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Should a business use a SAIL address?

When you incorporate a business at Companies House, you are required to provide them with the registered office address of the business. This is the official address for the business, which can be your business premises, directors home address or a provider like I-Support that specialises in providing a registered address service. The registered office address is the address to which all Companies House, HMRC and legal notices are sent and is kept on the Companies House “Register”.

This location is also where a company would usually keep its statutory company records for public inspection. But, you can use a SAIL address, this is the Single Alternative Inspection Location – as the name implies it is an alternative to the registered office address, where the statutory records can be inspected. There is no compulsion to use a SAIL address, unlike the registered office address, and they can be at different addresses.

If you wish to use a SAIL address you are required to notify Companies House of the details, you can not use the address until Companies House have been informed.

The main difference between the SAIL address and registered office is that all your statutory mail/legal notices from Companies House and HMRC will be sent to the registered office and this is displayed publically – whereas the SAIL address is just a location of your companies registers.

There are a few restrictions, i.e. it has to be in the UK and it has to be in the same incorporation area as the registered office (England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland). So you can’t have a registered office in Northern Ireland and a SAIL address in England. You can update Companies House easily via webfiling or use forms AD02 and should be accompanied by form AD03

What are the statutory records?

These are company documents, that include

  • Register of the company’s members such as shareholders or guarantors
  • Register of the company’s directors
  • Details of the director’s residential address
  • Register of the company’s secretaries
  • Register of the company’s debenture holders and people with significant control
  • Register of the charges and instruments creating charges for the company
  • Copies of any resolutions
  • Minutes of any general meetings

Plus we would also recommend having a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, copies of any documents sent to Companies House, the memorandum of association and articles of association.

There are a number of records that are required – see our article “What records should a company hold at its Registered Office”

These documents should be created when you incorporate the company, by using a company formation service, many of these documents will be automatically generated for you and held on file.

If anyone wants to view these documents they must give at least 2 days notice before they visit as set out in the Companies (Company Records) Regulations 2008, it is the responsibilities of the Directors and the Business to ensure that these are up to date.

The penalties for failing to keep any of the records and result in the company officers being charged, infact, it is a criminal offence not to keep these records and the fines are considerable (from £1000-£500), the level depends on exactly what is missing plus extra chares per day for any continued contravention.

Using a SAIL address will make no difference to your day to day business, but can make it easier for you should anyone wish to inspect them and to keep them up to date if you wish to keep them in paper form.

With the I-Support Registered Office service, you can post or upload them directly into your online account, or the I-Support Formations will create them for you, so that we have up to date copies on file at all times.

Should anyone wish to see them, we can arrange that.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact I-Support for further information.