The introduction of director’s services addresses was the result of the Companies Act 2006 changes which came in to effect on 1 October 2009. They have significantly altered the previous mechanics involved in the appointment of a new company director under the old 1985 act.
The new requirements states that each UK company director must provide Companies House with two sets of address details, a service address and their residential location. This will be the position whether at the time of company incorporation or on a subsequent appointment occurring post formation.
The first of these is a service address which will be published on the Companies House website and available to the general public who choose to pay a nominee fee to download the information.
A directors service address provision permits company officers to depart from the previous requirement to display their residential details to the wider public and provides them with a choice a which type of location they display to enquiring individuals.
Whilst in the majority of situations the directors’ service address might be the company’s registered office (where a third party facility is used) the Companies Act allows for any alternative location to be used.
Any such service address used should be capable of accepting Companies House documents and reaching the designated director within a reasonable time frame.
The ability for a given director to use a non residential location as their service address does not by any means require that they do so.
Companies House does not itself render any charge for the use of a services address but in some situations a private provider of such facilities might render a charge for its use.
Confidentiality Orders on Directors’ Addresses
Services addresses are similar in nature and (do indeed replace) the confidentiality order regime which expired under section 243 of the Companies Act 1985.
The significant difference between the old confidentiality orders and the new services address regime is that the latter is now mandatory and applies to all UK company directors.
This is even the case whether or not a particular individual would have previously been judged to be within a high at-risk categorisation under the 1985 legislation.
Those confidentiality orders which expired prior to 1 October 2009 would have had to have been renewed whilst those terminating subsequent to the introduction of the new provisions would not.
The availability of the directors’ service address provisions has created a uniform approach to retaining certain measures of anonymity relating to the disclosure of private residential details to the public.
Directors Residential Addresses
Whilst directors residential address will not be publically available after 1 October 2009 there are still nonetheless required by Companies House when a person is being appointed to that position within a UK company.
Although they will remain undisclosed to the general population, there are a certain number of bodies to which directors’ residential addresses will be disclosed.
These include credit reference agencies used for assessing the risk or other factors on a person’s credit worthiness and other government organisations that might use the information during the course of their activities.
Choice of Directors Service Address
The choice of whether to use a third party service office address instead of the director’s residential location can be made on an individual basis.
Some appointees may view the disclosure of their residential addresses to the public an option they are willing to undertake. Others might have differing views.
Recent pronouncements on identity thief particularly though internet fraud might increase the numbers of directors wanting to take advantage of the new identity protections.
In fact there are few obvious disadvantages pertaining to using a service address for a company’s directors given that the correspondence between Companies House and individual officers is infrequent. Such direct contact is usually only made when letters sent to the registered office are returned as undeliverable.
Complete Formations provide directors service address facilities from our Regent Street location. The service is both efficient and reliable and utilises the same proven mechanisms used for both the statutory and business mail sorting services.