Companies FAQ


Q. Will directors still have to provide their residential address to Companies House?

Yes. Every director must provide both their usual residential address and, for each directorship, a service address. The service address will be on the public record; the residential address will be protected information. A director may choose to use his residential address as his service address; if this is the case the service address will still appear on the public record, but the fact that the two addresses are the same will be protected information.

Q. What does the introduction of service address mean for directors?

Directors will still need to file their residential address with Companies House but they will also have the choice of filing a service address. The service address can be the same as the residential address, or the registered office address, or it can be somewhere different. The residential address will be held on a private register only available to predetermined organisations. This will be introduced from October 2009.

Q. Will a payment be required for directors who wish to file a service address?

No. When service addresses are introduced they will be free.

Q. Who will be able to obtain a directors' residential address from Companies House and why?

The following will be able to obtain directors residential addresses:

  • Specified public bodies for carrying out their public functions.
  • Credit reference agencies for vetting applications for credit and associated work and to meet the obligations in the Money Laundering Regulations.

Vulnerable directors will be able to apply to the Registrar for their addresses not to be provided to credit reference agencies.

Q. Which directors' addresses will not be provided to credit reference agencies?

A. Credit Reference agencies will not be able to obtain the usual residential address of any director who is the beneficiary of a valid Confidentiality Order on 30 September 2009 or who has made a successful application to the Registrar on the grounds that he is:

  • at serious risk of violence or intimidation as a result of the activities of a company of which he is a director;
  • or has been, employed by the police or security services;
  • providing, or has provided, goods or services to the police or security services.

Q. Does the legislation relating to service addressed allow a ban of up to 5 years if the address was found to be ineffective?

A. Yes, if the service address is ineffective the Registrar does have the power to ban the use of this address and place the usual residential address on the public register.

Q. If a company is in default, will any letter addressed to the directors go to the Service Address or residential address?

A. Letters will be sent to the Service Address.

Q. Will Companies House still register 'Confidentiality Order' for directors under severe threat, as well as the service address option?

A. Confidentiality Orders will cease on implementation of the Act on 1st October 2009. Section 243(5) will allow for Directors at risk to apply for their usual residential address not to be disclosed to Credit Reference Agencies. All directors will be required to have a service address for the public record and provide their usual residential address which will only be provided to Public Authorities and Credit Reference Agencies.

Q. As residential addresses are no longer required, will confidentiality orders need to be renewed?

A. Only directors whose confidentiality order expires before 1st October will need to renew their order. From 1st October 2009 if a director is at risk of harm they will be able to apply under Section 243(5) for their usual residential address not to be disclosed to Credit Reference Agencies.