you could opt to set your registered office at your accountant’s address. Once again, you can use a mail forwarding service.
A quick online search will show the providers who offer these services. Most, if not all, providers of registered office services will charge a fee for this service.
You may be planning to plan to set up your own company now or in the future. If you do, there are things to bear in mind. If you do not wish to show your home address on public record, you could use your accountants’ address or a mail forwarding service instead. To sum up, if you do this from the start for both your registered office and director’s service address, your home address will never show up on the public record.
Perhaps it is the case that your company may have been set up before 1 October 2009. If this is the case, you may have used your home address as the registered office or your service address. If this is so, it will show on the public record for several years.
On the other hand, you may have set your company up after 1 October 2009. If it was, you might have used your home address as the registered office or your service address. Once again, if this the case, it will show on the public record for many years.
In both of these cases, if you would now like privacy, you might look to take steps to close your company. You can then start up a new company in due course with your home address not shown as the registered office or your director’s service address from the outset.
Link to Contractor Advice UK group on