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Company Officers

Useful advice, tips and business news.

February 14, 2024
February 15, 2024

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Difference Between Correspondence Address & Residential Address

Looking to register a company? Or appointed to a UK company? Explore the differences between a correspondence address and a residential address

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A company, upon registration, attains a distinct legal identity, necessitating a dedicated correspondence address for directors for legal and official communication.
  • Using a residential address for correspondence or service makes personal information publicly accessible, exposing you to privacy breaches, unsolicited communications, and potential security risks.

In UK company formations, the significance of addresses cannot be overstated. This article explores everything you need to know about a correspondence address, including its importance, benefits, and the process of obtaining one.

What is the legal definition of correspondence address?

Also known as a service address, it is where company officials elect to receive official mail relevant to their role.

Every company official, including —

  • People with significant control
  • Directors
  • Secretary

Are required by law to maintain an address where they’ll receive official communication from agencies like Companies House and HMRC.

Insight

During company formation, directors must provide two addresses: a correspondence address and a residential address. The correspondence address will be disclosed publicly, alongside other company details. However, the residential address remains private unless an individual uses it as their correspondence address.

As you consider getting a correspondence address, please note the following —

  • Your physical presence is not required — No company representative must be at the address.
  • Flexible — You are not required to carry out your business or trading activities at the address, providing the flexibility to select a convenient trading place. 
  • Authorised Acknowledgment — Any designated individual can acknowledge receipt of correspondence on behalf of a company official, streamlining communication processes.

Legal Benefits of a Correspondence Address

Having covered the legal definition of an official correspondence address, here is why it is essential.

  1. Your official post address ties you to a legal jurisdiction — In your role as a company official, your designated address determines the applicable laws and regulations that govern your business and personal affairs associated with your official capacity that will be relevant while assessing your conduct as an officer of your company. 
  2. Provides a privacy cover for security purposes — Since it differs from your residential or business address, it provides privacy protection essential for security purposes. Remember, as a limited company director, your name, nationality, occupation, and service address will be available for public consumption. Therefore, to fulfil your legal obligation to be accessible with a prudent need for confidentiality, consider engaging a director address service
  3. Helps officials enhance their credibility by presenting a professional image — A prestigious central London address creates the impression that officials are seasoned professionals and easily accessible. As such, it enhances the perception of trust and reinforces reliability, contributing significantly to the overall credibility of these officials in their professional capacities.

What is a residential address?

A residence is where you live independently or with your family for at least 183 days a year and is often used for official identification and legal purposes. It connects you to a particular jurisdiction and is usually required for various government processes, legal agreements, and identification documents. 

Legal reasons why a residential address is necessary include —

  • Legal residency requirements — A home address complies with legal residency stipulations requiring a minimum residency period for individuals to enjoy certain rights and obligations. 
  • Taxation — Authorities may use your primary place of residence to determine your tax obligations and eligibility for benefits. For example, if you are a UK resident, you are subject to UK tax on worldwide income and gains. 
  • Legal jurisdiction — Your home address determines the laws and regulations governing your life, including contractual obligations, property rights, and family law matters. 
  • Government services — A valid connection to the UK as a resident determines your eligibility for government services such as education, healthcare, and social services. After the government conducts a census, public planning, budget allocation, and infrastructure development are determined mainly by the number of people living in a particular area and their characteristics.

What is the difference between mailing address and a correspondence address?

The difference between mailing and official addresses depends on the context. In business administration, a correspondence address is where company officials can receive official mail, such as legal notices, government letters, and statutory mail. The address establishes a clear channel for official correspondence to reach the appropriate individuals within the company.

🛈 Quick Reference

A mail address is any place where mail is delivered. It can be a residential location, a business office, a post office box, or any designated place capable of receiving mail. Unlike a correspondence address, which is often selected strategically for official purposes, a post address is a more general term that refers to the physical location where mail can be sent and received.

Can I use a virtual address as a correspondence address?

Yes, and here is why. Despite the term 'virtual,' a virtual address is a tangible, real-world street address. It doesn't imply non-existence but reflects its flexibility and ability to manage or access your correspondence through digital platforms. A virtual address operates physically, providing a genuine location for correspondence needs. The service is inclusive of mail forwarding.

How to Change a Correspondence Address With Companies House

You can change a correspondence address with Companies House online or by post. Log into WebFiling with your email address and password for the online option. 

Alternatively, you can amend the correspondence address of your company officials by post using the following forms —  

FAQs

What is the difference between registered office address and service address?

The main difference between the registered office address and the service address is in their functions and requirements. A registered office address is the official point of contact between the government and the company, while the service address is specific to company officials. Both are required as part of a company formation application with Companies House and are published in the public register. 

What is the difference between a Correspondence Address and a residential Address?

A Correspondence Address is typically designated for receiving official, business-related mail and communication from government agencies.  It serves as a point of contact between the government and the officials of a company. On the other hand, a residential address refers to the place where an individual resides or lives. It is a personal address associated with one's home and is often used for various purposes, including official documentation, personal correspondence, and legal records.

Warning

If you use your residential address as your correspondence or service address with Companies House, it's essential to know that this information will be publicly available. Such exposure may open you up to potential privacy concerns and unsolicited communications.

What's the difference between a correspondence address & a permanent address?

As the name suggests, a residential or permanent address is where you live for at least 183 days a year. On the other hand, a correspondence address does not have to be a habitable space; any location that can handle and receive your mail can be a correspondence address. 

Can I use a correspondence address for both personal and business needs?

Yes. You can use a correspondence address for both personal and business needs. It's important to note that the director's address, referred to as the service address, will be publicly available. To maintain privacy, it's advisable not to use your home address. Nonetheless, you can utilise the same address to receive personal and business-related correspondence.

About Our Service

We often encourage businesses and individuals not to perceive an address as a mere logistical detail. It has far-reaching consequences, and it is prudent to sit down with a solicitor to help you select an address that strategically aligns with you from a legal and operational perspective.

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Please note that you can use our Directors Service Address facility as a correspondence address for any of your Company officials

December 3, 2016
April 8, 2024

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Register & Thrive: UK Company Formation Made Simple

Seeking to register your company in the UK? Get the latest insights for successful UK company formation with Companies House.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A sole trader is the simplest form of a UK business structure. It suits mostly freelancers and solo entrepreneurs who prefer autonomy and direct control over their business operations and decisions.
  • Individuals in an LLP are not required to file a company tax return. However, untaxed profits are distributed, and the members pay via self assessment returns.
  • To register a company in the United Kingdom requires at least one director and shareholder to become a separate legal entity with distinct rights.
  • A UK-resident company is registered in the UK and is liable to pay UK tax. It does not require a UK resident director but must be registered at Companies House to a UK address.

Whether you live in the UK or are a foreigner seeking to do business in the UK without living here, there are various ways to set up a company and make yourself official. Fortunately, you can form a new company in less than one working day. Determine your goals and the appropriate company structure to get started. 

How to Register a Company in the UK (Company Structure and Formation Guide)

There are three basic formats a UK company registration can take – 

  • Sole trader;
  • UK limited company formation, which includes -
    • Private & Public Limited Companies (LTD & PLC);
    • Limited by Guarantee Company (CLG);
    • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP);
  • General Partnerships.

All of them are suitable for different business types, so choosing the right one is the first step towards registering a company.

Register as a Sole Trader

Also known as a sole proprietorship, it is a type of business with one owner. You can trade under your name or use a business name as a sole trader. It is the simplest business structure in the UK and may suit freelancers or other solo entrepreneurs. 

You can register as a sole trader if you’ve earned more than £1,000 from self-employment in the last tax year - (6 April of the last year to 5 April of the current year). Register by 5 October of your second tax year of business.  

To register as a sole trader, enroll for self-assessment and class 2 national insurance through their business tax account if your profits exceed the £6,725 threshold. You’ll need a government gateway ID and password to access the account. 

However, registering for self-assessment is different from registering a sole proprietorship. It allows you to report your income, including self-employment income, to HMRC. 

Set Up a Limited Company In the UK 

In most cases, registering a company requires at least one director and shareholder for the business to become a separate legal entity with distinct rights. You can be a sole company director and shareholder of your own business. You can also add more directors and shareholders in the future if you decide to expand your company.

Compared to other company incorporation UK formats, a limited liability company has more compliance requirements, which come with added benefits, including protecting your personal finances in case the business encounters financial difficulties or fails. If you want to take the hard work out of officially forming your business, consider using our company set-up service and save yourself the extra effort. It is a simple two-step method where you order online, and we contact you for the necessary information to swiftly and securely register your company with Companies House.

11 Defining Features of Limited Companies

Features Public Limited Company (PLC) Private Limited Company (LTD) Limited By Guarantee Company (CLG) Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Limited Liability

Separate Legal Entity

Minimum Number of Shareholders

2

1

1 member

2 members (An LLP does not have shares or shareholders its a constitution of members)

Minimum Number of Directors

2

1

1 member

2 members (An LLP does not have a director, its a constitution of members)

Transfer of Ownership

Can be publicly traded

Private

Private

Procedure for the transfer of interests indicated in the partnership agreement

Annual Confirmation Statement

Conversion

Can convert to an LTD

Can convert to a PLC

N/A

N/A

Minimum Share Capital

£50,000 (with at least 25% paid up)

£1

No specific

minimum

Management Structure

Board of directors

Board of directors

Board of directors

The designated members handle statutory obligations

User

Suitable for large companies

Common for small to medium companies

Common for small to medium companies

Professional service firms (eg. accounts and law firms)

Types of UK LTD companies you can form include — 

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

A limited liability partnership has at least two members (people or a company known as a corporate member) coming together to own and run the business jointly. Even though all the members have equal rights over the business, the law requires that at least two of them be designated as responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements.

The partners must register for self-assessment since the LLP does not pay corporation tax, but each member is taxed on their share of profits as a self-employed individual. However, the members are not liable for debts if the business fails to pay. 

To register, you’ll need an acceptable business name, a registered address in which your principal place of business will be publicly available, two designated members, and an agreement that outlines how the LLP will be run. Once you have the requirements, you can register your LLP with Company House. Leverage Your Virtual Office London LLP registration service for a swift and affordable process.

Set Up a Private Limited Company (Limited By Shares of Guarantee) 

A company must either be limited by guarantee (CLG) or shares (LTD). An ltd is a profit-making business owned by shareholders with certain rights. The corporation is divided into shares, each assigned a nominal value, which reflects the initial face value of the shares, which may or may not align with the actual market value.  

CLG, on the other hand, is for a non-profit, such as a social enterprise, charity, association, or club, owned by members who act as guarantors of the company's liabilities, and each member undertakes to contribute an amount specified in the articles in the event of insolvency or the winding up of the entity. It does not have shares or shareholders.

To set up an LTD company online, you’ll need to choose a name according to Companies House rules. Next, you will need to appoint the company officers, which typically include directors, with the option of appointing a company secretary. You will also be required to give the names of the shareholders, who may also be company directors. Articles and memorandum of association are essential because they document how you intend to run the entity. Lastly, Companies House requires that you register an official address and choose a SIC code that identifies what your company does. 

Setting up a UK CLG requires that you submit the following company documents —

  • Check that your preferred company name is available;
  • Have at least one guarantor (individual or corporate body) and director;
  • A constitution that contains elements of articles and memorandum of association;
  • A registered office address in the UK that will be publicly available;
  • Names of the persons with significant control;
  • Statement of compliance that -
    • Outlines the nominal amount (often a small sum, such as £1) that each subscriber will pay as their guarantee;
    • The statement of guarantee that details the circumstances under which a guarantor will be required to pay their guarantee and
    • A SIC code.

How to Choose Your Company Name

Once you decide to register a new business, use the checklist below to get the name right — 

  • Confirm that the name is not too similar or identical to an existing company name.
  • Your preferred company name should not suggest any connection to the UK government. Avoid using words such as  “Royal,” “Her Majesty,” or “Crown.”
  • The name should not be offensive or inappropriate in any way.
  • It should not suggest criminal activity or any undertaking contrary to the interest of the public. 
  • Unless you have relevant permission, avoid using words like “Chartered” or “Architects” that are likely to mislead the public as to the nature of your business or credentials. 

Read also: Top 21 Best Small Business Apps to Manage Your Daily Operations

Register Your Company Today!

Contact Your Virtual Office London, UK's top rated company formation agent, if you need to register a new company. We offer a comprehensive set of company formation packages, which include everything you need to get your company up and running.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Embark on your entrepreneurial journey with our exclusive offer: LTD, LLP, and CLG/LBG formation services, complete with 12 months of premium registered office and director address at an unbeatable discounted price of just £39.99

Other extras included in the package above are — 

  • Fast Online Formation
  • UTR Number
  • Digital Certificate of Incorporation
  • Digital Articles of Association
  • Digital Share Certificates
  • £25 Cashback with Wix
  • Bank Referral
  • Free .co.uk Domain
  • Free Accountant Introduction
  • Fully Compliant with AML and KYC Regulations

See also: Your HMRC UTR Number Explained

Form a limited company with us. Call our team at +44 (0) 207 566 3939 or email us at info@capital-office.co.uk, and one of our formation experts will contact you to get the relevant company details and handle the company formation process for you. Depending on the Companies House workload, online company registration can take up to 6 working hours.

FAQs

How much money is required to register a UK company with Companies House?

Register a UK company and start your journey right with a bundled package of just £39.99, which includes a UK registered office address, a free .co.uk domain, and an accountant introduction. We provide exceptional value for those keen on commencing their business without additional office space expenses and initial staffing requirements. 

See also: Directors Service Address Vs. Registered Office Address Service

Can anyone register a new company in the UK?

Registering a new company for UK and non-UK residents takes up to 6 hours to form a company. All you need to do is determine the type of company you want to establish, think through an appropriate business name and contact us. We will help you put together all the necessary documents you need to set up an LTD. 

How to register a holding company in the UK?

In the UK, the term ‘holding company’ is used to describe a company that holds the shares of other companies. A common way to register a holding company is to incorporate it as an LTD through the following steps:

  1. Think through a unique name for you and register it with Companies House. Until 2015, using the word “holding” or “holdings” in a company name was considered sensitive by Companies House, but it is now acceptable.
  2. Register an official business address and select an appropriate SIC code. 
  3. Appoint directors and a company secretary. You must appoint a director, but you do not have to appoint a company secretary.
  4. Identify people with significant control (PSC) over your company—for example, anyone with voting rights or more than 25% of the shares.
  5. Prepare a memorandum and articles of association describing the company will run. 
  6. Form your company. 

After you’ve set up the holding company, transfer the ownership of your subsidiaries' shares and assets to it.

Can I own a business in the UK as a foreigner or non-UK resident living outside of the UK?

Yes, foreigners and non-residents can open a company in the United Kingdom without needing a VISA. There are no restrictions based on nationality. However, you’ll need to comply with the following legal and administrative requirements before you are cleared to start. 

  • Choose a proper business structure that best fits your business goals;
  • Register your business with Companies House to a UK address; and
  • Get the necessary permits or licenses.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Elevate your global business presence with our International company registration service for £480.00, including a full-year virtual address, for unparalleled success on the international stage.

Once your business is registered, please note the following — 

  • The corporation registered to a non-resident is liable for UK tax obligations.
  • A UK resident director is not a mandatory requirement, but it is recommended for operational convenience.
  • While not legally required, having a UK bank account is advisable to enhance business credibility.
  • You can use a family or friend's address as your registered office or opt for a central London virtual address for added privacy.

Do I need a business bank account during the company registration process?

No. You do not need to open a business bank account, but you’ll likely find it impossible to operate without one. We understand that most British high-street banks can make it difficult for the new entrepreneur to open an account with company credit checks and multiple other requirements that new businesses cannot fulfil.

However, we’ve carefully selected partners with products suitable for our clients. As you set up your new business with us, we will recommend a few banks to consider. Whether you choose a Barclays Business Account or a Card One Business Account from our curated list, we ensure a seamless process to meet your financial needs.

What are the pros and cons of working with a simple company formation agent?

A company incorporation agent helps new businesses with online company formation and registration services. But with Your Virtual Office London, we go the extra mile and ensure your process is simple, seamless, and affordable. If you choose to form your company limited by share or guarantee with us, take the time to understand your goals, risk tolerance and incentives. With this understanding, Your Virtual Office London will advise you on the most suitable company structure and expedite your process by working with you to submit a company application without error.

There are no downsides to working with us!

What company documents do I need during simple company registration?

To register your company, you’ll need to submit the following documents — 

  • IN01 form, which should contain the following details –

    • Proposed name

    • Registered office address for your business

    • Details of directors and shareholders

    • Share capital information

    • Information of the persons with significant control

  • Memorandum of association, which outlines the following details —

    • Company name

    • Type of company and its purpose

    • Name and signature of subscribers

    • Liability of the members

  • Articles of association

    • Management details, which may include the rights and responsibilities of the director, voting rights and board meetings

    • Decision-making processes

    • Classes and rights of shares

    • General meetings

    • Miscellaneous factors depending on the dynamics of your company

What documents do I receive after new business registration? 

Once your new limited company is registered, you’ll receive the following documents — 

  • Certificate of incorporation, which includes your company number;
  • Official memorandum and articles association; and
  • Share certificates.
July 10, 2014
February 15, 2024

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Directors Service Address Vs. Registered Office Address Service

Are you seeking to register your company in the UK? Get the latest insights for successful UK company formation with Companies House.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • During company formations, there are two primary addresses that you will need to provide to Companies House: the director's service address and the registered office address.
  • All companies must provide a registered email address under the new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act. Companies House will use this email address to communicate with the company – it will not be available to the public.

As the name suggests, the director service address is provided by the individual directors, while the registered office address represents the official correspondence address of the company.

What Is a director's service address?

It is the address government agencies will use to send statutory correspondence relevant to the role of the director. Official letters from HMRC, Companies House, courts, the Office of National Statistics, and other agencies will be sent to this address.

Every director needs to provide this information during company formation or at the time of appointment. The address can be residential or commercial, but remember that Companies House will display it in the public register. We always recommend using a non-residential address to protect an individual's privacy.

Insight

Unlike the registered address, the director's service address can be a full postal address anywhere in the world.

What Is a registered office address?

Statutory letters in the company name will be sent to the registered office address. Please note that starting March 2024, owing to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, which became law in October 2023, a registered office address must be a physical address, not a P.O. Box.

Insight

You must have a registered office address before starting the company formation process. It must be in the same country your company is registered in; for example, a company registered in Scotland must present a registered office address in Scotland.

In addition to the office address, the Act also requires all companies to provide a registered email address. Companies House will use this email address to communicate with the company, and it will not be available to the public.  

Starting 4 March 2024, newly incorporated companies must provide a registered email address during the incorporation process. For existing companies, the requirement applies when filing their subsequent confirmation statement, beginning from a statement date on or after 5 March 2024

Can I use my home address as my director service address?

Yes. Technically, you can use your home address as your director service address. However, since this information will be publicly available on the Companies House register, it's essential to consider the implications. Using your home address may impact your privacy and expose personal details to the public. 

Opting for a separate director service address, such as the one provided by Your Virtual Office London, ensures a professional image, safeguards your privacy, and complies with regulatory requirements. Our solution allows you to maintain a level of separation between your personal and professional identity.

Can I use a virtual office address as my director's address?

Yes, using a virtual office address as your director's address is common and legal. You get to present a professional image for your business and streamline statutory communication, as the virtual office can handle mail and other communications on your behalf.

🎁 Exclusive Offer

Elevate your business with our prestigious virtual business address in central London, which includes free company formation.

What is the difference between a registered office, business address, and service address?

The terms "registered office," "business address," and "service address" refer to different addresses associated with a company, each serving a distinct purpose. Here's a breakdown of their differences —

Registered Office Address

Also known as the legal correspondence address, it is the official address of a company or LLP used for legal and official correspondence, and with the appropriate permissions, you can use either a residential or non-residential address. Government agencies, regulatory bodies, and the public send statutory letters and official documents to this address. Such correspondence may include—

  • Official documentation regarding changes in company structure or details;
  • Official company documentation from Companies House;
  • Legal updates, notices and summons;
  • Compliance information and reminders;
  • Correspondence from HMRC; OR
  • Important notifications related to the company.

The law requires that companies maintain a registered office address, which must be a physical location in the country where the company is registered.

Business Address

Also known as a trading address, it is the general address associated with the company, used for general business correspondence from customers, clients, and suppliers. It can be a physical location or a virtual office. Unlike the registered address, you are not required to observe the exact legal requirements. There is no legal definition for a business or trading address. 

Service Address

Also known as the director address, it is the official address of company directors, secretaries, and other officers registered with Companies House. It is used for official communication related to the individual's role in the company.

Similar to the registered office address, having a service address is a legal requirement. It helps protect the personal information of limited company officers.

What is the difference between a home and a correspondence address?

The terms "home address" and "correspondence address" refer to different addresses associated with individuals and serve distinct purposes. The home address is the residential address where an individual resides. It is primarily used to identify the location of an individual's residence and is associated with personal matters.

The home address is used for various purposes, including personal mail and official documents, and as a point of contact for personal matters.

On the other hand, a correspondence address is designated by an individual for receiving official correspondence. Individuals may get a correspondence address if they prefer to receive certain types of mail or communications at a location other than their home address.

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