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Do I need a registered office and a business address?

Registered Office Address and Business Address Confusion

Hi, we get lots of calls and email enquiries asking us about the difference between a registered office address and a business address, what mail is included with each of the services and can they have one of the services without the other.

So we thought we would put together a brief overview of each service so that you can decide which is the most appropriate service for your business.

Firstly, if you are a sole trader you do not need a registered office address. You only need a business address. For more business address info

Secondly, registered office addresses are only used by limited companies, CIC's, LLP - who have formally incorporated their business at Companies House.


Registered Office Address

What is it, how do i use it and what mail does that include?


Company House (CH) is responsible for maintaining details of all limited companies in the UK on a "register". 

Official Address
Our Registered Office address, is used as the official address for the limited company on the Company House registers.

The address is displayed on their website, as well as many other websites that provide information on businesses, many of them getting their infomation directly from Companies House. 

Company Directors

The address can also be used by the Company Directors on this digital online register, so that they do not have to display their residential address. This is called a Directors Service address - which can be purchased alongside the registered office address.

Use of Address

Our registered office address and service address is only for CH and HMRC use. It can not be used for any other purpose i.e. IPO, Charity Commission, Banks, Customers etc. 

Mail Received
Therefore, we will only forward on CH and HMRC mail, we would expect you to a couple of letters per year and allow up to 10 letters per year (you should get less than this).

Free forwarding of Mail
We will forward the first 10 letters for FREE, we can either post or scan and email them to you.

We do request that in order to receive over 10 letters we ask for an additional mailing deposit of £5 +vat to cover the postage costs.

Trading Address 
When you sign up for just our registered office address, we do ask that you provide us with the address that you will be using as your trading address. that is the address you will be providing to your customers, suppliers etc.

 

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Business
Address

What can I use the address for?

 

The registered office address is for all your official mail from CH and HMRC, so you will need a seperate address for all your other mail.

If you need to use the address for any of the following reasons, you need to also apply to use the address as your business address:

 
  • as a contact address for your customers;
  • invoice address for your suppliers;
  • for your website;
  • in your terms and conditions;
  • in contracts you may sign with customers or suppliers;
  • on your products packaging;
  • online directories;
  • stationery - letterheads and also on email signatures;
  • Invoices;
  • High street banks;
  • Merchant Accounts;
  • Online/Digital Banks - Paypal etc;
  • Online market places, ebay, amazon etc.

If you purchase just the Business Address, it does not include the use of the address at Companies House, you will need to purchase the registered office address service.
 

But I will never get any mail, or only a few items per year?
The annual price of the business address, is payment to be able to use the address, irrespective of how many letters you may or may not receive.

Do you forward the mail on for free?
The price of forwarding your mail is included with the registered office service, this is because we can roughly estimate how much mail you would get during the year. However, with the business address, we have no idea how much mail you will receive, which will depend on your business and how and where you use the address. So, we ask for a £20 +vat postage deposit, which we use to forward on your post. 

How does the mail get forwarded
You can choose how to receive your mail, by post, it can be sent daily, weekly, monthly by 1st or 2nd class. We charge you the costs of sending it by Royal Mail.

You can also choose to have your mail scanned and either emailed or uploaded into your online account.

Please note that should you choose to have the mail uploaded, we do once a year delete old uploads. So we recommend downloading and saving them into your own business server/storage.

We charge 50p per scanned page. In order to save your deposit we do use our common sense so only scan the most relevant pages for you, i.e. no charge for blank pages.

 

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Things you need to know

Here are some quick answers to some other questions about our registered office and business address service you may be thinking of, or some you haven't...

Can I add the Business Address later?

No problem, many people incorporate their company to secure the name that they want and then leave it dormant until they are ready to trade.

Once this happens you may feel that need to use the business address, just give us a call and we can upgrade your account.

What if i want it all now?
If you need all the mailing address services, we have a specific service called the "All Mail package" - as the name suggests, it is for all your business mail, and includes the registered office address, directors service address and also the business address.

Do I need to provide ID?
Yes, we are licenced by HMRC to provide mailing address, as well licenced by Camden Council in London. As part of their licencing we have to ensure that we know who are client is, where the mail is being forwarded to and what they plan to do with the address and also provide proof of identity.

This is part of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and we are required to have on file, proof of your identity, so this is a copy of your driving licence or passport (something with a photo on it), and also proof of your address, such as a utility bill or bank statement. 

We also carry out soft online verification  checks on the ID and details provided. This leaves a soft imprint on your credit history and does not affect your credit score.

These are kept on file, and can be requested by trading standards and law enforcement agancies. If requested we are not able to notify you, if they are conducting an  investigation into you or your business. More ID info....

What if i don't want to provide you with ID?
Unfortunately, without the ID we are unable to provide you with our services. We will refund your money minus a £10 admin charge to cover, banking, ID checks and admin time, but if you don't want to provide ID please don't sign up!!!

I'm based overseas?
If you are living overseas, your ID needs to be notarised to confirm that the documents are real and are yours. We are unable to verify your documents and details electronically, so need this as confirmation as to your identity.




What addresses can I choose from?
We have 2 offices, one is based in Central London, in the Farringdon/Hatton Garden Area and the other is based outside London in Sussex. 

Packages and Collection
We do not accept any packages or signed for items at our London office, we would recommend using our Sussex address as this is our main administrative based and open for longer during the day and can happily accept packages.

On the advice of trading standards and City of London Police, we do not allow collection of mail at the London office. We will only post or scan and email your mail.


So, hopefully you can now see that the registered office address is for all your official government type mail, dealing with your limited company requirements from Companies House to complete the confirmation statement, send accounts, update records etc. and also from HMRC regarding Corporation Tax etc.

And, the business address is literally for everything else, if you need to use the address for any other reason, then you need the business address.

Sign up online, have your ID scans ready so you can upload them straight into your application.

If you have any problems or are unsure please do get in touch with us before you apply,  so we can make sure you are signing up for the right service.
 

  • We are on live chat 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
 
  • Use the contact us page outside these hours
 
  • Call us on 01323 484542


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