The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (July 2010)
A registered office is the official address of an incorporated company, association or any other legal entity. Generally it will form part of the public record and is required in most countries where the registered organization or legal entity is incorporated. A registered physical office address is required for incorporated organizations to receive official correspondence and formal notices from government departments, investors, banks, shareholders and the general public.:209
In the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, the Companies Act 2006 requires all companies to have a registered office. Documents may be served on companies by delivery to the registered office address as recorded at Companies House. A registered office address is required for incorporated organizations to receive official correspondence and formal notices from government departments, investors, banks, shareholders and the general public.:209 The registered office address does not have to be where the organization conducts its actual business or trade, and it is not unusual for law firms, accountants or incorporation agents to provide the official registered office address service. Generally, a company's registered name must be visible to the public at its registered office. Companies must include their registered office address on all communications, such as letters, and on its websites.
A company's statutory records previously had to be kept at the registered office and available for public inspection; since 1 October 2009 it has been possible for companies to designate a single alternative inspection location (SAIL) as a place to keep their records which must be available for public inspection.:210 Since June 2016, private companies can elect to keep certain records on the central register which is held and published by Companies House, instead of maintaining their own registers.
A company must indicate in which of the United Kingdom's three jurisdictions its registered office is to be located: England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. Companies incorporated in Wales may elect for their registered office address to be recorded as in Wales rather than in England and Wales. Under regulations implemented in the UK on 1 October 2009, company directors may now also use a registered office address instead of their private home address for contact on the Companies House register. Although their legal registration is in either England and Wales, or in Wales, according to Companies House companies must display the company registered office location in a manner similar to one of the following suggested formats:
“On all company’s business letters, order forms (in hard copy, electronic or any other form) and its websites, the company must show in legible lettering:
(a) the part of the United Kingdom in which the company is registered which is:
For Companies registered in England and Wales either:
- Registered in England and Wales; or
- Registered in England; or
- Registered in Wales; or
- Registered in London; or
- Registered in Cardiff.”
In many other countries the address with which a company is registered must be where its headquarters or seat is located, and this will often determine the subnational registry at which the company must be registered.
- Andersen, Arthur. The European Film Production Guide: Finance, Tax, Legislation. Routledge, 1996. 21. Retrieved from Google Books on 3 July 2010. ISBN 0-415-13665-2, ISBN 978-0-415-13665-5.
- Adirondack, Sandy; Taylor, James Sinclair (2008). Voluntary sector legal handbook (3rd ed.). London: Directory of Social Change. ISBN 9781903991879.
- Companies Act 2006, section 86
- Law, Jonathan, ed. (2018). "Registered office". A Dictionary of Law (Ninth ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 571. ISBN 978-0-19-184080-7. OCLC 1043882876.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
- The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/17), regulation 21(1)(a)
- The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/17), regulation 24
- "Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015". legislation.gov.uk. Part 8 s.94 and Schedule 5. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
- "Company Formation GBF1". Companies House website. Companies House. 2003. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.