Company directors are required to provide both a correspondence address and their home address when registering a limited company. We will consider the purposes of these directors’ addresses and some of the related privacy concerns.
Which directors’ addresses need to be filed with Companies House?
Home address: The full home address of each and every company director must be provided to Companies House. Also known as their ‘usual residential address’, these directors’ addresses are stored on a private register. They are not visible to the general public.
Correspondence address: In addition to disclosing their residential address, company directors must also provide a correspondence address. Also known as a ‘service address’, these directors’ addresses are stored on the public register of companies. As such, service addresses can be viewed by the general public.
How are these directors’ addresses used?
The home address is primarily used for purposes of credit reference agencies and specified public authorities such as the police. The disclosure of a director’s home address is regulated by the Companies (Disclosure of Address) Regulations 2009.
The correspondence address is used for purposes of any official correspondence relating to the role of a company director, such as formal letters from Companies House or HMRC.
Can a director’s home address and correspondence address be the same?
A company director can use their home address as their correspondence address. A correspondence address does not need to be a commercial office-based address. However, there are good reasons to keep the correspondence address separate from the home address (see below re- privacy concerns).
On the other hand, a home address cannot be a commercial office address. Home addresses must be the usual residential address of the director.
What are the privacy concerns surrounding directors’ addresses?
Many company directors working from home will use their residential address as their correspondence address. The problem with doing so is that the correspondence address appears on the public register of companies.
As such, disgruntled consumers or activists will have the home address of the company director. In certain circumstances this can pose a nuisance or even a danger to the director and their family members who reside at the same address.
It is therefore advisable that company directors always use a different correspondence address to their home address. If they do not have a commercial office location, there are various professional address services which will provide an external correspondence address for company directors.
1st Formations provides a service address which can be used by company directors, company secretaries and PSCs for an annual cost of £26.00 plus VAT. This address will appear on the public register, ensuring that the home addresses of directors remain private. All official government mail will be scanned and emailed to the director on a daily basis, free of charge.
Can I ask Companies House to remove my correspondence address from the public register?
Under section 1088 of the Companies Act 2006, if company directors use their home address as their service address, they are able to request this is removed from the public register of companies. However, they still need to provide an alternative correspondence address which will appear on the public register.
You can use form SR01 to apply to remove your home address, or part of it, from the public Companies House register, at a cost of £32.00.
Are there any other addresses which need to be provided by company directors?
Aside from their home address and service address, company directors are required to provide a registered office address. The registered office address is the official address of a limited company.
As with a correspondence address, a registered office address can also be the home address of a company director. And as with the correspondence address, a registered office address is published on the public register of companies and is viewable by the general public. But unlike a correspondence address, a home address which was initially submitted as the registered office address cannot be removed from the public register*.
A company can also choose to use a single alternative inspection location (SAIL) address, where it holds some of its company records for inspection. As with registered office addresses, SAIL addresses are on the public register and cannot be removed.
* Under the corporate transparency and registry reform consultation, the government is considering allowing home addresses used as registered office addresses to be removed from the public register.