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Using PO Boxes When Forming a Company


A situation occurred recently when a client attempted to take advantage of the provisions to use a PO Box address as part of their company application details.

The application was rejected several times by Companies House as the customer repeatedly tried to understand and then enact the requirements specified for the use of PO boxes.

The rules state that such an address can be used in the case of a director or secretarial appointment where the appointee is itself a company.

A registered office address can also be a PO Box provided the post code is included and is capable of being verified using the Royal Mail system.

Specifically Disallowed Uses of PO Boxes

As our customer discovered is not permissible to use PO Boxes in any of the following situations:

Where directors or secretaries are natural persons (i.e. not companies). The address used for them on the company registration application must be their usual residential address and not a business or Post Office Box number.

In situations where a PO Box is used for a company’s registered office, the post code provided must be that which relates to the actual location of the office and not that which belongs to the PO Box.

The use of Post office Boxes is generally not encouraged as they are perceived as having the potential to hinder communication between Companies House and other bodies and the businesses officers.

Where privacy is required, the option exists to use a third party registered office service and in cases where personal security is an issue, a service address.

A service address is one granted by Companies House in cases where the nature of a person’s employment or other aspect of the life might place them at some risk if their residential address was available on public record.

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