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What's the difference between each type of company address

What's the difference between each type of company address
Find out the differences and meanings of a company's registered address, business address, trading address and service address.
Starting a company can be a complicated process. If there isn’t enough stress around incorporating a company, which has been made easier by our Forming a company in the UK to start a business , there is often a lot of confusion on the different types of addresses a company has leaving business owners baffled and asking many questions.

What is the function of each address?
What addresses do I need for my business?
Where do I register my addresses?

Hopefully by the end of this article you will have all the answers that you are looking for.

What is a Registered Address?

Under the Companies Act 2006 it is a legal requirement for any entity registered with Companies House to have a registered address therefore an individual going through the company formation process is legally required to have a registered address for their business.

The address must be a physical address in the UK and it needs to be in the same country your company is registered in. Another rule about registered addresses is that a company can only have one registered address at any point in time.

A registered address is where all important government documents relating to the company are sent, these documents are primarily from HMRC and Companies House but mail can also come from other government agencies such as the Financial Conduct Authority or the Department of Work & Pensions. It is the company's responsibility to check the post at this address regularly for any government correspondence sent there.

Further information about the Companies House Registry can be found through their Your personal information on the Companies House register  article.

What is the difference between a Business Address & Trading Address?

If all of these addresses aren’t confusing enough there is actually no difference between a ‘business address’ and a ‘trading address’. Both the terms are interchangeable and have the same meaning. For the purpose of this article, we will refer to it as a business address.

A business address can be the same as a company’s registered address but it can also be a different location. A business address is the physical address that a business will conduct its day-to-day activities and communications from, for example, Dunelm’s registered address is in Leicester but Dunelm has around 180 stores across the UK, these stores are its business (or trading) addresses.

A business address does not need to be public information, but it may be in your businesses interests for it to be. If your business uses retail premises to sell its services or products having your business address in the public domain will be beneficial to your company as it brings more eyes to your business and it turn an increase in footfall into your business.

However, for those who conduct their businesses from their homes, using your private residential address as a business address has a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, it will reduce your privacy as your home address is available for those using your business to see. Secondly, it may look unprofessional to customers if your business address is in a residential area as this may portray your business to have less credibility and authority – not any fault of your own, but only because of prejudgment held by the public.

What is a Service Address?

A service address is an official mailing address that is legally required to be disclosed by all company directors. Therefore, if you are chosen to be a part of a limited company whether this is during or after registration the directors address information is put onto the public record. Here is where all directors get their personal mail as well as authorised notices from HMRC and Companies House.

Unlike a registered address a director’s service addresses can be anywhere across the globe as long as it is a physical address. They can also use either a residential or non-residential address, this can include a company’s registered office, assuming the full address has been provided.

Directors are not expected to operate out of their service address, nor are they required to visit them. A service address is simply needed for the sole purpose of receiving individual mail. This allows company directors to have their business mail sent to the registered address of the company that is found on the Companies House website.

Some directors opt for the option to buy a certified service address from Company formation agents. A list of company formation agent can be found here Company formation agents and secretarial agents . Once the director made a purchase of the address through the company formation agent, the address is placed on the public record as an official address of the director. From here every piece of business mail is then sent to this address and forwarded to the director to an address of their choice.

Hopefully this article has given you the information that you were looking for or answered any questions that you may have had.

This article is information only and has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute legal, accounting, tax, investment or other professional advice or services. You should not act upon the information contained in this article without obtaining specific professional or legal advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this article, and, to the extent permitted by law, Comdal Limited, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.

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