What is a registered office and what needs doing if I change it?

A registered office is an official address you will need to have if you have a limited company, but what is a registered office and what do you need to do if you change it? …

What is a registered office?

A registered office is not, in fact, an ‘office space’, but is a simply a real physical location from which your business operates. 

When you create a limited company you are required to provide an address in the country in which your business is registered; you cannot register your company in England for example and then use an address in Spain. This is the address that is then registered at Companies House.

Your registered office address is used for company documentation and HMRC use the address to send your business any communications.


What address should I use for my registered office?

If you have just started a company you do not have to use your home address (even if you are currently operating from the spare bedroom) you can use an accountant or service provider if you wish. 

Some people choose not to use their home address as they don’t want it publicly visible or want to avoid unsolicited mail! Whatever address you use remember:

  1. It must be real otherwise you run the risk of HMRC taking action against the company.
  2. It must be an effective address for delivering documents/reminders/notices. Remember HMRC will assume you are receiving their correspondence and it is the responsibility of the business to make sure you have access to this.


What do I need to do if I want to change my registered office address?

If your company has grown and you are renting or buying office space, you have moved, or you want to use a service provider you will need to change your registered office address.

Remember if you have changed location your new address must be in the same country in which the company is registered.


Here are 10 things to remember when changing your registered office address:

Download change of office registration checklist

1. Change your company address on Companies House

You will need to fill in the AD01 form to inform Companies House of the change of address. The form can be found here. Remember you must inform Companies House within 14 days of the change taking place.

You can also file a change of address by post if you don’t want to do it online but do bear in mind this will take longer to process.


2. Notify financial services.

Financial services include your bank, pension providers, credit card companies and student loan companies if applicable. They will need to know your new address to provide their services.


3. Notify professional services

Professional services that will have your address could include your accountant, legal advisors, insurance and any professional institutions or associations. It is important that you keep them up to date.


4. Tell your customers

One of the most important things not to forget! Your customers may need to know your change of address. 


5. Tell your suppliers

Your company may have suppliers which may need to be informed of changes. Think IT providers or telecoms etc.


6. Tell your employees!

We’re hoping that as a responsible employer that if you have staff your employees won’t be the last to know, but if you haven’t informed them you will need to do so.

7. Collateral

Small things but nonetheless important, don’t forget to change the address on things like letterheads, invoices, business cards etc.


8. Online admin

Remember your digital footprint for your business will need to be updated too – your website, google listing, LinkedIn business page etc will all need updating with your new details. 


9. VAT

If your limited company has not registered for VAT you don’t need to do anything. However if you have registered for VAT you can use the Company House form VAT 484 – Notifying us of changes to a VAT registered business. When you have done this you will receive a new VAT certificate.


10. Corporation tax

Don’t worry, when you inform Companies House (point 1 above) this will automatically inform HMR of your change of address.


Read our blog What to do when you appoint a new director’

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