There are various addresses that need to be submitted to the registrar of companies when a company is formed. But some of these addresses can change during the lifetime of the business. So how can you update Companies House with a change of address?
In this blog, we will explain some of the different addresses which are held by Companies House and how to change these. We will also consider the value of changing your address for reasons of privacy.
Which addresses might need to be changed at Companies House?
Before we explain how a Companies House change of address works, let’s first highlight the types of address relating to companies that are held by the registrar:
Registered office address
A registered office address is essentially the official address of a limited company. It is used to register a company at Companies House.
In addition, the registered office address should be used in any official company documents and correspondence, displayed on all company stationery, email footers, and websites. The registered office address is displayed on the public register. If the registered office address changes, Companies House must be informed within 14 days.
Company directors’ correspondence address
The correspondence address of each company director is also held on the public register. A correspondence address is also known as a service address and is regulated by section 1140 of the Companies Act 2006.
If a company director’s service address changes, this change of address must be updated at Companies House.
Directors’ home address
As well as their correspondence addresses, each company director must submit their full home address to be held by Companies House. These home addresses are only held for official purposes and are therefore not viewable by the general public.
If a director’s home address changes, Companies House must be informed ASAP so that it can update its records.
Some companies choose to use a single alternative inspection location (SAIL) address in addition to a registered office address.
A SAIL address is used for purposes of public inspection of statutory records if a company wants to keep this location separate from their registered office address. SAIL addresses are kept on the public register.
How does a Companies House change of address work?
It is very simple to change any of the relevant addresses related to a company. This can be done by logging in to the Companies House website and following these steps:
- Find your company using the search function.
- Click on the “file for this company” tab and follow the instructions to change your address.
- Enter your new building name or number and postcode. The new address can be found in the postal address database, or it can be entered manually.
- Submit your changes.
An email notification will be received within a few minutes and the change of address will be registered at Companies House.
It is also possible to use the free client admin portal through Quality Company Formations to change your address at Companies House.
There are also paper forms available for anyone who wants to submit a change of address by post – but these take longer to process:
- Change of director’s correspondence or home address (CH01)
- Change of registered office address (AD01)
In addition to registering the change of address at Companies House, any relevant statutory company registers should also be updated accordingly.
What are the rules for changing a registered office address?
A company is required to complete a Companies House change of address within 14 days in respect of a change to a registered office address.
The new registered office address must be in the same part of the UK that the company was incorporated: England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. Changing a registered office address from one jurisdiction to another is not permitted.
The new registered office address must be a physical address and not a PO Box. A PO Box address can only be used if the full geographic address, including the postcode, is also submitted.
It is important to note that a document can be validly served on the company at its previous registered office for 14 days from the date that a change of registered office is registered with Companies House.
The new registered office address should be reflected in any company stationery, email footers, and websites. Clients and any other relevant parties should also be informed.
Should you change your address at Companies House for privacy?
The registered office address and the directors’ service addresses are available on the public register, so they can be viewed by anyone.
Sometimes when a company is initially formed, these addresses will all be the home address of one of the company directors. Later on, they might decide they want to change their address with Companies House for purposes of privacy so that their home address is removed from the public register. Depending on the nature of the business, it will often be a good idea to keep residential home addresses off the public register.
But in the case of a sole director who works from home, they will often not have dedicated commercial business premises which they can use for purposes of a registered office address or service address. In this scenario, the solution is to use a professional address service, where a third party such as a company formations agent, provides a valid geographical address for use by a company and/or its directors.
Quality Company Formations offers the following professional address services:
- Registered office address service – companies that do not have a commercial office can use our registered office address service. This address can be used as the official registered office address. We will scan and email all official government mail to you, free of charge.
- Directors’ service address – company directors who would otherwise need to use their home address as their correspondence address, can use our service address product. This can be used as the director’s statutory correspondence address for the receipt of official government mail. We will scan and email all official government mail to you, free of charge.
Once you have registered for a professional address with Quality Company Formations, you will then be able to complete a Companies House change of address, using the new commercial address.