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How to Register a Business Address

Thinking of starting a limited company?

You might want to start your own limited company, so clients or customers trust your work. Or, as a sole trader , you might believe your business would benefit from being limited .

You have probably looked up how to set up a company . Once you have established that you can use the company name of your choice, you may be wondering, "What address do I use for my business?" Read on to learn the difference between a business and registered office address — and how to register a business address.

What Is the Difference between a Business Address and a Registered Office Address?

If you’re starting in business or are a remote worker, you may not need an office. However, having an official company address is essential. The difference between a business address and a registered address and their roles isn't always easy to understand. So our experts have set out the main differences between the two.

Business Address

  • Your registered office can have the same address as your business address, but it can also be in a different location. It can be helpful to have multiple business addresses if you are trying to gain clientele from different locations.
  • A trading address and business address refer to the same thing. So you can use these names interchangeably.
  • Usually, you would carry out most of your business affairs at your business address. Unlike a registered address, you may have a variety of correspondence from suppliers, banks and clients sent to any of your business addresses.
  • You can use your business address on your website, business cards, emails and any other marketing materials that your business needs.

Registered Office Address

  • All UK limited liability partnerships and limited companies must have a registered office address. This address is where all communication and correspondence is sent and is disclosed publicly at Companies House .
  • Your registered office must be in the UK and registered to the location of your business. So a company registered in Scotland must have an official Scottish address.
  • A registered address or service address is designed to be the point of contact for your limited liability partnership or limited company for government agencies like HMRC or Companies House. Any legal notices or important information will be sent to this address.
  • Your registered address can be a residential address or a commercial one. Using a corporate address will keep your home address protected. A corporate address will also help build credibility with potential clients.

What Is a Virtual Office Address?

A virtual office address is a type of business address service available for companies to rent or buy. Despite what the name suggests, a virtual office address is an actual physical address somewhere — anywhere — around the world.

Virtual office spaces are found in almost all countries and major cities. They are genuine addresses you can use to register your business. A virtual office isn’t a proper office, though. While it is a registered address, it cannot function as a work environment. Consider a virtual office as a kind of PO box — but with a proper postal address.

Businesses such as Mint Formations can acquire property in locations like London to use as virtual office addresses. We allocate addresses to this property ( in a similar way to flats), which allow us to have multiple addresses from a single property. You can then “rent” these addresses from Mint Formations, allowing you to access this address without having to secure your own office space.

How to Buy a Registered Office Address

Company formation agents, like Mint Formations , commonly sell popular London business address services. Here’s how they work:

  • Typically, you purchase an address service online for a year in advance.
  • You go through the anti-money laundering checks , which are part of the business address service provider’s application process.
  • The address you purchase is placed on the public record as the official address of a director and/or the company.
  • All mail is forwarded to the purchased address.
  • The service provider will forward any official or business mail. It may email a scan to you or send mail to your chosen address.
  • You can renew the address service yearly. A quarterly option may become available.

Why Do Companies Buy Registered Office Address Services?

1. To Avoid Public Disclosure of Residential Addresses

People usually like to retain the privacy of their personal addresses. So buying a registered address is advisable as this means you won't have to publicly disclose your residential address, which you would if you registered from home. The public register lists all registered office addresses — and the public can view them. Buying a registered address avoids this problem.

2. Stop Unwanted Callers

Companies that carry out controversial or sensitive work — such as animal testing — may encounter protests or unwanted visitors. Unwanted visitors or unhappy clients could also turn up at your home unannounced. A separate registered office address prevents this.

3. Reduce Unwanted Mail

All of a company’s listed addresses generally receive a lot of junk mail. These addresses will often be the target of marketers and advertisers. While they can sometimes offer useful services, sorting through large amounts of mail can be an unwanted distraction. Having a registered office address can save those running a company the time and effort of sorting out what is spam and what is important.

4. Prestige

A well-known address — in central London, for example — could give your business prestige that increases the confidence of your suppliers and customers. It could even help improve business.

5. Business Owners without Residence in the UK

A company operating in the UK must have a UK registered office address. If you live abroad, a London office address can be a useful choice.

Are you ready to form your company? If you have any questions about business addresses or want to discuss your options,don’t hesitate to contact us.

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