No more PO Box addresses at Companies House

Published: 14/05/2024 By Hannah Duncan

Last month we reported that Companies House were increasing their fees from May (read our blog here).  This move was hoped to be a deterrent to fraudsters setting up fake companies. As well as to aid in covering costs associated with the new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) which cracks down on the misuse of company information. With these new fee hikes also comes changes to the registered office address, the ECCTA states businesses will not be able to use PO Box numbers at a registered office address.
Going forwards companies must always have an appropriate address on the Companies House register. This can be defined as:

  • Any correspondence sent to the registered office are expected to be addressed to a person authorised to act on behalf of the company.
  • The address allows for the acknowledgment of delivery of any documents sent to it.

If required a third-party agent’s address can be used if they meet the criteria above but a PO Box cannot be used as a registered office address.

What are the consequences of not having a legitimate registered office address?
Any company that does not have an appropriate registered office address risks being struck off the register. If an inappropriate address is found, it will automatically be changed to a default address held at Companies House. The company will then have 28 days to provide a new appropriate address including evidence to back up the link to the new address. If this is not provided the process to strike the company off the register will commence.