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.
How are directors’ addresses changed at Companies House?
You also need to bear in mind that these addresses are not static – both can be changed at Companies House.
Indeed, if you move house and change your usual residential address, you have to submit the form CH01 to Companies House within 14 days to update your director’s home address. If you’re also listed as a PSC, you’ll also need to file the form PSC04 within 28 days to change the home address.
You can also change your correspondence address at any time using the same forms. It’s really important that you keep your addresses up to date and current at Companies House.
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 that will provide an external correspondence address for company directors.
1st Formations provides a service address that 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 a correspondence address be removed from the public register?
So, let’s just say you no longer want your home address listed as your correspondence address. The only problem is – it has already been reported to Companies House, so it’s publicly visible.
You could change your correspondence address using the CH01 form (as well as the PSC04 form, if applicable) that we discussed earlier. But this only solves part of the problem as these forms update your current correspondence address listed on Companies House, but your home address will still appear publicly in your company’s filing history.
So where does that leave you – can you ask Companies House to remove your correspondence address from the public register?
The good news is yes! Under section 1088 of the Companies Act 2006, if company directors use their home 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 that 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 for every document where you need this removing.
So there you have it
We’ve looked at the two addresses each director must provide to Companies House, what they’re used for, as well as some of the privacy considerations you may want to take into account. We have also discussed how to change and update your addresses with Companies House, to make sure your obligations are always fulfilled.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below, and we will get straight back to you.