If a company is using an address as its registered office without the necessary authorisation, Companies House has the power to change the company’s registered office to what is known as the ‘Companies House default address’. In this post, we tackle your questions about the default address. Let’s get started.
What is the Companies House default address?
It’s the address that Companies House uses if they decide that a company’s existing registered office address is being used without the appropriate approval.
The default address is: PO Box 4385, [Company number]: Companies House default address, Cardiff, CF14 8LH
Under what circumstances is the default address used?
If a person or business believes that their address is being used as a registered office address without their permission, they can file an RP07: Application to change a company’s registered office address form alongside any supporting evidence.
For example, the tenant of a rented property is using their rented address as a registered office address without seeking approval from the landlord. The landlord finds out and files the RP07.
Companies House will review the application and consider whether the claim is legitimate. If they decide that it is, they will inform the company of the application. The company then has 28 days to contest the application – if they fail to do this (or their argument is insufficient), Companies House will change the registered office to the default address.
Can a company change the registered office from the default address to another address?
It is possible for a company to update the registered office back to a regular address. To do this, the company must file an AD01: Change of registered office address form. This is available on paper only, as the online version is not an option in this instance. Companies House may also require the following (as specified in the ‘Registrar’s rules and powers’):
- documentation (such as a leasehold or freehold agreement) proving proprietary rights in the address of the registered office for the company or a group company
- a written agreement entitling the company to use the address as its registered office
- a utility bill addressed to the company or a group company at the address of the registered office in the last 6 months
- any other information or documents that satisfy the registrar that the company is authorised to use the proposed address as its registered office address.
Can a company operate indefinitely with the default address?
Continuing to trade with the default address is not an option. Companies House stipulates that the default address should be updated ‘to an address which it’s [the company] authorised to use’ after 28 days.
Even if this timeframe wasn’t in place, continuing to trade with the default address is impractical.
The reputational damage done to a company that’s using the default address can’t be underestimated. Investors, suppliers, partners, and customers are unlikely to want to work with a company that has the black mark of a default address set against it.
Also, whilst Companies House will allow the collection of mail that has been delivered to the default address, this requires pre-planning via email correspondence with Companies House and a visit to Cardiff.
Is the Companies House default address published on the public register?
The fact that a company has the default address as its registered office is published on the Companies House public register.
To demonstrate this, if you visit the ‘advanced company seach’ tool, choose the ‘Registered office address’ option and enter ‘CF14 8LH’, you will be presented with every company that currently has the default address in place.
Even if a company updates the registered office from the default address, the previous use of the default address will always be publically available.
What should I do if an RP07 has been filed against my company?
If you have been notified that your use of an address as a registered office has been questioned, you need to act quickly.
In instances of a genuine misunderstanding, you should contact the person who has made the application (this information is made available to you). They may agree to let you continue using the address and withdraw their application. If they do not, you should change the registered office address to an alternative address (that you have permission to use) as soon as possible to avoid the default address being applied.
If you feel that you are within your rights to use the address as a registered office, you should send Companies House evidence that you are permitted to use the address.
You will then have to wait on Companies House’s decision.
Why has 1st Formations filed an RP07 against my company?
Our Registered Office Address Service allows companies to use our London address as their registered office. The service is priced at £39.00 per year.
If a customer is using our address as their company’s registered office but has not renewed the service, we will send multiple email reminders requesting payment. If the customer fails to make payment or change the registered office address after these reminders, we regrettably may have to file the RP07 form.
If this has happened to you and you would like to discuss the matter further, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for reading
We hope this post has answered all of your questions about the Companies House default address. If you have a question that has not been covered, please leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help.