All new companies in the United Kingdom must be registered to a UK address. This may include any house or commercial address, as long as it is in the correct region of the country. For example, if a company is registered in England and Wales, it will have a registered address in England or Wales; a company in Scotland will have its registered address in Scotland; and a company incorporated in Northern Ireland will have a registered address there.
If you are a homeowner, residential or commercial tenant in the United Kingdom, it is possible that someone has registered a company at your address without your knowledge and consent. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including fraud or error.
It is usually discovered when letters addressed to a company or person you have never heard of begin arriving at your home or office. This can be confusing and frustrating, as you may not know how to deal with the company or stop the letters from coming.
There are a few steps you can take if you think someone has registered a company at your address.
Contact the company
Firstly, try to find out who the company is and why they have your address. You can do this by searching for the company name on the Companies House website or contacting Companies House directly. You can reach Companies House by phone at +44 (0)303 1234 500 or by email at [email protected]
If the company is legitimate, you may be able to speak to a representative and find out why your address was used. It is possible that they have the wrong address on record, in which case you can ask them to update their records.
Apply to change a disputed registered office address
If you cannot get in touch with the company or if you believe the company is using your address fraudulently, you can contact Companies House and ask them to change the company’s registered office and remove your address from their public record. You will need to explain why you think your address was used without your consent.
The form must be submitted online through the Companies House website or delivered by post. Please keep in mind that paper documents sent by post are taking much longer to process. There is no fee to submit this form to Companies House.
You must submit supporting evidence with your application. This might be a utility bill dated within the last 6 months, a land registry deed dated within the last 12 months, a written agreement allowing the applicant to use the address, or other documents showing the applicant’s rights in the address, such as leasehold or freehold. If you are a service provider, for example, a company formation agent, then written evidence of the start and end of a contract is required.
After you have submitted the form, Companies House will investigate the company’s use of your address. They may contact you and the company that uses the address and its officers for more information.
If they find that the company has been using your address without your consent, they will change the company’s registered office to the Companies House default address.
Once your application to change a company’s disputed registered office has been approved, the company may only use a paper Form AD01 (for companies) or Form LLAD01 (for LLPs) to update their registered office address. The company must also provide a letter of consent from the property owner or service provider which authorises the company to use the address.
Contact Action Fraud
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. You can do this online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
When you contact Action Fraud, you will need to provide as much information as possible about the incident, including any evidence you have collected.
You should also contact your local police station if you think you have been a victim of crime. They may be able to investigate and take action against the individuals involved.
Keep in mind that registering a company at someone else’s address is not a crime in itself. However, using a registered address for fraudulent purposes is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution.
If you think someone has registered a company at your address, there are a few steps you can take to deal with the situation. You can contact the company to try to find out why they have your address on record. If you cannot get in touch with the company or if you believe they are using your address fraudulently, you can contact Companies House and ask them to remove the company from the register. You should also report the incident to Action Fraud if you think you have been a victim of fraud.
This article is intended as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always consult a solicitor if you are unsure about your legal rights or obligations.
Uniwide Formations is one of the leading company formation agents in the UK, helping people to start and run their businesses. We offer a range of services, including company registration, provision of registered office address services and more. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.