We all know a registered office is a legal requirement for corporate bodies (typically limited companies and limited liability partnerships) in the UK. Its sole purpose is to provide Companies House, The Crown and other authorised governmental bodies with an address for delivering statutory mail and legal notices. It must be a physical location in the part of the UK where your business is registered and capable of receiving post. A PO Box is permitted provided the Registrar of Companies has been provided with the full physical location address.
But is it a good idea to use your home as a registered office?
Well, there are a whole host of documents that must be readily available (and up-to-date) at a registered office…here’s just a few:
- Register of company directors
- Register of secretaries
- Register of People with Significant Control
- Directors’ service contracts
- Directors’ indemnities – security against liability claims or legal costs
- Register of members
- Copies of resolutions
- Minutes of meetings
- Contracts relating to purchase of own shares
- Documents relating to redemption or purchase of own shares out of capital
- Register of debenture holders
- Instruments creating charges and register of charges
It’s rather a long list and it is an obligation to make sure the documents are current and up-to-date.
That’s quite a responsibility, are there any other pitfalls?
A registered office address is a matter of public record which means anyone can beat a path to your door for any reason…particularly if the company is experiencing cash flow difficulties. If prosecutions for recovery of an outstanding balance progress it is feasible that you might have an Enforcement Officer at your door looking to remove assets for sale at auction. The distinction between personal and trading assets being seized is a more difficult argument to win when the registered office is your home.
We feel it is more credible to use a professional address as a registered office…and it might reduce the heartache if cash flow problems arise. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns regarding the issues raised.