A new procedure has been introduced to enable a company’s registered office address (ROA) to be changed providing the Registrar is happy that the company is not authorised to use that address anymore.
The new Companies (Address of Registered Office) Regulations 2016 has been in force since 6th April, allowing anyone to apply to the Registrar to change the address of a company’s registered office, providing the grounds of the application and any documentation or information in support of it.
Where a complaint is received that a company or a limited liability partnership (LLP) is wrongly using an ROA, Companies House will step in to investigate.
In the event the Registrar is satisfied that a company or LLP is not entitled to use a particular address, they’ll be able to amend the POA to a ‘default’ address. Any post sent to a company at their default address will be held at the relevant Companies House office.
Nevertheless, Companies House offices will not accept packages or bailiff visits for companies whose ROA has been changed to a default address.
Prior to this legislation, the Companies Act (CA 2006) gave the Registrar of Companies and the Court the authority to amend the public register to correct factually inaccurate, invalid or ineffective data.
However, a company’s registered address had to be outside the relevant UK jurisdiction or a wholly implausible address for a registered office to be rejected when filed by the company itself.
This resulted in a small percentage of firms with a registered office to which they had connection, resulting in multiple public complaints.
What is acceptable evidence of an ROA?
Acceptable evidence that a company has the right to use a specific ROA might be a document that displays it’s a building the company owns, one they rent, or an agreement from the owner that they are allowed to use the address as an ROA.
The Registrar will collate all forms of submitted evidence and inform the company and the dispute applicant of the outcome.
In the event the Registrar can’t come to an appropriate decision, it may then be referred to the courts.