Service address vs registered address

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A service address and a registered address are entirely different with separate purposes and requirements.

A service address is the requirement of all company directors, subscribers, company secretaries, members of LLP and PSCs ("people with significant control" of a company). It acts as the official contact address of individuals where they receive official government mail from UK governing agencies, like HMRC and Companies House.

On the other hand, a registered office is defined as the official address for the company or LLP. It acts as the official contact address for delivering official government mail by post or hand and for the public inspection of the firm's registers.

Service address:

  • A service address must be submitted to Companies House and maintained at all times by the following individuals:
  1. Directors of a limited company
  2. LLP members
  3. Company secretaries
  4. Shareholders holding more than 25% of the company's shares or voting rights.
  5. Any other person or legal entity with significant control (they are known as People with Significant Control or PSCs).
  • It refers to the official contact address where the above-mentioned entities obtain official mail and correspondence from UK governing agencies (Such as Companies House and HMRC) about their position in the company and LLP.
  • The address details will be shown on the public register by the Companies House.
  • It can be located anywhere in the world as it does not have to be in the UK.
  • Contact details are available to all members of the public.
  • It may be a residential or non-residential address.
  • It can be the same address as the registered office (the service address can also be connected to your registered office so that it will change automatically if the latter is moved).
  • Many people prefer to use an address that is not their place of residence because of the public nature of this information. Using an alternative allows individuals to protect the privacy of their homes from unwanted visitors and unsolicited mail.
  • The address can be changed at any time.
  • Companies House must be informed of any change in the address.

The original shareholders or guarantors (i.e. subscribers) of a company who become members of the business are also required to provide a service address on incorporation.

Do you need to have your service address in the UK?

Yes, your service address can be in any country and you can change it whenever you want.

Can you use your registered office as your service address?

Yes, you can use the same address as your registered office and service address.

Registered office address:

A registered office address is the official contact address of a private limited company or LLP.

  • It must be based in the same UK address in which the company or LLP has been registered.
  • Details of the registered office will be disclosed on Companies House's central public register and will remain there indefinitely, even if your company is dissolved.
  • A registered office's main purpose is to accept legislative correspondence and legal notices. These would come from Companies House, HMRC and other government agencies.
  • PO Box number cannot be used as a registered office.
  • A residential address or any other full physical address can be the registered office.
  • A non-residential address is more appropriate for protecting your home's privacy and providing a professional corporate image to your business.
  • The registered office can also be changed whenever you want.
  • Companies House must be immediately notified of any change in the address. HMRC will be automatically notified by Companies House. Therefore, to report the change, there will be no need to contact them separately. Remember that documentation can still be validly obtained at your old address for fourteen days after the change.

Can you move your registered office to a different country?

No, your registered office should always remain in the country where your company is incorporated.

Privacy of residential addresses:

Company directors, subscribers, members of LLP and PSCs are required to provide the details of their residential address during the company formation or appointment process, although this information will only be made available to the public if it is used as a service address or registered office.

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