Introduction -Companies House register
First of all, the UK Public Register is an index of Companies House information. What’s more, Companies House maintains this, and they keep the info of all UK companies on file. They update throughout the year when each company makes an update.
There are hundreds of thousands of companies on this Companies House information index. Please note, you can view the Companies House register on the Companies House (ROC) website.
Every company needs to send ROC info about what it does, its annual filings for company accounts and the Confirmation Statement, and who controls it. What’s more, it must also give details about the directors who are in charge and who run the company. A good accountant will take care of the filing of official documents for you although officially this is part of a director’s duties.
What to think about
The first thing to think about, before you set up a new company, is which address you would like to use for the business.
What’s more, when you set this up, the Companies Act 2006 will require you to provide an address for each of these:
- The registered office address. This address is where the business should receive its post.
- A service address. The address here is where company officers are contactable.
- The usual residential address’ for the directors
- An address of the initial subscribers (shareholders)
As mentioned above, the Companies Act requires a company officer to provide their residential address. In most cases, this will be their home address. Please note they do not show this on the Companies House register.
Choosing your registered office
When you set up your company, please note if you choose to use your home address as either:
- your service address
- registered office or
- subscriber address
…then it will always show as a part of the Companies House register. It is also the case even if you change it at a later date. To sum up, you should have a careful think about this before you set up your new company.
What’s more, most company formation agents, solicitors, and accountants often offer an address hosting service for a small fee.
UK companies also need to keep and maintain statutory records. In most cases your contractor accountant will do this for you.
What is the Companies House register?
ROC’s public record is a list for all UK companies. In return for the benefit of limited liability status, a company must be open and transparent with regards to certain aspects of its affairs. Various details then show up as part of the Companies House information.
Therefore, when you set up a new company, ROC will review and register specific info about the company. This info is then made available to the public.
This collection of Companies House information is often known as the public register. What’s more, the details are at hand online for the public and businesses to search for free of charge. A person using this may need to look up some data, or they may be looking to do business with a company.
During a company’s lifetime, Companies House expects you to keep these details up to date.
To sum up, a person who becomes a director or officer of a company must be ready to have some of their private details show up on the public record.
The director’s details that show up
The four pieces of info that show up on the Public Record for all UK directors are:
- your name
- one’s nationality
- your occupation
- the month and year of your date of birth
A director’s address and what you need to bear in mind
As I mentioned earlier, a director needs to provide two addresses, a service address, and a residential address.
A service address is one that a director can use to receive mail for the business. This address can be the same as the registered office address, or it can be somewhere else.
A residential address is a director’s usual home address, and a director will need to inform ROC of this. Please note, it will not show up on the public record for all to see as they keep it on a private register.
ROC may provide home address details to credit reference agencies and certain public bodies if there is a requirement to do so.
Therefore, if a director uses their home address as their service address or the registered office address, it will appear on the Companies House register.
To sum up, if you do not want your home address to show on the public record, you should show a different address from the outset. This address will show as your registered office and your director’s service address. This address can be that of your accountant, a service provider, or perhaps somewhere else.
An overall summary of the info on the UK public record
Below are the details that ROC displays online for each UK company:
- The company’s name -please see here for how to change your company name
- The registered office address
- Names of the directors
- Service address (s) of the directors
- The month and year of birth of the directors
- The nationality of the directors
- Line of work of the directors
- The name of the secretary
- Service address of the secretary
- The nature of the business, i.e., the trading activity (s) (this is signified by the SIC code)
- The details of PSCs. PSC stands for People with Significant Control
- The details of any official documents filed. The documents will include any accounts and Confirmation Statements. It will also include any changes to the company’s details. These sorts of changes include the directors, secretary, registered office, year-end, issue of new share capital, etc
PSCs must give the same basic personal info as directors for the public record. They will also need to show details of how they control the company. Furthermore, all PSC info is on the public register, apart from their home address. The actual day of the month when they were born is also not shown.
What’s more, if a PSC chooses to use their home address as their service address, it will show up on the public record.
Furthermore, you can find more info about PSCs in ROC guidance.
How can you change the details on the public register
To make a change to your director address or PSC address, or indeed other changes you can do so by:
- File a change via the ROC WebFiling service. You will need to create an account on their site to be able to do this; or
- Making a change via the annual Confirmation Statement. Again, you will need to have an account to be able to file this.
As a final note, the UK Public Register is open and at hand, for anyone to see. ROC cannot prevent any third parties from being able to find certain details here. The details for all UK companies show up as Companies House information, as I explain above. Therefore, if you would like to hide your home address, please take on my advice above.
What’s more, ROC does not actively index info from its search services. Further to this, it is also good to know that they do not have any features on there that make it easier for search engines to collect or save this info.
Link to Contractor Advice UK group on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4660081/