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Keeping your information safe

There are many benefits that come from running your business through a corporate body, whether it be a company or a limited liability partnership. These benefits come at a cost though, one of which is the requirement to publish information about the business at Companies House.

Part of the information that you are required to make public is details of the individuals involved in the management of the business, including their address. Although it is necessary to provide details of each individual’s home address, for some time now it has been possible to keep these details off the public record by providing a second service address that is published instead. We would always recommend that advantage is taken of this option, with the entity’s registered office usually being used as the individual’s service address.

This has always been problematic for businesses run from home though, as there will not usually be a second service address that can be used, and consequently there may seem to be no choice but to make public details of the home address of directors, secretaries and people with significant control. This obviously can be of concern to those involved who would rather keep their personal information private, particularly when identity theft is becoming an increasingly common problem.

We are able to help with this problem, by using the address of one of our offices across London and the South East as both the registered office of the company or LLP, and also as the service address of those individuals involved with its management. This can help considerably in keeping your information safe from future misuse.

This doesn’t help though with the issue of past information which has already been filed with Companies House which contains details of residential addresses. Up until now, it has only been possible to have this information removed from the public record if it could be demonstrated that by having it publicly accessible placed the individual at serious risk of violence or intimidation. These regulations have recently been relaxed to enable all individuals to have their home address removed from the company register, as long as that any person still in office provides an alternative correspondence address. If you are no longer appointed to a company or LLP an alternative address is not required, and instead only the first half of the postcode will be made available to the public.

There is a cost though in removing historic information about your home address that has featured on past documents that have been placed on public record, with Companies House charging £55 for each document you want to suppress. Also, it should be noted that you cannot use this process to remove a home address if it has been used as the company’s registered office address.

If you require any assistance in ensuring that your private information is made safe then please contact Alun Edwards here, or contact your usual Kreston Reeves adviser for details.

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