Registered office address:
When you fill out the UK company application form, you will need to submit a registered office address. This is where your Company will be legally based, it will be included on the public register and used by UK government agencies, including Companies House and HMRC, as your business’ official contact address.
Almost any type of address can be used here, including your own private residence. However, you must choose an address that is located in the UK (England & Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, depending on where you have registered). It cannot be a PO Box.
When selecting an address, it’s important to think about the impression you want to make. A home address will not convey the same level of professionalism, prestige, and trust as non-residential commercial premises.
Also read: Registered Office Address Provider
- You will need to provide your service address on the company formation application.
- This address must be provided by officers (also known as directors and company secretaries), members/subscribers (the company's founders or guarantors), people with significant control (PSCs), and members of limited liability partnerships.
- This information will be made public like the registered office.
- Each service address holder will receive mail from UK government agencies (such as Companies House and HMRC) at this address.
- You can use your home address here, but for privacy purposes, you must use a different address.
- Your service address does not have to be in the UK; it can be anywhere in the world.
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A business address is optional, and it can be the same as or different from your registered office address. Your business may have a registered office in one region of the country and one or more business addresses in the UK and/or abroad.
It can be the location of your store, office, studio, garage, or factory, etc. The location from where your company conducts business or where customers can reach you. You do not need to provide this address to HMRC or Companies House for inclusion on the public register.
A Single Alternative Inspection Location (SAIL) address is optional, and it is rarely used by small businesses. It is an alternative to the registered office for storing your company’s statutory registers and making them available for public inspection.
SAIL addresses are included in public record and must be located in the UK. This can be a private residence or a business location.
Most businesses use a SAIL address for convenience. For example, if the registered office is not immediately accessible to directors due to its location, or if the records are kept by a service provider.
Also read: What is a SAIL address?
Customer returns/shipping address:
If you operate an e-commerce business, you will need to set up a suitable address for accepting deliveries and customer returns. This may or may not be the same as your business address. It needs to be accessible to postal workers and couriers during business hours, so you may not want to use your home address for this purpose if you are likely to be out of the house a lot of the time. This is where professional mailbox services come in. Commercial shipping and returns address also creates a more credible, trustworthy image than a home address.
The term ‘trading address’ is often used interchangeably with ‘business address’. It is the location where your business operates/trades from. However, some companies have a single, central trading address and multiple business addresses if they have branches in various places. This is quite common with large corporations, chain stores, and franchise businesses.