Navigation Toggle

What address do I use for the registered office of my limited company?

You may be thinking about starting a limited company, this article outlines the use of the registered office address, what it is, and why people use them for the company.

Either you are a sole trader that wishes to benefit from the advantages that a limited company can provide, or starting a new company, either way you have probably done a bit of research and gotten advice on what the next steps are. We would always advise you to speak to an accountant first, as starting a limited company although very easy to do, it does come with a number of rules and regulations around the accounting and reporting.

You will then have to think about completing the Companies House application - online or by paper. (online is quicker and cheaper!!)

One of the first tasks you may have done, is check that the name of your future company is available and not being used by anyone else. Beware of any copyright issues or similar name. This can be done easily on our formations website. We have some guidance on selecting company names.

After completing the company name it will ask you for a registered office address, the main question we should answer first is - what is a registered office address?

The registered office address is the legal address of the company that Companies House and HMRC will have on their records, in fact Section 86 of the Companies Act 2006 states that “a company must at all times have a registered office which all communications and notices may be addressed”

Second question, is then - what address should I use for the registered office address? This is something that you may not have thought about and your response may well depend on your previous experience.

You will have a few options to condsider

  • Use a formation agents services and use their address.
  • Frantically call your accountant to see if they offer a registered office address service?
  • Use your home address
  • Search for "registered office address" and look at the top three's prices.

To be honest there isn't a wrong or right choice it all depends on convenience, cost and risk.


Using a Formation Agent or Accountants Address

If you use an online formation agent, they will usually have a package that includes the use if their address. But,  the following year you may be in for a surprise when you get the renewal invoice. so make sure that the prices are not considerably hiked up after the 1st year..

 

If your accountant provides this service, consider what happens if you wish to change your accountant in the future - you then also have to change your registered office address details  and if you wish to move the address, although this a very simple process online, you then have to change the website and company stationery.

 

We would recommend you think long term, changing addresses can be time consuming and expensive if you have to reprint stationery, business cards and update websites.

 
 

Can I use my home address?

Yes - and this is the cheapest option and very simple to do. Unlike your other choices, there is no requirement to provide identification and get approval from anyone to use the address.  Unless of course you live with your parents or in rented accomodation. If you do live in rented accommodation, within the contract is a clause which stipulates that you cannot use the address for a business, and this will prevent you from registering your business at the address.

BUT, beware as you are about to put your home address on a publically available website, which anyone can view. Your suppliers and customers can turn up unannounced to deal with company business, and you may not particularly want them knocking on your door. You also have to consider what fraudsters could do with this information and there is a consideration of how professional this may appear to your clients.

Looking Online for a Regsitered Office Address provider.


The quickest and effective methos of finding anything in this day and age is via the internet. This can help you wade through the hundreds or thousands of registered office service providers. But just because they are on page 1 of a search engine does not necessarily mean they provide the best service, value for money and reliability. It usually means they have the biggest marketing budet!! For many providers, the registered office service and mail forwarding services are just an "add on" service - they may also be primarily formation agents or accountants, virtual assistants or business centres.

Things you should consider are:


How long does it take to they set up your registered office address service?

 

All service providers offering mailbox and registered office services must be licenced with HMRC, to ensure that they are regulated under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLR). This is a legal requirement, and if they operate in London, they must also be approved by the local council/trading standards. Beware of providers that just take your money without checking who you are first. All providers need to identify who they are doing business with and should be asking for identification of you and the Directors and proof of address. They should have a MLR number and certificate.

Does the company actually own the premises they are trading from. 

This is important because of the implications for you and your business if the company providing the registered office address gets into financial trouble or the offices they are renting are no longer available. Find out how long their lease is, how long they have been trading etc.

Are you paying for a premium registered office address?


There are many providers all over the country, your choice of provider may be based on your location or the impression you want to portray to your clients. Obviously, if you want to give the impression you are based in Mayfair or in the City of London then you will find that the prices are higher.

I-Support does try to keep its prices sensible, our London address price is £39 a year, compared to £35 for outside London. You will find many providers at £100+ a year.

The actual location of your registered office address may not necessarily be that important to your business, if you are targeting the whole of the UK or an international marketplace. In that case, you may just want a local registered office address provider just around the corner where you can pick up your mail or have your mail forwarded.

 

Do they forward your registered office mail on the same day

 

Some registered office service providers send your mail weekly or not at all!! We can offer same day or a scan and email service. Are they flexible enough to be able to scan all your mail, or perhaps the one important item you were expecting? Are they prepared to do that little bit extra for you and your business?
 

Do they charge for changing the forwarding address?

 

Do they repackage it into a new envelope and forward it? 

 

Some of the "cheap" registered office service providers just stick a new label on the front and put it back in the post. There isn’t a guarantee that these will arrive on time or at all.

Do they record what mail they have sent out and when it was sent?

 

We record all mail that has been sent, and how it was sent, along with the date. We aren't able to record who it was from, as we do not open your mail, but we can let you know when items were sent out and expected to be delivered.


How accessible are they, are you able to speak to someone on the phone or via email if you have a query? 
 

Before you sign up with any provider, give them a call, or drop them an email. See how quickly they respond to your enquiry and are they knowledgeable about thier services. 


What happens at renewal of your registered office address service?

 

To save you time and inconvenience many companies automatically renew your service every year – probably using the card details you provided on sign up.

But, what if you don’t want to renew, have they left you enough time to find an alternative.

I-Support finds it is always best to notify clients around a month in advance, with a few gentle reminders with a week or a day to go. You can then make their own minds up, with plenty of time should they wish to cancel their services with us.

For many, it is just an address so you can receive your mail from Companies House and HMRC, but if you spend the time to get the right registered office address provider upfront this will ensure that you get all the important mail and you will be with them for many years.

If you have any questions about our virtual offices or want to discuss your options please do not hesitate to contact us.