The legal requirement to keep a register of directors applies to all companies, including private companies limited by shares or guarantee. This statutory register should contain a variety of details about every director, past, and present, and it will normally be stored at the company’s registered office address.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the register of directors, outlining the information you need to record, where to store the register, and who has access to this information.
The register of directors – what details do I need to keep?
As per the Companies Act 2006, you must record the following particulars (details) of every director in your statutory register of directors:
- forename and surname
- any former names by which they were known for businesses purposes within the past 20 years
- a service address
- the country or state (or part of the UK) where they usually reside
- business occupation (if any)
- date of birth
- the date they were appointed as a director of the company
- the date they ceased to be a director of the company (where applicable)
If you appoint a corporate body (as opposed to an individual) as one of your directors, you will need to record the following particulars instead:
- official registered name of the corporate body
- registered office address of the corporate body – this will act as the service address
- (UK firms) company registration number
- (non-UK firms) the legal form of the company/firm and the law by which it’s governed, and
- (if applicable) the register in which it is entered (including details of the state) and its registration number in that register
- date of appointment as a director
- date on which it ceased to be a director (where applicable)
You must also send this information to Companies House when you appoint a director or change the registered details of an existing director. Companies House will enter these details on the public register of companies, which can be viewed free of charge online.
Register of directors’ residential addresses
Companies must also keep details of every director’s home address, but this information is recorded in a separate register – the register of directors’ residential addresses.
When a director’s residential address is the same as the service address stated in the register of directors, you only need to provide an entry to that effect (i.e. ‘Same as service address’) in the register of directors’ residential addresses.
However, this does not apply if their service address is stated as ‘The company’s registered office’ in the register of directors. In such instances, you must enter the address details again.
Are directors’ details made public?
This information entered in the register of directors must also be recorded at Companies House. Most of these details are then displayed on the public register of companies.
For reasons of security and privacy, the following details are not made available to the public:
- the day element of a director’s date of birth, and
- their residential address, unless it has been provided as a service address or registered office
The register of companies can be viewed online free of charge. Everyone has access to this, including members of the general public, other businesses, and credit reference agencies.
Keeping the register of directors up to date
Company directors are responsible for ensuring that all applicable statutory registers, including the register of directors, are correct and up to date on any given day.
The first entries in the register of directors must be made as soon as possible after company formation. Thereafter, you will need to update the register accordingly when:
- new directors are appointed or removed
- an existing director changes their name, service address, or other registered details
- amending incorrect details entered in the register
Maintaining up-to-date company registers is a legal requirement, yet many companies are either unaware or simply overlook this important duty. Failure to adhere to this requirement is an offence, which can result in fines being imposed on the company and its directors.
Moreover, anyone can request to inspect a company’s registers, including shareholders and members of the public. If any registers are found to be missing, inaccurate, or out of date, more general questions regarding the company’s management and credibility may arise.
Tell Companies House about changes to your register of directors
You must tell Companies House of any new entries or changes within 14 days, ensuring that the public register of companies is kept up to date.
Additionally, you must confirm the accuracy of the information held at Companies House at least once every year when you file a confirmation statement.
You can report changes to Companies House online via WebFiling or by post. Alternatively, you can use 1st Formations’ free Online Company Manager to view and update your important company details.
Where to store your register of directors
Most companies store their statutory registers at their registered office address, either in hard copy or electronic form (or sometimes both).
In addition to the registers of directors and directors’ residential addresses, companies must keep the following registers (where applicable):
- register of members
- register of company secretaries
- register of people with significant control
If the registered office is not appropriate or convenient for storage and inspection purposes, you can keep your company registers at a single alternative inspection location (SAIL address). Private companies also have the option of storing statutory registers electronically at Companies House.
Who can inspect the register of directors?
Anyone, including members of the general public, can make a request to inspect and make copies of your company registers.
If you elect to keep your registers electronically at Companies House, they are made available for inspection online. However, if you keep your company registers at your registered office or SAIL address, you are legally required to provide access every working day between 9am-3pm.
Shareholders and guarantors (members) are permitted to inspect the company’s registers free of charge. Members of the public must make a formal inspection request for a specified time. A prescribed fee may also be applied.
Companies should normally be given notice of at least 10 working days of any inspection date. However, if the proposed date of inspection coincides with the notice period of a general meeting or a written members’ resolution, a notice period of just 2 working days is required.
If you receive an inspection request, you must respond within 5 working days and accommodate the request if the inspection is sought for a ‘proper purpose’. Alternatively, you can apply to the court for relief from the obligation if you believe the inspection is for an improper purpose.
Thanks for reading
So there you have it. We’ve explored the statutory register of directors in detail, outlining the information you need to record, where to store your registers, and what details are made available to the public.
Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of the register of directors – and why it’s so important to keep all of your statutory registers up to date.
If you have any questions or need help with any aspect of setting up or running a limited company, please contact us or leave a comment below.