Company Formation

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Changes in the law for registered office addresses
 

Within the UK all limited companies need to provide a UK address that is declared as the legal registered office address. It is often the case that people are not aware of their legal obligations when submitting this information. Due to recent amendments in legislation all registered limited companies now have to meet the basic requirements or face penalties.

All UK limited companies are required to have a UK registered office address. The address must be provided with your company formation details. It is this address to which Companies House letters and reminders will be sent. HM Revenue and Customs, the UK tax authority, will also contact the company through this address. The registered office address can be anywhere within the UK, however, Scottish registered companies have to be registered to a Scottish address. The address cannot be a post office and needs to be a genuine physical location.

It has always been a legal requirement to display the company name at the registered office address. This is often done using a company name plate. In addition it should also be displayed clearly on company stationery and official paperwork. This should include the following documents-

Official company business letters,
Company notices and other official publications,
Bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the company
Bills of parcels, invoices, receipts, letters of credit.

Following the introduction of the Companies Act 2006 it is now also a legal requirement to display your company’s registered office address on any electronic communications and on your company websites. In addition to this if you have a separate trading address that is different to the registered office address then this should be made clear to avoid any confusion for your website visitors. The new laws also require that your registered office address and company details are recorded on your email correspondence.

The latest legislation requires that the following information is shown-

The company’s place of registration and the number with which it is registered,
The address of its registered office,
In the case of an investment company, the fact that it is such a company, and
In the case of a limited company exempt from the obligation to use the word "limited" as part of its name, the fact that it is a limited company should be clearly stated.

Simply having a registered office address now goes beyond just displaying your company name at your business location. To date there are no test cases to show what will happen if you do not adhere to the Companies Act 2006, but do you want to be the first? Make sure your company is up to date with the latest legislation to avoid being reported to Companies House.

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