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Good reason not to have companies registered at your home address

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Before we got an official office we had some companies registered at my home address

Last night a creditor of one of these companies turned up at my door (after driving across my lawn) with a solid lump of pipe threatening all sorts unless he got paid

He was very aggressive as he thought it was the directors home address

He wanted us to prove we were not who he thought we were and everything !

I told him to leave or I would call the police - in fact we have made a report anyway due to his behaviour

Be warned, is it worth the risk of letting other people use your address?

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07th Jun 2012 10:04

I run a small practice from home, but do not allow companies to use my home address as the registered office address for this very reason.  Any of my clients who has queried whether I can use my home address as their registered office has been quite happy with this explanation.

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07th Jun 2012 10:31

I run a practice from home and in 13 years( I have a number of companies registered office address as my home address) have never had a creditor turn up at my home.

 

I have had plenty of baliffs etc tho.

 

I think you have just been unlucky, not nice tho!

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By WESTA
to mrme89
04th May 2014 09:08

Registered office /business address and building insurance

Are there any building insurance issues relating to the use of home address as the business/ registered office address of a small accounting practice ? Only 0-1 potential client would walk in once every full moon. Mine is one of 4 block flat. We have a free hold put into a Ltd company of which each property owner is a director/shareholder.

 

One of the other director is querying me over this.

 

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By GeeBee
07th Jun 2012 10:32

Beware CCJ's

Don't forget that you can also get clients CCJ's registered at your home address.

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to Mick Milne
07th Jun 2012 11:03

CCJs

GeeBee wrote:

Don't forget that you can also get clients CCJ's registered at your home address.

CCJ's only attach to people not addresses.

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By GeeBee
to SteLacca
07th Jun 2012 13:22

CCJ's

I think you'll find that a CCJ against a limited company will be addressed to the registered office - the whole point of a registered office is for the service of documents.

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07th Jun 2012 10:35

I don't think I'd want to have a bailiff turn up at my home address either!

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07th Jun 2012 11:07

Previous tenants

My house was previously split into two flats and we used to get letters addressed to previous tenants for many years. Maybe it was for the relevant six years.

I've lived in this house and run my practice from here for 12 years and I've not had a creditor visit.

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07th Jun 2012 11:11

I also run a practice from home.  There is no way I would ever entertain letting clients use my address as a registered office.  One of my clients had bailiffs turn up at their registered office (his parents' home).  This was enough to put me off.

My wife would be extremely unimpressed if we had bailiffs/angry creditors/clients' junk mail arriving.  This is reason enough not to do it!!

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07th Jun 2012 13:34

CCJs

Sorry, I meant that CCJs refer to companies and people. The address is irrelevant. There is no way that the CCJ is linked to the people living at the address.

If you look on your credit report there will be not be a mention of a CCJ even if the company had a CCJ and your home was the registered office.

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07th Jun 2012 13:50

I agree with Peter.

 

CCJs or if a company enters liquidation, do not cause any personal credit problems.

 

It is easier for the accountants office to be the registered office, as the notices for the forms we normally deal with  are sent to the registered office. Saves on the client phoning me and asking what he should do with the notice.

 

I have heard of accountants holding a 'blank' signed change of registered office form on file, ready for if CCJ etc are issued to the registered office. I do not do this as it does not bother me that much.

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to stepurhan
07th Jun 2012 14:41

Lots of potential hassle for no benefit

darrenwilliams wrote:

It is easier for the accountants office to be the registered office, as the notices for the forms we normally deal with  are sent to the registered office. Saves on the client phoning me and asking what he should do with the notice.

I used to offer a registered office address service firstly at home when I worked from home and then at my office, but I don't do it at all now.  If a client wants a different address other than their home/business, they can get a mailing address from the likes of formation agents cheaply.

I don't see a need anymore.  I've signed all my clients up with Co House emails for accounts/return reminders, so nothing comes through the post anyway now.  For corporation tax notices, they go in the bin anyway as I have my own system for keeping on top of corporation tax.  As agent, I get a copy of the corporation tax demands - why would I want two copies?  The only thing I got for being a registered office was junk mail.

I got a couple of clients who got into difficulties and was at the receiving end of debt collectors, bailiffs, etc., and I simply can't be bothered with the hassle, so I stopped doing it.  No clients objected, no clients left to move elsewhere - most adopted their home address, a couple chose a mailing address.

I'd rather the client was more aware themselves of official documentation - i.e. it's good for them to get paperwork from HMRC or emails from Co House, so that they are aware of what's going on and what needs doing - they're directors after all - they can't abdicate their responsibilities.  It also helps to demonstrate what we, as accountants, do.  I once had a client who started to whinge about "how little" we did, simply because they didn't see what we dealt with on their behalf.

With HMRC and Companies House moving over to electronic communication, it won't be long before the registered office address is only used by debt collectors, bailiffs and junk mail.  The days of it being "the hub" for official documentation has long gone.

 

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13th Jun 2012 11:48

Displaying the company's name?

I believe that if a director has his home address as his registered office he does not have to display the name of the company outside the office.

However, if you have a number of client's company's registered at your home address, I think you need to display a list of all of these names outside your office, i.e on the front of your house!!

(It may be that you can display them in your reception area - your spare bedroom?)

Just thought I would mention it as it's another factor that stopped me from allowing client's to use my home address when I worked from home.  I now have a proper office so it's not an issue.

 

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13th Jun 2012 12:05

You do not need sign outside, a piece of paper inside is good enough(!) inside.

 

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13th Jun 2012 12:14

More complicated

I think Darren is referring to Business Names not Company Name.

From Companies House website they say:

 

Where must I display my company name?

Every company, unless it has at all times been dormant since incorporation, must display a sign with its registered name at:

its registered office;any inspection place;at any location at which it carries on business (unless it is primarily used for living accommodation.

It must also include its registered name in all business communications (hard copy and electronic).

3.  How must I display the sign with my company name?

You must display a sign with your company name:

in characters that can be read with the naked eye;in such a way that visitors to that office, place or location may easily see it;continuously, but if the location is shared by six or more companies, each such company is only required to display its registered name for at least fifteen continuous seconds at least once in every three minutes.

 

6. Are there any exceptions to the requirement to display a company's name?

There are two exceptions:

an insolvent company, i.e. a company in respect of which a liquidator, administrator, or administrative receiver is not required to display its registered name at any premises which are also the place of business of those insolvency specialists.if every director of the company is one whose residential address cannot be disclosed by the registrar to a credit reference agency, then the company does not have to display its registered name at any place at which it carries on business (but this exception does not extend to the company's registered office or inspection place for the company's records).

http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gp1.shtml#ch10

 

 

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13th Jun 2012 12:45

I had the Mail on Sunday round

They connected the surname of someone connected with an overseas murder with one of my client-directors. Nothing more than that, and they quizzed the neighbours as well!

Dumb-ass[***] Journalists, as my kids (who use the American spelling) would say

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By lme
15th Jun 2012 09:03

Reducing the risk

Thank you for a helpful topic.

I have a very small practice and offer this service selectively and would consider resigning the service should a client start to get into trouble. My terms allow me to resign the registered office service and change it to a director's home address or the previous registered office, copied below in case helpful.

Re the sign outside the office, I spoke to Companies House because that is not practical for me. I only use my dining room to see clients and I have made a sign up that lists the companies for which my home is a registered office and when clients come for a meeting, the sign is visible. When we have people round to dinner I put the sign away!

Here is the extract from my schedule of services for registered office:

"If you become aware that a county court or other judgement is pending for the company, you must make us aware immediately and we will consider resigning the registered office service. In the event of us resigning the registered office service for whatever reason you authorise us to change the registered office with Companies House to the previous registered office, to the home address of any director or to a new address that you will advise, and we will tell you about the change that we have made."

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to Counting numbers
18th Aug 2012 20:42

Extract from schedule of services re registered office.

Thank you for the clause from your schedule of services.  I've been asked if I can provide a registered office address and I was slightly reluctant to do so.  I now feel a lot happier that I can put your wording into the engagement letter.  It's saved me having to think the words up myself.

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15th Jun 2012 10:48

Bailiffs

Having the bailiffs round can be fun, provided they aren't after you.  We used to get a payment demand a week (at least) at our (rented) flat years ago.  We patiently rang each company and said we had never heard of the person the letter refers to, but given it was always the same person it was either an ex-tenant or someone using our flat as their address.  Either way we were binning every letter and suggested they stop sending them.

Every few months a bailiff would turn up from one of the organisations.  I met them at the door, called the people who sent them morons, and showed them the rental agreement and my driving licence.  Aside from one who still wanted my TV, they all went off again straight away.

I quite enjoyed the whole experience :)

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15th Jun 2012 11:01

Regarding signs, do people actually do this?

I havent had the sign police come and fine any of my clients for non-compliance.

 

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15th Jun 2012 11:48

But ... what if they did?

What if they did?

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15th Jun 2012 12:05

.

I dont know Peter, having never met a sign inspector I imagine the errant company would be immediately struck off and the directors thrown in jail. Or maybe they would give you a leaflet and ask you to put one up in the next 7 days. No idea, my point was really that people seem to go to huge lengths to comply with this and yet no-one ever gets into trouble over it.....

 

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15th Jun 2012 14:16

I thought that was your point. I think it's a sensible law, though, and should be observed. That doesn't mean that there's any great advantage in the law.

I'd always thought that the rules were more onerous, such as the law insisting that people passing the house should know of any limited companies registered at the address but it seems to apply to visitors only.

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15th Jun 2012 15:09

Interestingly I've just found out that a neighbour who I don't know personally has (I assume inadvertantly) registered his company at ,my home address.  Clearly I want this changed ASAP, mainly because I get enough junk mail and don't want his as well.

Fortunately his accountant keeps sending information to me (I know from the franking, not from opening the letters), so at least when I take them round I can explain that I am an accountant, and generally register companies at the correct address if he fancies changing!!

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