When you set up a UK limited company certain information is made public on the Companies House register. Some of this information is generic, the sort that you would expect to appear there, such as the company name and company number (more on this shortly).
But the availability of other information may be a little alarming, such as the residential address of your company officers. Here’s what you need to know.
About the Companies House register
One of the key terms associated with the limited company structure, other than ‘limited liability‘, is ‘transparency’.
Because the limited company model is esteemed – and should give an impression of professionalism and security – business owners who start a company must have particular information published on the company register.
Simply put, it’s the price entrepreneurs must pay to be able to use the limited company structure.
Companies House are the UK’s official registrar of companie and you cannot form a company without their approval. You do not, however, have to form your company directly with them – you can use a company formation agent like us instead. As soon as a company is formed, the following information is placed on the freely accessible (online) Companies House register:
- Company name
- Company number
- Registered office address
- Company status (this will be ‘Active’ if the company has only just been formed)
- Company type (for example, ‘Private limited company’)
- Date of incorporation
- The date that the company’s annual accounts and confirmation statement are due
- The date the company’s last annual accounts and confirmation statement were correct up to (this field will be empty if the company has only just been formed)
- The company’s nature of business (defined by SIC Codes)
- Director, person with significant control and secretary information (includes month and year of birth, the date appointed, nationality, occupation, country of residence, and service address – also known as the correspondence address)
- Shareholder and share information including the shareholder address
When a home address will be published on the Companies House register
Therefore, if you use a residential address as any of the below, it will appear on the public register:
- Registered office
- Service address for directors, secretaries and people with significant control
- Shareholder address
Here’s how simple it is for someone to find an address on the register
Using the Companies House search tool, addresses can be located in the following ways:
Registered office address – immediately made available on the search results page and also on the dedicated company page
Director’s service address – appears under ‘Officers’ in the ‘People’ tab, on the dedicated company page
Person with significant control’s service address – appears under ‘Persons with significant control’ in the ‘People’ tab, on the dedicated company page
Shareholder’s address – appears in the ‘Incorporation’ documents, under ‘Filing history’, on the dedicated company page
When a home address won’t be published on the Companies House register
A residential address is required when appointing a director, secretary (an optional officer appointment) and person with significant control. However, whilst you must provide the actual home address for the person in question, this information is only passed on to government and credit reference agencies.
As long as you don’t use a residential address as the registered office, service address, and shareholder address – it will not appear on the Companies House public register.
The risks of a residential address appearing on the public register
There are a number of reasons why you should not have your private address on the public register:
- It makes you vulnerable to unwanted and unexpected visitors
- It makes you vulnerable to company fraud and ID fraud
- If you are using a residential address as your company’s registered office address (the official address for the company), it suggests that your company is small and in some cases – depending on your industry – somewhat amateur
Protect your address with an address service
Any address that you have permission to use can be utilised as the addresses mentioned above – provided that the registered office is in the UK, and that any government mail that arrives at the address is seen by the company officers.
We offer address services that allow you to use our Covent Garden address as the registered office, service address, shareholder address and mailing address – thereby shielding your home address from the public.
At the same time, by using our address services, you can boost the corporate image of your company as your customers, partners and other contacts will see that your business is based in a world-renowned location.
See the below links for more information:
If you’ve not yet formed your company, some of these services are also included as part of our Privacy, Professional, Prestige, All Inclusive, Non-Residents and eSeller limited company formation packages.
There you have it. You should now know when an address is made public on the Companies House register. If you still have any questions, leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help.