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Display of company names at registered office, new rules from 1 Oct

Display of company names at registered office,...

Didn't find your answer?

I think I know the answer to the question which is basically yes but am just trying to see if anyone has a different view.

Section 82 of CA 2006 comes into force tomorrow, 1 Oct, under SI 2008/495 The Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008. 3(a) of the regulations states that the company shall display it's name at its registered office (does not apply to companies that have always been dormant). After speaking to ICAEW I understand that a similar provision in CA 1985 only applied to where the company was carrying out its business.

Regulation 5 states that the registered name shall be so positioned that it can be easily seen by any visitor. You are allowed to have a display screen but you have to display the name for 15 seconds every three minutes so only 12 companies per screen.

If anyone can think of a get out that would be good or have you all now got all the names displayed, or will have by tomorrow?

According to Companies House the regulation does not apply where the registered office is residential.

Keith Richardson

Replies (27)

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By petersaxton
08th Oct 2008 13:50

Publicly available
Sarah
This information is available as you say but you really need to be determined to find which companies have a particular address as their RO if it's not displayed outside the building.

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By Anonymous
08th Oct 2008 10:40

Confidentiality not an issue
Company name, number and registered office address are all publicly available pieces of information. Therefore client confidentiality can't apply.

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By petersaxton
08th Oct 2008 08:54

C & C
I would think that only reasonably sized clients would feel this way so maybe an accountant should not offer to host the registered office of bigger clients?
"Equally, what about client confidentiality, other clients seeing who you potentially act for?"
It's more likely that POTENTIAL clients would see who you DO act for!
It's up to clients to decide when they choose where they want their RO I suppose.

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By AnonymousUser
08th Oct 2008 07:55

conflict/confidentiality
What about having two or more conflicting clients? If their names are displayed and one of them sees the others name, all hell could break loose and clients could be lost.

Equally, what about client confidentiality, other clients seeing who you potentially act for?

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By Anonymous
07th Oct 2008 12:43

Exactly my point
Bored now

Goodbye

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By petersaxton
07th Oct 2008 11:14

Due process?
How can anybody get satisfaction via a registered office? The company can simply ignore the letter. Better to turn up at the trading address of the company. Any supplier/customer should use the means of contacting the company that were used previously.
The only use of a registered office in this situation is as a step in the legal process.

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By Anonymous
06th Oct 2008 23:52

I would have thought it self evident!
" In my view a registered office is a place where an important notice is treated as served. If a company doesn't take that seriously that is their problem"

No it's not, it is the problem of the wronged party (supplier/customer whoever) who cannot get satisfaction through due process.

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By petersaxton
06th Oct 2008 13:35

What is or should be a registered office?
David:
"It seems to me that nothing says that the display must be outside the office. We have an office in a block and we simply display the list in reception." The BERR site says: " It must be able to be seen at any time, ie not only during business hours." Your list would be ok if there was 24 hour access to reception or it could be seen easily from the street.
Old Greying Accountant:
"There s/b a requirement for a registered office to be a valid address to communicate to the company, and not be a boarded up house on a derelict street. If the company breaks physical ties with an address there should be a duty to move the registered office within a short time span, and to provide redirection in the meantime."
Can you explain what is the difference between a valid address and a registered office? In my view a registered office is a place where an important notice is treated as served. If a company doesn't take that seriously that is their problem. An address can be "valid" but a company can still ignore correspondence.
You may think my comments are "smart arse[***]" but I am considering the real world and not what you would like to see happen. What's the difference between these situations:
boarded up house resulting in no reply to letters, and
"valid" address but letters ignored


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By Anonymous
06th Oct 2008 10:09

Missed the point again
I know what the law is Peter, I am suggesting what would be IMO improvements!

There s/b a requirement for a registered office to be a valid address to communicate to the company, and not be a boarded up house on a derelict street. If the company breaks physical ties with an address there should be a duty to move the registered office within a short time span, and to provide redirection in the meantime.

Excuse my ignorance but I thought this forum was about an exchange of views. Wouldn't it be nice for you to put your own thoughts forward, rather than just copy and past other peoples comments and add what are best described as smart arse[***] comments.

Still, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flatery!

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By Anonymous
05th Oct 2008 18:29

Details
It seems to me that nothing says that the display must be outside the office. We have an office in a block and we simply display the list in reception.

You are not limited to 12 companies if using a screen. If you get 10 on the screen at a time, that's 120 companies. You'd probably get more without the print being illegible

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By lisler
05th Oct 2008 15:05

Name must be displayed at registered office
I interpret the rule to mean the name must be displayed at the registered office. It need not be displayed at any other place of business if that other place is primarily used for living accommodation. Below is the rule extracted form Companies House website:

1. Where and how must I disclose my company name?

A company must display its registered name:

- at its registered office and at its inspection place (any other place where it keeps its company records). The name must be in characters that can be read with the naked eye. However, from 1 October 2008 a company will be exempt from this requirement if it has at all times since its incorporation been dormant i.e. it has “no significant accounting transactions” during a financial year or entries in the company's accounting records. Further information can be found in our ‘Dormant Companies’ guidance.
- at any other place at which it carries on business. However, from 1 October 2008 a company will be exempted from this requirement if the location in particular is used primarily for living accommodation. For example, if that location was the director’s home.

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By petersaxton
03rd Oct 2008 17:15

Andrew ....
I still don't see the need for a plaque in the scenario you outline. You get the information of where the statutory office is and where the statutory books are from Companies House and then you would visit the premises. You don't just wonder around the country until you happen to see a plaque with the name of the company you are interested in! The statutory books don't even have to be kept at the registered office.

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By petersaxton
03rd Oct 2008 17:12

"Active"
If you move to another location and don't have access to the registered office then any correspondence delivered to the registered office is still deemed to be correctly served.

The whole point of a registered office is that it remains so until a change is notified to Companies House.

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By Anonymous
02nd Oct 2008 14:05

And their point is?
Surely better legislation would be a requiremnt to notify a change of registered office within 7 -14 days of the new address being active, with financial penalties for non compliance.

If any one wants to serve papers or view registers then you should double check the address at Companies House first anyway. the address is the address, what benefit is a bit of paper or a "laser display board" (to quote the late great Humph) to anyone?

If you need to display anything, surely it is better to ensure that the building number/name etc is prominent enough to enable a "visitor" to establish that they are at the correct address in the first place (not always easy with serviced offices etc).

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By Anonymous
03rd Oct 2008 15:09

Reasons To Be Cheerful..
I haven't checked the new Cos Act for this, but you used to be able to turn up at a Company's registered office at any reasonable time and pay 5p or so to inspect the statutory registers. Failure to comply meant a report to Companies House. Terrific sport for annoying the accountant over the road from you.

If that's still the case, you can see the need for a "plaque".

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By Anonymous
03rd Oct 2008 10:57

I'm sorry, I'll read that again!
Thanks for your comments Peter, what I was trying to intimate by active is that when the contact address changes, the change s/b notified quickly and possibly with severe penalties where RO is not a valid address for contacting the company. Possibly even with duty to notify CH if contact with officers lost (eg accountant providing RO for client).

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By petersaxton
02nd Oct 2008 19:43

Old Greying Accountant ....
"Surely better legislation would be a requiremnt to notify a change of registered office within 7 -14 days of the new address being active, with financial penalties for non compliance."

A registered office doesn't become "active". It's the place to communicate with the company until you notify the world of another registered office.

"If any one wants to serve papers or view registers then you should double check the address at Companies House first anyway. the address is the address, what benefit is a bit of paper or a "laser display board" (to quote the late great Humph) to anyone?"

Agreed. The only reason to have the name outside the building is if somebody wants to know who they are dealing with before entering but that would only apply to a limited company in this case.

"If you need to display anything, surely it is better to ensure that the building number/name etc is prominent enough to enable a "visitor" to establish that they are at the correct address in the first place (not always easy with serviced offices etc)."

Agreed. Some other countries make it illegal to not have a prominent house number outside a building.

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By petersaxton
01st Oct 2008 11:04

RO but viewed by public?
All registered offices have to display the name unless the company has always been dormant.

I'm not sure that the statement below is useful. Why would a visitor to the company premises need to see the name? To ensure the company is limited? I would have thought it would be sensible to need to be seen from the street rather than only by visitors.

"14. Where should the sign be displayed when a company shares a building with several others?
The sign must be positioned so that it may be easily seen by any visitor to the company's premises . It must be able to be seen at any time, ie not only during business hours. Where the company shares its premises with five or more other companies, each company is only required to display its registered name for at least fifteen continuous seconds at least once in every three minutes."

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By La BoIS Saint
01st Oct 2008 10:46

Sanctions
Red Tape Buster, the sanctions are that where a company and its officers are in default then on summary conviction they are liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and a daily default fine not exceeding one tenth of that amount (according to Wikipedia that means a fine of up to £1,000).

As for who's checking...

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By AnonymousUser
01st Oct 2008 10:10

back door
I have a few companies registered at my home address, before I moved to serviced offices. As the main door is the back door, that's where my list is. At my office, I can't really put up a sign other than the internal door of my office so that's where it goes.

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David Winch
By David Winch
01st Oct 2008 08:51

Money Laundering Regulations 2007

Don't forget that IF:-

(i) You are registered with HMR&C as an accountancy service provider for money laundering regulation supervision (or in the course of being registered), AND

(ii) You charge a fee for hosting the registered office at your address or for forwarding mail,

then you need to register with HMR&C as a "trust or company service provider" as well as an accountancy service provider.

See HMR&C MLR9 for more details (and information about civil penalties).

If you are supervised for MLR 2007 purposes by another body, such as ICAEW, then you do NOT need to register with HMR&C as a trust or company service provider even if you provide registered office and / or mail forwarding services for a fee.

David

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By Anonymous
01st Oct 2008 07:40

I'm an IP
Does this apply to me? I currently have in the region of 500+ insolvency appointments where the registered office was changed to our offices.

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By GrahamASA
30th Sep 2008 23:17

Peter ...
Thanks Peter.

So, even if the RO is residential would a sign be required then?

By "at", what do I do in a serviced office arrangement? Would a list outside my suite suffice?

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By petersaxton
30th Sep 2008 22:19

Registered office has to display name
Graham: said"Yes, you have to display the companies as required by the new Section. As far as I know the only "out" is if the registered office is residential."

This is the rule -

"A sign with the company’s registered name must be displayed at:

the company’s registered office and any place where its records are kept available for inspection (unless the company has been dormant at all times since its incorporation);
any other place where it carries on business (unless the place is primarily used for living accommodation)"

Therefore, all registered offices have to display the name.

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By GrahamASA
30th Sep 2008 21:33

A Thought & A Problem
First my thought:
Yes, you have to display the companies as required by the new Section. As far as I know the only "out" is if the registered office is residential.

We have quite a few and we've printed a list from our database ready to put up, but that's actually where my problem arises.

We're in serviced offices and I don't think our "host" company would be all to pleased if I put my list outside for visitors to see! There is also a prohibition on sticking notices and posters outside each suite.

So how do I comply? Any ideas?

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By pawncob
30th Sep 2008 18:32

Displays
Why did you ever take them down?
I recall offices in London with more than 300 names on display.

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By Anonymous
30th Sep 2008 16:17

no get out that I can find
I've been looking and can't find a get out. We took legal advice asking whether having a paper list available for inspection would suffice and were told that it wouldn't.

If anyone else can find I work around I'd be interested.

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