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Registered Office Address Service

Providing Registered Office Address service to clients

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Hi All,

Currently, I have a small practise which I run from home (half the dining room table to be precise). I don't offer a registered office address service as it would mean my home address on loads of Companies House entries for clients. I try and outsource this but it can get epensive for my clients who don't want their home address on CH. I have been thinking recently that maybe this should a be service offer should offer as my business is registered on CH with my home address, so why not. My plan is to eventually occupy an office space and that would make it easier but that plan is still 2-3 years off.

Those who work from home, what do you do? Do you offer this service? Do charge for this service to your clients?

Many thanks.

Replies (24)

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By David Ex
17th Sep 2021 12:34

From memory of previous discussions on the topic, I don’t think it’s popular in any event and certainly not if it’s your home address.

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Replying to David Ex:
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By ShoulderShrug
17th Sep 2021 12:57

Thanks. Ok seems to be not a good idea.
I should have done a search first on the topic. Apologies.

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By Calculatorboy
17th Sep 2021 12:37

Avoid it like the plague ....if clients are issued with writs they are obviously served on and linked to your home address ..

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By ShoulderShrug
17th Sep 2021 12:42

That's what I worry about and is what makes me not want to do it even if it saves my clients money.

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By Leywood
17th Sep 2021 13:17

If they want to save money they can make their own address the registered address.

If they dont want their home address to be used then they need to pay for the service.

Just exactly how much less are you preparing to charge? Just to save them a few quid? But to gain yourself a load of hassle, especially if you havent even got a spare room to work from as it is.

Are you charging them less than their previous advisors, just to save them a few quid? As thats how the race to the bottom happened/is happening.

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By Paul Crowley
17th Sep 2021 12:40

If you offer the service you inevitably become the client's secretary
Pricing is a bit of a challenge
We avoid it even though we are in a commercial building

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By ShoulderShrug
17th Sep 2021 12:58

Do you just advise them to use their home address or use a company that offers this service?

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By Paul Crowley
17th Sep 2021 13:09

I suggest their business or home address
It is the only address that HMRC corporation tax will use
I also say that using an address that trader does not control not a good idea
I let them decide if they still want to not use their address
I have had newbies that signed up for registered office on incorporation in the past
None have continued with it for more than a couple of years

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Chris Maslin
17th Sep 2021 13:25

Paul Crowley wrote:

If you offer the service you inevitably become the client's secretary


We have commercial premises, and yes the above is occasionally the case. Most clients are respectful, but a few use our address for everything, expect us to forward anything/everything on (not that annoying when it's a letter we can scan and email, more annoying when it's a parcel), and get grumpy at us if we ask them to change.
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By Leywood
17th Sep 2021 13:33

Charge the grumpy ones double!

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
17th Sep 2021 13:53

Can members of the public still pay a small fee and inspect a company's books at its Registered Office?

If so, you'd better push the hoover around and put the kettle on.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By ShoulderShrug
17th Sep 2021 14:02

haha...will have to pick up the toddlers toys first.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
17th Sep 2021 15:21

I shouldn't bother. Last time I looked the statutory fee was a meagre 25p (although I expect it's gone up since).

But it does raise the issue of whether the director might actually expect a set of statutory books to be maintained by you for his company.

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By Southwestbeancounter
17th Sep 2021 14:31

I've worked out of a city centre office for the last 20 years and I would still not offer this service.

If clients don't have a separate business address and don't want their home address showing up at CH then I advise them to set up a PO Box address themselves.

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Replying to Southwestbeancounter:
By petersaxton
19th Sep 2021 13:54

"If clients don't have a separate business address and don't want their home address showing up at CH then I advise them to set up a PO Box address themselves."

You can use a PO Box, but you must still include a physical address and postcode.

https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation/company-address

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By tltodman
17th Sep 2021 15:17

There are plenty of companies offering this service at a very competitive rate (around £60 for registered office and officers' service address). Given that includes forwarding scanned copies of any post they receive I don't see why an accountant would want to get involved with that hassle, especially if their own business is run from home.
This is one a couple of my clients have very painlessly and very cheaply used for incorporation and/or service addresses https://www.yourcompanyformations.co.uk/

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Replying to tltodman:
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By adam.arca
17th Sep 2021 16:34

Well, I charge £180 pa for this (from my commercial premises) although that does include submitting the confirmation statement, and I still have enough takers to make it a decent enough profit centre.

So I would suggest you may be looking at this the wrong way round. It's the same argument as per payroll: accountants charge more but clients on the whole are prepared to pay that for the reassurance that it's being done right by people they trust.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
17th Sep 2021 19:24

We charge between £nil and £100pa to be the registered office (commercial premises). in reality most clients have it built into their standard monthly fee, marked as £nil but I provide £5. We’ve only a handful who’s are charged £100, meam is probably £nil or £60pa. We find it works in our favour especially for a newco as all codes etc come to us.

Before I had an office I worked from home but had a PO Box as my registered office. I didn’t offer the service, but wanted to and did as soon as I had an office.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
17th Sep 2021 20:34

I got sucked into providing just such a service a few years ago - around 2014 or so - when the most enterprising of my sprogs thought it a cunning plan to cover both his office rents (he happened to have an office in the same block as I) and that of yours truly.

So we went ahead and leased a cupboard on the floor below. (Alright, it wasn't actually advertised as a cupboard, but that's what it amounted to). Although the scheme sounded rather good on paper, the downside came when offloading clients. The sticky ones created an impasse whereby we were simply unable to properly change their Registered Office addresses, long after their payments had dried up.

An office move eventually provided a convenient solution. But there's easier ways to cash in on clients - a Registered Office service is flawed in so far as one provides with each annual return an assurance that company registers are kept at the registered office (or, alternatively, at the SAIL). And, as we all know very well, small incorporated businesses simply aren't conversant with such registers.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
18th Sep 2021 09:09

I know what you say about ex-clients, but we have a clause in our T&Cs. When they leave, we ask them for a new address, if they don’t provide that with 7 days we change the Reg Off to either their last know trading address or the last known address of whoever signed the LoE. I remind them of that fact in my email, which normally (NB not always) gives them a big enough nudge.

We use InformDirect for all our clients, so that deals with the registers.

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By DKB-Sheffield
17th Sep 2021 21:01

I do not offer this service anymore! Too much mail. Too hard to keep on top of. Too easy for clients to deny receiving important letters, tax demands etc. Had debt collectors and court papers appear more than once!

The main problem I found was that clients heared "Registered Adress Service" and thought "Trading Address", "Address for Bills", and "Address for Unwanted Mail". Strangely, never had client customers send any cheques through to it!

There are a few reasons clients want a Registered Address Service, and here are just a few:

1. They are based overseas (valid)

2. They want a prestigious Central London Address (although, this is wearing thin - it takes 30 seconds on Gov.UK to suss out a Registration Agent Address - just check the postcode!)

3. They don't want their customers or suppliers to know where they live (but in your case, they are happy for those customers/ suppliers to know where you live!)

4. They have something to hide and think this will 'shield' them from risk!

If you are working from home, I'd advise against allowing any client use of your home address! If they want a registered address service (and directors service address - which will usually follow suit) there are hundreds of options out there! They will pay service fees but, you'd probably find it difficult to undercut them once you take into account the cost to you in time and hassle!

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By legerman
18th Sep 2021 00:17

Just a small point, but if you do offer this service, you'll need to pass a fit and proper test on your AML licence. It costs £150 pa.

As others have said, I would definitely not consider it working from home.

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By bernard michael
18th Sep 2021 10:22

If you don't mind baillifs, debt collectors or County Court/High Court summons turning up at your home. If the answer is you don't mind check it out with "she who must be obeyed" if you have one.
I can predict the answer to that question

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By ShoulderShrug
20th Sep 2021 12:12

Thank you all for your suggestions and advice, I found it very helpful. I think for now I will stay away from using my home address for this and point clients in the direction of companies that do offer the service if they want their address to stay private.

What I might do is look at getting a P.O Box address, in the future, as was suggested by one or two and use that if I do decide that a registered office service is beneficial to my clients. For now, for my extremely small practise, it is not worth it the stress and hassle.

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