Limited companies in the UK can only be registered in one of the three Companies House jurisdictions – England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. If your company is registered in Scotland, it will always be a Scottish limited company and it must always maintain a Scottish registered office address.
Fear not, however; you can easily run your company from England (or anywhere else for that matter) and carry on trading as normal. The registered location of your company is a simple technicality that should have little impact on your day-to-day business operations.
If you currently use your home address as your registered office, you should set up a Scottish registered office service with a company formation agent. This will allow you to have all statutory mail forwarded to England when you move. You can change your service address to a more suitable location in England, if required, and you should also consider setting up a business address in England to establish a local business presence in your new area. This would be a great way to attract new clients.
What to do and who to inform
- Set up a registered office service in Scotland if you currently use your home address for this purpose. Official government mail, from agencies such as Companies House and HMRC, will be delivered to this address in the first instance, and then forwarded to your new address in England. You must inform Companies House as soon as possible to ensure all statutory mail is sent to your new registered office (note a resolution of the board of directors is required to change a registered office). The public register will also be updated accordingly.
- Change your service address to your new home address in England, or purchase a service address in England and have mail forwarded from there. However, if you currently use a non-residential service address with mail-forwarding, you can simply keep this arrangement in place. Unlike registered office requirements, service addresses can be located anywhere in the world. You must inform Companies House as soon as possible if you change your service address. The public register will also be updated accordingly.
- Directors must update their ‘usual residential address’ details with Companies House. This information is not displayed on public record. It is held on a private register that cannot be accessed by the public.
- Contact all existing clients, suppliers, service providers, investors, and any other people you deal with through your business to notify them about your move. Make sure you give them your new contact details and keep them abreast of any changes to your usual services. If you have an existing business address in Scotland, you may wish to keep this in place and have mail forwarded to you in England. This will reduce the number of people you have to contact. If you’re particularly efficient and stealthy, they may never find out you have moved.
- Where relevant, give some thought to service provider contracts, suppliers, manufacturing costs, delivery costs etc – you will have to cancel service provider contracts or move your current services to your new location; new suppliers and manufacturers may be required for reasons of practicality and logistics; courier and delivery costs may vary etc., all of these types of things must be taken into consideration well in advance.
Updating company details with Companies House
You can notify Companies House about changes to your various addresses using 1st Formations’ free Online Company Manager. This service is available to all limited companies registered in the UK. Simply create a free account through our website and import your company onto our system. Thereafter, you can access and manage your company details online, from changing your registered office address to filing annual confirmation statements (previously called ‘annual returns’) It’s really rather efficient.