Whenever we receive a letter from a business or whenever we visit their website, the company’s registered address will be there for us to see. You don’t have to choose your home address or your office address as your registered address – in fact, there are good arguments on why you should select your accountant’s address as your company’s registered address.
In this article, An Accounting Gem considers:
- what limited company registered addresses are:
- registered office service providers
- advantages of using your accountant’s office as your company’s registered address
- disadvantages of using your home address as your company’s registered address
Limited company registered addresses
The registered address of a limited company is, for the Government and for HMRC, a limited company’s official address to which letters and other communications can be received by company officials.
A limited company registered address is required under Section 86 of the Companies Act (2006).
A limited company’s registered address is available for any citizen to inspect via the Companies House WebCheck service.
The registered address should also appear on a company’s website, on its marketing materials, on its invoices and other types of order forms, general stationery, email correspondence, and business letterheads. This requirement only applies to active companies – it does not apply to dormant companies.
Some companies may also use a Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL) at which members of the public may inspect a company’s statutory records.
Registered office service providers
Although many shareholding directors list their home or office address as their company’s registered office, many others use a registered office service provider.
Many registered office service providers are company formation agents – firms that help directors incorporate their business at Companies House. If you incorporated your company through an agent, you may well have been offered the opportunity to use their registered address as your own.
Companies must have their registered address in the country in which they were incorporated. For example, if your company was incorporated in England and Wales, your registered address must be within England and Wales.
Advantages of using your accountant’s office as your company’s registered address
A company’s registered addresses can be different from its trading address. If you wish to trade from home but you don’t want official documents or visitors to your home, you may wish to choose your accountant’s address as your registered address.
You may prefer this if you don’t want your home address to be searchable on Companies House. Likewise, with your home address for the details about you as a director on Companies House – you can also choose to make your accountant’s office address your director’s service address.
Many of the documents sent to your registered address from HMRC and Companies House will be official documents like your annual confirmation statement (this tells Companies House who your directors are, what shareholdings in your company they have, and so on).
For HMRC, your registered address will be the address to which they send references, tax codes, penalties, and so on so it would be quicker and easier for you to let your accountant deal with the communication from HMRC on your behalf to save an interruption to the day to day running of your company.
Don’t forget to ask your accountants to register as your “agent” for personal and corporate tax purposes so that your accountant receives direct correspondence about you or your company which they can deal with immediately.
SAIL records can also be kept at your accountant’s address in case a member of the public or a representative of another company or an official agency wishes to inspect your company’s statutory records.
Disadvantages of using your home address as your company’s registered address
In our opinion, there are major and distinct disadvantages to using your home address as your company’s registered address.
Perhaps the most important disadvantage is that, when official documents from HMRC and Companies House arrive, you will have to post them onto or drop them off at your accountant’s so that they can deal with them on your behalf. HMRC and Companies House do send a lot of correspondence so this is a trip you might often be making.
If you have a SAIL registered at your home address too, then others are perfectly within their rights to demand the opportunity to inspect your company’s statutory records within your property.
Another consideration is the image your company will project if it is a home-based business. There is nothing wrong with having a home-based business however some potential clients may worry that your company might not have the ability or the capacity to handle an order they would have considered placing with you.
All that a potential client has to do to discover whether your registered address is a residential address is to copy and paste it into Google. If they do, they will see how much you bought your property for, crime statistics in the local area, and, if they click on the Maps button, they’ll be able to take a virtual walk around your street.
Using Accounting Gem’s office as your limited company’s registered address
To talk with one of our team about whether it’s better for business to use our office as your limited company’s registered address, please get in touch with us on 01473 744 700 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.