Explore New UK Company Law on Office Addresses

Explore New UK Company Law on Office Addresses

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act is all set to transform the UK’s business landscape and enhance transparency. The act introduces changes to alleviate economic crime and establish trust. The most significant transitions made through the act are changes in registered office addresses. This article will further discuss these changes and explain their importance for UK businesses.


What are These Changes?

Maintaining a proper registered office address is essential. It serves as the official point of contact for Companies House and HMRC and establishes the legitimacy of the business.

Additionally, this address delivers all critical documents, such as legal notices, tax information, shareholder communications, etc. Any discrepancy in the address may lead to delayed responses, miscommunications, and legal consequences.  

Moreover, having an appropriate physical address helps build trust among the stakeholders. It also clearly denotes a commitment to complying with the regulations.


New Rules For Registered Office Addresses

The ECCT Act 2023 has introduced crucial changes in registered office addresses. According to these rules, the addresses must fulfil the following legal requirements:


  1. Same Jurisdiction as the Company: Under UK company law, the registered office address must be in the same area as where the company is registered. This address is not just a logistical detail. It signifies the legal rules that apply to the company.
  1. Physical Address Mandatory: Earlier, PO boxes were sufficient for address purposes. The change mandates that any company with a registered office address should have a physical location in the UK region. This is primarily designed to ensure the appropriate delivery of documents to the concerned people.
  1. Ease of Change When in the Same Jurisdiction: You can change the address to another one within the same UK region at any time while your business is operational. To update the address with Companies House, submit form AD01 or use your WebFiling account. If the new address meets the guidelines, the change will be approved. The public record will be updated within 24 hours.
  1. Publicly Available Through Companies House: The registered office address in the UK is publicly available through the Companies House Search Service. Therefore, using a home address is not always advised if you want to maintain privacy and security.
  1. Residential Property as Registered Office Address: If privacy and security are not an issue, you can use your home address. However, if the property is not yours, you will need the landlord’s permission to receive mail. Other addresses that can be used include:
  • Virtual office address
  • A company formation agent’s address
  • A secretarial service provider’s address
  • The solicitor’s address
  • The commercial property where the business is located
  • Any residential or non-residential address you are allowed to use
  1. Communication and Accessibility: It is made clear that the address should be a place where the post is received by someone acting on behalf of the company. This enables seamless communication and reduces missed notifications. Businesses that fail to adhere to this requirement can be removed from the register.


Registered Addresses Required During Company Formation

Besides the registered company address, businesses are also required to provide the following addresses at the time of company formation:

  1. SAIL Address (Single Alternative Inspection Location): This is an optional address where a company keeps its statutory registers.
  2. Director Service Address: Each director must provide this address to receive mail related to their role as a company director.
  3. Trading or Business Address: This is used for business mail from suppliers, clients, and banks.
  4. Residential Address: Company officers must provide their home addresses, which are not available to the public.



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