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. Service addresses are displayed on public record at Companies House. The service address of each individual will be the contact/mailing address where he or she receives official correspondence and legal notices from Companies House, HMRC, the courts, and also any other government agencies who may need to make contact.
- Do I need a service address?
- What type of address can I use as a service address?
- I rent my home. Can I use it as a service address?
- Does my service address need to be in the UK?
- Is a service address the same as a registered office?
- Why is my service address available to the public?
- How to change a service address
Do I need a service address?
If you are a company director, secretary, subscriber, person with significant controls (PSC) or LLP member, you are legally required to have a service address to enable the delivery of official government mail from Companies House, HMRC and other official bodies in relation to your role in the company. You must provide this information when you join the company or LLP, either when it is set up or at some point after incorporation.
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 shareholders and guarantors 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 have permission from the owner (if that’s not you) 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 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 non-residential address will enable you to protect the privacy of you and your family. Which can help you avoid unsolicited marketing mail being delivered to your home, and create a more 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 the 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 registered office 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, subscribers, person with significant control in a company, and a 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 for 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 as your service address and registered office. You must also supply this information separately on your company formation application and any other forms which request these details.
If you decide to purchase professional service addresses and 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 also be viewed online by anyone. By disclosing company details online, it then enables government agencies, members of the public, and other businesses 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 their records and the public register is updated accordingly. This will ensure that your important government mail can continue to be delivered the correct location.
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. Alternatively, you can also update the confirmation statement early. It’s free of charge to update the statement in between annual filing deadlines. Meaning you may as well make the changes when they occur to ensure your company record is accurate and up to date.
Online filing is also 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 Company Manager facility.
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 member of LLPs. The will be 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 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, free of charge.