As a hub for freelancers and entrepreneurs who are often at the beginning of their journey, a question we often get asked is can you put your home address as your business address?
And while the answer is technically yes, we’re quick to point out that this might not be the best idea. Using your home address as your business address on Companies House comes with all sorts of security concerns, credibility issues and compliance complications.
But don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of disadvantages of using your home address as your registered office address so that you can understand exactly what the implications are. And we’ve also included a handy alternative that won’t break the bank!
What is a registered business address in the UK?
When you set up a limited company in the UK, you’re legally required to register that business with Companies House. Companies House is the UK government agency responsible for maintaining a public record of the companies operating in the UK, including the name of your company, directors’ information, shareholders’ names and more.
When you register your business with Companies House, you’re legally required to provide a registered office address for your company. This must be a physical address that can receive post including official correspondence from the UK Government and HMRC. And while you’re just starting out and you don’t have an office space, it might seem like the obvious solution to use your home address. But although this is perfectly legal, it might not be wise.
Read on to find out why you might not want to use your home address as your Companies House address.
What are the disadvantages of using your home address as your business address?
There are a few reasons you might not want to put your home address on Companies House. Here are 10 disadvantages to using your home address in your Companies House information.
1. Privacy Concerns
Companies House is a public record of all the businesses operating in the UK. That means that the information stored on the Companies House register can be easily accessed by anyone.
A simple Companies House web search leads you to the Companies House register, where you can perform a Companies House company search to discover key information on businesses operating in the UK. For example, a quick Companies House director search reveals the name of their company, their registered office address, shareholders’ details and more. And you can even do a Companies House data download, meaning that people can store this information for future reference!
Making all this information publicly available is a fantastic way to maintain transparency in the business sector in the UK. It’s a great way to ensure that businesses operate in a way that is credible and trustworthy. However, it might mean that you want to reconsider using your home address as your business address, as anyone will be able to find and view it online.
2. Lack of Credibility
Which business are you more likely to trust? The company with a professional postcode in a prime business district? Or the company with a registered business address that starts with “flat 4A” and ends with a residential postcode?
Tons of people like to shop from small businesses, but they also want to make sure that their purchase is secure and reliable. Having a professional business address is a great way to build trust in your business and encourage customers to use your services. But you may be wondering how to get a professional address when you haven’t got the funds to rent an office.
Using a virtual registered office address is a great way to get a prime postcode without having to spend tons of your hard-earned cash flow on rent and maintenance. A virtual office is a perfectly legal service that allows you to use a professional address for all your business correspondence. They’ll then forward or scan any mail that you receive and send it to you so that you never miss a letter while you keep on working hard from home. It’s a quick and affordable way to boost your brand.
3. Compliance Issues
There are certain legal circumstances under which you’ll need a business address that’s separate from your home address. For instance, UK law states that any business registered in England or Wales must be registered to an address in the same jurisdiction. So if you live in, say, Scotland, but you want to set up a business in England, you won’t be able to use your home address as your registered company address!
A great way around this is to register your business at a virtual office in the jurisdiction where you’d like to set up your company. That allows you to keep doing all the hard work at home, while reaping the benefits of a professional business address in the jurisdiction where you’d like your company to be based.
4. Work-Life Balance
Tons of the people who work at Impact Brixton are highly skilled freelancers. And we know from experience that it’s difficult to maintain a work-life balance when you’re essentially your own boss. And when your home address is your business address, meaning that all your official correspondence arrives with your regular post and representatives from HMRC or your clients turn up at your front door, that work-life divide is in danger of collapsing completely.
Using a virtual registered office address is a great way to make sure that your home life and your work life remain separate. Your clients won’t know where you live, and you can use mail handling services to keep your official correspondence separate.
5. Mail Handling Difficulties
When you register your business at your home address, all of your correspondence will be delivered to your address. You might be confident that you can keep on top of things, but if you live in a house with lots of people or you generally receive a lot of mail, you might soon find that you’ve missed a really important letter from HMRC or the UK Government.
Why not choose a virtual office that includes a mail scanning service, like Impact Brixton? This allows you to have any official correspondence you receive to your business address scanned and emailed to your work email before being securely destroyed. It’s a great way to keep your official correspondence completely separate from your personal post.
6. Lack of Physical Meeting Space
It may be that you’re completely comfortable hosting clients in your home. And if your client base is willing to come to your home, then that’s ideal. But chances are you might be on the lookout for somewhere a bit more professional. And if you run your business entirely from home, that might be quite difficult to come by!
A great solution to this issue is to choose a virtual office provider that also provides access to a physical workspace. Impact Brixton is a virtual office provider based in a coworking space that offers bright and welcoming meeting rooms that you can book by the hour. So not only do you protect your privacy and boost your brand by using a virtual registered office address in London, but you also gain access to amenities that can help you run your business. It’s a win-win solution!
7. No Business Community Links
As the proud operators of a bustling coworking space, we know that it can be lonely working from home. And while tons of entrepreneurs start out working from home, the sooner you can join a busy business community, the better!
A great way to do this is to find the best registered office address provider that also offers access to a physical space. This ticks two huge requirements off your list straight away – a registered business address in the UK and access to a thriving community.
Take Impact Brixton as an example. Not only are we a tip top virtual registered office address in the UK, we’re also home to a community of over 500 freelancers, creatives, entrepreneurs and small business owners, who use our coworking space, meeting rooms and event spaces to build their business and widen their network. And when you sign up to our virtual office, you automatically join them! It’s a great way to make connections and find collaborators.
8. Spam and Cold Callers
Those flyers that you get offering business broadband? Those spam calls that you get claiming that you owe money for business expenses? Expect all of these and more if you use your home address as your business address. Because your details are easily accessible on the Companies House Gov UK register, anyone can add your address to their spam list.
If you want to avoid the hassle of constant cold callers, consider using a virtual office that offers call handling services as well as mail handling services. You can get a professional phone number with a virtual receptionist that will answer your calls and screen out the spam. It’s the perfect way to avoid your home phone or mobile ringing off the hook.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you put your home address as your business address?
Yes, you can – but you might not want to use your home address as your registered office address. As Companies House is a public record, anyone will be able to search, view and download your registered business address, leading to privacy concerns if you’ve chosen to use your home address. Not to mention that a residential address isn’t the best way to give your business a professional reputation!
Instead, consider getting a registered office address in London or a similar business hub. A service like Impact Brixton’s virtual office will give you a professional address for your Companies House online record, and handle all of your mail to help you stay on top of your official business correspondence.
How do you register a business on Companies House?
If you’re heading to Companies House to register a new company, definitely check out our blog post that features step-by-step instructions on what you need to do. It’s Companies House made simple!
Can you change your business address on Companies House?
Yes, you can. So if you do decide that you want to use a virtual office as your registered business address instead of using your home address, you can perform a simple Companies House address change by following the easy steps on this Gov UK webpage.
While using your home address as your registered business address might seem like the easiest solution when registering a business with Companies House, it’s not actually the best move. Using your home address as your official office address comes with all sorts of privacy concerns, and can really hurt the reputation of your company when it comes to professionalism and credibility. A quick and easy workaround is to use a virtual office as your registered business address on Companies House. This gives you a professional postcode at a fraction of the cost of renting a physical office space, and helps you to keep on top of your official correspondence.