When you register a company or limited liability partnership, you must include a service address for each director, secretary, subscriber (shareholder/guarantor), person with significant control (PSC), and LLP member. The nominated address will serve as the individual’s statutory contact address for the delivery of official correspondence and legal notices from Companies House, HMRC, the courts, and other government agencies.
Do I need a service address?
If you are a company director, secretary, subscriber, person with significant control, or LLP member, you are legally required to have a service address to enable the delivery of official government mail in relation to your role in the company. You must provide this information when you join the company or LLP, whether that is during incorporation or afterward.
Shareholders (of companies limited by shares) and guarantors (of companies limited by guarantee) only have to provide a service address to Companies House if they become members during the company registration process or if they are also PSCs in the company. In all other instances, there is no need for members to provide any address information.
What type of address can I use as a service address?
You can use almost any type of address you want. This can include a non-UK address, as long as you are authorised to use it and it is a physical postal address that can be easily accessed during normal business hours and where mail can be signed for when required. PO Box Numbers are therefore unsuitable.
You may use your home address, business premises, the company’s registered office address, your accountant’s or solicitor’s office, or a professional service address, or a virtual office from a company formation agent or address provider.
While you can use your home as this address, it is advisable to use a non-residential address where possible. This is because your service address will be available to the public. A commercial address will enable you to protect your own privacy and that of your family, which can help you avoid unsolicited marketing mail being delivered to your home. It will also create a more credible and impressive professional image.
I rent my home – can I use it as a service address?
Due to the fact that your service address will be a matter of public record, you must seek permission from the owner of the premises before providing it as a service address or using it for any other business-related purpose. Most tenancy agreements include provisions preventing tenants from using their rented premises for such purposes. If you’re in any doubt, you should contact your landlord for confirmation before using your home as a service address.
Does my service address need to be in the UK?
No. Unlike the registered office, service addresses do not need to be in the UK. You can use any address in any country, as long as you have permission to use it and it is a physical postal address where mail can be easily delivered and signed for during normal business hours.
Is a service address the same as a registered office?
No. A service address and a registered office address are two completely different requirements. However, it is common for the same location to be used for both purposes.
- A service address is the official contact address of a company director, secretary, subscriber, PSC, and member of an LLP.
- A registered office address is the official contact address of a limited company or limited liability partnership. This is also the location at which the company’s registers are stored (unless a SAIL address is in use).
If your company or LLP is small, it makes sense to use the same address for your service address and registered office. You must supply this information separately on your company formation application and any other forms that request these details.
If you decide to purchase a professional service address and a registered office service from a company formation agent or another type of address provider, you will have to pay for both services separately. You cannot purchase one type of address service and use it for both purposes.
Why is my service address available to the public?
To ensure corporate transparency in the UK, Companies House also displays important information about limited companies and LLPs on the central public register of companies. This can be inspected online by anyone.
By disclosing company details online, government agencies, members of the public, and other businesses are able to find out information about an incorporated business they may have dealings with and make contact with them at the registered office or service address.
How to change a service address
It’s really easy to change this address. The most important thing to remember is that you must tell Companies House about the change within 14 days to ensure that their records and the public register are updated accordingly. This will also facilitate the successful delivery of your important government mail.
You can change this address online or by using the appropriate paper form from Companies House. The form you use then depends on whose service address you are changing.
- Company director – Form CH01 ‘Change the details of a director’
- Company secretary – Form CH03 – ‘Change the details of a secretary’
- LLP member – Form LL CH01 ‘Change details of a member of a limited liability partnership’
Address details of subscribers and PSCs must be updated on the confirmation statement. You can wait until the next statement is due to change this information, or you can also update the confirmation statement early.
It’s free of charge to update the statement in between annual filing deadlines. This means you may as well make the changes when they occur to ensure that your company record is accurate and up to date.
Online filing is much easier and quicker than using paper forms from Companies House. You can also make changes to the address details and other important company information via WebFiling or Quality Company Formations free online Online Company Manager.
Buy a London Service Address from Quality Company Formations
Quality Company Formations provides a range of addresses for limited companies and LLPs, including a prestigious London Service Address in Covent Garden. This service can be used by company directors, secretaries, shareholders and guarantors, PSCs, and members of LLPs for £26.00+VAT per year.
When you purchase one of our address services, our London address will be placed on public record against the name of the address holder. This will protect your privacy and also ensure that all official government mail is delivered to our London address. We will then scan and email your service address mail to you – within one working day and free of charge.