The registered office addresses of all companies incorporated in the UK are listed and easily searchable on Companies House Service, a public register that is available online. It is also a legal requirement to display registered office details on company stationery and websites.
Designed to provide greater transparency and protect the general public from illegitimate companies, these disclosure requirements are one of the trade-offs that companies make to provide their owners with limited liability for business debts.
Finding the registered office address of a company
Companies House Service is the first place you should look to check a company’s registered address. Government bodies such as Companies House and HMRC use the information listed here to send statutory letters to the company at its registered office.
To find the registered address you are looking for, enter the company name on the ‘Search the register’ page of Companies House Service. The registered office address of that company will appear under the company’s name.
If you click the company name, you will also be able to find other publicly available information about the company, including:
- Name and service address of each director
- Name of every shareholder
- Filed company accounts
- Confirmation statements
- Business activities
If you want to see every registered office address that a company has used since its date of incorporation, select ‘Filing History’ within the company’s listing on Companies House Service. This will show you each change of registered office, including details of the previous addresses and when they were changed.
Legal requirements regarding the registered office address
The Companies Act 2006 stipulates that every company incorporated in the UK has to maintain a registered office address in the legal jurisdiction in which the company is registered (England and Wales, Wales only, Scotland, or Northern Ireland).
The rules on where to display registered office addresses are set out in the Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Regulations 2015. Letterheads and other stationery, such as invoices and order forms, as well as company websites, must include registered office details.
Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness and enforcement of these requirements, not all companies abide by the rules on displaying registered office addresses.
Do not confuse different types of company addresses
It is not uncommon for companies to have many different addresses. For example, business and trading addresses (i.e. where the company actually operates from) are often not the same as the company’s registered office address. There is no legal requirement for a business address to be listed on public record.
The registered office address of a company may also not be the same as the owner’s residential address or the director’s service address.
Service providers such as Quality Company Formations offer various types of company addresses, including registered offices, service addresses, and business/trading addresses, allowing the use of their own commercial addresses for such purposes. This provides personal privacy to company directors and shareholders, whilst also strengthening the professional image of the business.