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Can a company use a PO Box as its registered office?

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Andy008 | 17:04 Sat 25th Oct 2008 | Business
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Does anyone know if this is possible?



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No, as it has to be able to receive documents and legal notices, and has to be marked as the registered office by a sign or plaque at the entrance.
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Erm, well my company which has been registered for the last 2 years for name protection purposes has no sign outside as it's my home I breaking the law?
Still trying to avoid being traced?
Yes, you are breaking the law. This is a contravention of the Companies Acts.

The limited company is a separate legal entity, and is therefore unaffected by your personal privacy concerns.

Do you have an accountant? They are usually willing to allow their office to be listed as the registered office address of their clients' companies.

Changing the registered office address would not, however, remove the requirement for you to list your personal address if you are a director and/or member of the company (unless you are the subject of a Confidentiality Order).

This will change next year when new provisions of the Companies Act 2006 kick in. Directors will then be able to specify a service address for inclusion on the public register. Their home address will still, however, need to be provided to Companies House, and can be disclosed in certain circumstances, such as to credit reference agencies.
Andy008 - I use my home address as well. I don't believe this is breaking the law. The guidance given on Companies House web site is this:

8. What is a registered office?

This is the official address of the company and the address to which Companies House will send notices, letters and reminders. The registered office must be:

in England and Wales (if your company is registered there);
in Scotland (if your company is registered there) ; or
in Wales if your memorandum of association says that the registered office must be there (see question 4 above).

The registered office must always be an effective address for delivering correspondence and documents to the company. To avoid delays or other problems we strongly advise you to deal with all correspondence sent to this address promptly. If your company wishes to change its registered office address after formation, you must notify Companies House of the new address on Form 287. Until Companies House has entered this form onto its database the change does not take effect.

Companies House uses the Post Office address database to verify addresses. To avoid delays please ensure you are using the correct address including full post code on all forms and documents sent for registration.

The Companies Act 2006 merely states:

86 A company�s registered office

A company must at all times have a registered office to which all communications and notices may be addressed.

As to the question of weather a PO Box can be legally defined as a registered office...the act dosn't say that it can't.

Ahh...under the companies act 1985 you could not:

Every company must have a registered office; it is the �home� of the company to which all official documents, notices and court papers have to be sent by law (section 287 of the Companies Act 1985). The address must be a physical location, not just a post office box. This is because people have the right to visit the office to inspect certain registers and documents, and to deliver documents by hand.

Section 136 of the 1989 Companies act substituted section 287 of the 1985 act but still included the below:

(a) to keep at its registered office, or make available for public inspection there, any register, index or other document, or

Basically I think it's a no. But I can find no reference to a sign having to say it's a registered office.

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