If you are a start-up from home and do not have an office yet, how can you register your business on http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/ without publicly disclosing your personal home address? I know about virtual offices but I find that they are very pricey and I'm looking for a cost-effective solution.

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    When you say 'very pricey' do you mean you want this done for free? The virtual addresses I've seen are only around £50 annually, which seems reasonable. You can obviously pay more for additional services, such as using the address for all business mail, but for a standard 'Registered office' address it could be an option. – James Jul 18 '14 at 11:25
  • Where are these £50 virtual offices you speak of, do they have a web address? – ThreaT Jul 19 '14 at 0:01
  • Sure, sorry I didn't include a link as I didn't want to promote but here's a registered address with mail forwarding for £35 per year - i-support-business.co.uk/virtual-office-services/… (Full disclosure, I have no affiliation with the linked company and this is not an endorsement) – James Jul 19 '14 at 8:55

You don't have to provide your personal home address per se. You can provide a legal address where Companies house can send across paper correspondence to. Companies house legally requires an address because directors are liable to their shareholders(even if you are the only shareholder) and to stop them from disappearing just like that with shareholder's money. Moreover your birth date will also be visible on websites which provide comapnies information. You can ask these websites to stop sharing your personal information.

Every company must have a registered office within the UK which is the official legal address of the company. It must be a physical address (i.e. not a PO Box without a physical location) as Companies House will use this address to send correspondence to.

To incorporate a private limited company you need at least one director, who has to be over 16 years of age. You may also have a secretary, but this is optional. The information you will need to supply for each officer includes:

  • full name
  • usual residential address (not displayed on public record)
  • service address (can be the same as the registered office)
  • country/state of residence (i.e. the country or state where the address is situated)
  • nationality, occupation, date of birth and any former names (that have been used for business purposes in the last 20 years).
  • 'consent to act' information – in place of a signature you will need to provide 3 items of personal information from the following 7 categories: Town of birth, Last 3 digits of telephone number, Last 3 digits of National Insurance number, Last 3 digits of Passport number, Mothers maiden name, Eye Colour, Fathers first name.

You may also have officers that are companies or firms, and for these you will need to supply the company or firm name, its registered office address, details of the legal form of the company, where it is registered and if applicable its registration number.

  • "You can provide a legal address where Companies house can send across paper correspondence to." -- you also need to provide a location at which company documents (register of shareholders, etc) can be inspected, which means that not all legal addresses are suitable (e.g. you cannot use a mailbox address unless the mailbox provider is willing to hold the documents for you, a service for which they usually charge extra). Note that this doesn't have to be the same location as the registered address. See 1stformations.co.uk/blog/the-sail-address-explained for more detail. – Jules Nov 4 '17 at 5:26

Many serviced offices allow you to use their address for companies house.

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