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25-July-1

What’s the difference between a registered address and a business address?

In the new age of being able to work remotely, having a virtual office can be the best thing to enable flexibility but trying to figure out whether you need a registered address or just a business address can be tricky business.

If you’re just starting out, or you’re a freelancer or digital nomad, having traditional office space may not be necessary but having an address associated with your company is essential. However, it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between a registered address and a business address and what roles the two play. The table below sets out the main differences between the two address types.

Registered AddressBusiness Address
In the UK a registered address is a legal requirement by company law for any company registered with Companies House. A registered address is something that is required during company formation.A business address can be the same address as your registered office but equally it can be in different location. For companies that operate and have staff nationwide or that are trying to attract clientele from different areas of the country or different countries, it can be beneficial to have multiple business addresses.
The purpose of a registered address, otherwise known as a service address, is to act as the official address and point of contact for your limited company or limited liability partnership for government agencies such as Companies House and HMRC. This is to ensure that any important letters or legal notices can be posted and reliably received at this location and acted upon if necessary.A trading address and business address are the same thing and the names can be used interchangeably.
Another reason for having specific registered office details is because they are also used to store the company’s statutory registers and are also publicly listed to increase corporate transparency.A business address is primarily where you would conduct your business affairs from. You may have a variety of correspondence from suppliers, banks and clients sent to any of your business addresses unlike a registered address. There are strict rules with registered addresses which stipulate that you can only have one at any one time to therefore ensure that all companies know exactly which address they should receive important government documents to and it is up to the company to ensure that they check that post to act upon anything requested.
A registered address does not need to be a commercial property, they can also be residential addresses. There are benefits, however, of opting to use a corporate address such as, it keeps your home address protected and it can be used to give your company instant credibility with new and potential clients.With a business address you can choose to use that specific location, purely, for the reason of advertising it on your websites, business cards, emails and any collateral that your business may need rather than using that location because it is one that you wish to visit or work from.
If you want to capitalise on protecting your home address and giving your company a better image through having a notable business address, you don’t have to pay expensive office rental costs. It is possible to buy a registered office service from a variety of workspace providers where you pay rent for just the office address which you can use as your registered office. It is always important, however, to check with the office address provider that you may use this address as a registered address and sometimes it will incur a higher fee. With this type of arrangement, you don’t have to pay for a desk and depending on your provider they will often forward your post or, alternatively, you can go to your virtual address to collect it.Similarly, to a registered address, you can also rent, just a business address from a variety of office providers if you work from home or want the ultimate flexibility of being able to work wherever you want without paying high office rental costs for a space you will not use.
If you decide on renting a business address, you can often get additional extras to improve the professionality and image of your company, if you wish, such as call forwarding so that any clients that call your office number will get forwarded to a number of your choice. It can also be possible to rent meeting rooms in your building so that you can host any business meetings at your advertised address.
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