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Service and Registered Address: The Differences

Company formation is a pretty straight forward process, but we are asked questions - and you should; it's a new company you're setting up, so you want it to be perfect and correct. One thing that trips a few people up is service and registered addresses - what are they, and what are they for?

Your Registered Address

The registered address of the company is the main one. This is a publicly available address shown on the Companies House web site (amongst others). It's also the address that HMRC and Companies House will send any statutory documents and forms to.

Are there any limitations?

Yes, there are two main limitations:

  • It can't be a PO Box
  • It has to be in the UK

Does it have to be my business address?

No. The address has to be somewhere the directors and secretaries can access to collect any mail sent there. However, what some companies do is use their accountants address or even a third party address such as our London Address.

It doesn't even have to be a business address. You could use your home address if that's more convenient for you. However, remember that this address is public. So if you're not comfortable with your home address being shown on the Companies House web site, then don't use it. Perhaps a better alternative would be a forwarding address where mail can be sent and forwarded on to you. This usually costs a monthly or annual fee, but it allows you to use a third party address. This can also come with the added bonus of a professional address too.

Am I stuck with it?

The registered address can be changed at any time, just remember to update this with Companies House. If you incorporated your company through us, then we can do this for you. Simply view your company details, and click the 'File a Change' button to start the process. Simple!

Your Service Address

A service address is the address of a director or secretary within that company. You will normally register two addresses for a director when incorporating a company, although they can be the same if applicable. The two addresses are a Service Address, and the other is a Residential Address.

So what is a Service Address compared to a Residential Address?

The Service Address was introduced in October 2009 for directors, and enables them to state an address that they can access for the purpose of mail, in the similar way that a registered address acts for a company. This doesn't have to be their home address, but does appear on public record.

A residential address is exactly that - it's the residential address for the director. But this one is kept out of public view. It may however be viewed by public authorities if required.

Are there limitations?

Unlike the Registered Address, these are a little bit more flexible, which means:

  • It can be anywhere in the world
  • It can be a residential or commercial address
  • It can be the same or different to the Registered Address

As with the registered address, it can be changed at any time too, and even through Company Wizard - just to make life that little bit simpler for you.

So there you have it. That's the differences between a Registered, Service and Residential Address. But if you still have questions, please give us a call during your application, and we'll try our best to help.

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