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Concealment of personal address

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Mr Bloggs set up a company 10 years ago called XYZ Ltd. His personal address has been used for the company registered office ever since. He is about to add on a service allied to what he already does that could make him vulnerable to personal attacks, and his family could also be at risk.

I can see there's no point in suddenly using a company secretarial address now, as the past history of his address will still be visible on XYZ Ltd's paperwork.

I presume if he could convince CoHo that his personal address needs to be withheld when he sets up a new company, that company would be the best option for this new activity.
The trouble is, it's expensive to have two Ltd companies running when one would do.
What other solution might be worth thinking about?

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By thevaliant
23rd Jun 2021 19:22

A residential address has not been required to be on the public record for at least ten years (I think 2008 or so) so this should have been done at incorporation of the original company.

You need to provide it to Companies House, but they won't publish it unless you also set it as your service address.

I assume, if you felt that there was a pressing need you could ask Companies House to redact all earlier filings of this address on the ARs and CSs since 2010. That's a heck of a job for them, and I bet they'll whinge like hell.

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Replying to thevaliant:
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By Wanderer
23rd Jun 2021 19:30

Doubt they'll whinge, just make their £32 per charge PER DOCUMENT!

Won't help Moonbeam's case though. They won't do it for the RO.

GDPR applies to all of us, but not Government Departments it seems.

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Replying to Wanderer:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
24th Jun 2021 07:46

Wanderer wrote:

GDPR applies to all of us, but not Government Departments it seems.

TBF, GDPR is for individuals not companies. It’s not the government’s fault that the director gave the company his address.

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Replying to Wanderer:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
24th Jun 2021 08:27

Wanderer wrote:

GDPR applies to all of us, but not Government Departments it seems.

In this particular case, they specifically agreed to the address being publicly available.

To use an analogy, if you agreed to your address being published in a newspaper, you could not ask for all copies of that paper to be destroyed later if you changed your mind.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Wanderer
24th Jun 2021 10:52

If we are going to use analogies people consented to their personal details being published for internet domain names. When GDPR came along these all had to be redacted.

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Replying to Wanderer:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
24th Jun 2021 13:13

I have literally just used a who.is to look up how owns a particular domain (one where I know who the owner is).

It has provided details that match what I know. Please can you clarify what was available before GDPR which is no longer available.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Wanderer
24th Jun 2021 13:27

Now:-
https://www.nominet.uk/whois/?query=ukbusinessforums.co.uk&cc-num=#whois...

You used to get the registrants name, email address(es), phone number(s), think there was an address there as well.

Used to be VERY useful to determine exactly who was behind a web site.

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Replying to Wanderer:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
24th Jun 2021 14:24

Thanks for clarifying.

I still think my newspaper analogy is closer.

Granted we are not talking about physical objects which cannot be retrieved. However, we are not just talking about a simple reductionin the information publicly available either. If you remove the personal address in the company's history then you end up with a gap in the history. You either replace that with a false address, or imply there was a period when the company had no address at all. Neither of those solutions seem satisfactory.

We tell clients up-front that their information will be made publicly available in those circumstances. It is part of the price you pay for being able to use a company.

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By Wanderer
24th Jun 2021 14:34

stepurhan wrote:

We tell clients up-front that their information will be made publicly available in those circumstances. It is part of the price you pay for being able to use a company.

We tell clients that if they form their own companies without completely understanding the process and consequences then it's likely that their address will be publicly available whereas if we do it then it will all be hidden behind a service address.
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2021 15:00

Which, FWIW is similar to the option available to those wanting to hide their contact details within WhoIs ... i.e. use the 'service details' of your Website Hosting provider (an option with most of them).
No need for redactions or blanks, just data that (very visibly) belongs to a service provider not the website owner.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Wanderer
24th Jun 2021 15:23

Do you even need to use a privacy service any more? Think virtually all the details may now be hidden post GDPR.
https://xmission.com/blog/2018/08/13/after-gdpr-is-domain-privacy-still-...

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2021 15:54

Thanks ... interesting article (albeit nearly 3 years old, which is almost a lifetime in the world of technology)!
FWIW my supplier of domain hosting services (who also takes care of ICANN and WhoIs registrations/maintenance) provides a full privacy service for free (you just tick a box) - which includes "an obfuscated contact email address" as your linked article puts it.
But I guess its a matter of personal choice as to where you draw the line.

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Replying to Wanderer:
Stepurhan
By stepurhan
24th Jun 2021 15:19

Wanderer wrote:
We tell clients that if they form their own companies without completely understanding the process and consequences then it's likely that their address will be publicly available whereas if we do it then it will all be hidden behind a service address.

We tell clients that they can use our address for the company registered office (for a stated small fee) or they can use another address. We also make it clear what addresses form part of the public record.

We don't make using our office as the registered office address a condition of us setting up the company. We just strongly advise it.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
23rd Jun 2021 20:38

The address can’t be redacted as it was the RO.

If it’s that important, I suggest a newco and not having his name exactly the same (eg no middle name) so the records don’t get linked on CoHo.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By Paul Crowley
23rd Jun 2021 20:54

Agree
Name not the same Critical if on newco
Co house filings are for ever

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By Moonbeam
24th Jun 2021 07:23

Thank you for all your comments so far. I like the idea about his name not being exactly the same.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
24th Jun 2021 11:09

Re the two company issue.

Depending on the circumstances it might be possible to trf the trade into new co.
Or hive it up albeit a faff on the paperwork.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By Moonbeam
24th Jun 2021 11:31

Thanks for that advice. I had been wondering. But anything time-consuming or costly is likely to be ruled out by the client.
I did idly wonder about him closing the current business and setting up as a sole trader, but that wouldn't be tax efficient, wouldn't look good to his clients, and anyway I think he needs the protection of a limited co.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Jun 2021 11:44

Then his only viable option is a Newco for the new business (with a Registered Office, Director's service address, and Trading Address facilities, as others have said, from the Off).

And a variation to his own name. Maybe he should change that from Mr Bloggs to Mr Hobson, and call Newco Hobson's Choice Ltd.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2021 13:01

Or, a bit of lateral thinking, he could simply change his name by deed poll - and tell any unwanted callers that Mr Bloggs has moved (new address unknown).

It's remarkably easy to do ... I should know as, although that's my real name above this post, neither of them were in place when I was born. Mind you the knock-on effect is probably a nightmare in this digitised world; back in 1960 it was a doddle.

EDIT: knowing that there are some of you who enjoy 'breaking aliases' on this forum, there's a special prize for anyone who can find the names under which I was born (consisting of immediate hiring by the sneaky peeks without interview).

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Jun 2021 14:53

Murat Kerim?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2021 15:41

That might get you a free ticket to the Famous Five Reunited jamboree, but an awful long way from the main prize.
In all seriousness, I wouldn't recommend commencing the search unless your life has entered a very quiet phase - where boredom has started to resemble becoming moribund.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Jun 2021 15:57

In that case I shall save it for when I'm stricken with Covid.

Previous names seem to stick around on a person's NI records. Not that anyone has much access to those.

I guess Moonbeam's client might find it easier to change the name of his house instead!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2021 16:12

Well, hopefully you'll never have the 'spare time' then ... although any immobility resulting from covid might well prevent you from completing your task.
It's one of the advantages of being old enough that my early 'footprint' pre-dates almost all computer records (certainly any that have subsequently been linked at all) ... and I've never partaken in any 'social media networking platforms' since.
So my origins are documented solely on elderly paper ... you know the type where the creases have torn and been reinforced by Sellotape that has since dried out and turned an almost opaque yellowish-brown, and the dust is fighting the mites for dominance over the lining of the envelope!

Anyway, I suspect Moonbeam's client will have worked out a solution long before any of my meanderings here become relevant.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
24th Jun 2021 15:48

It can be very easy to find people. 3rd party services, social media (and LinkedIn), unusual names and local knowledge all help. If you are providing a service that exposes you to possible harm, what other measures do they need to take? And get rid of that personal number plate ......

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Jun 2021 16:23

I used to leave the karate club's cashbook on the rear window ledge of my car, face up so that you could see the logo of someone having their liver kicked in; and read its title kayashinko karate club from 20 paces away.

Once, during a village-hall barn dance, a number of cars were broken into, robbed and vandalised. Mine was untouched, even though I'd forgotten to lock it.

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By Rgab1947
30th Jun 2021 09:54

Must be missing something here.

When I register a company you have to apply for your residential address to be witheld and it has only a few allowable reasons. I use secretarial software which will not allow me to withold residential addresses unless I tick the boxes for the reasons (none apply).

As to an answer for the OP with concerns of two companies, form a new one with no residential address shown (if able) and sell the one into the other than dissolve the old one.

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Replying to Rgab1947:
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By Wanderer
30th Jun 2021 10:30

Rgab1947 wrote:

Must be missing something here.

Service addresses. There's no need for a private address ever to be on the public file.
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