Is your residential address still on public record at Companies House?
Although the introduction of the ‘service address’ in 2009 provided enhanced protection for directors, there is still a privacy issue for directors appointed prior to this date.
Under current arrangements, a director has the option of choosing a business address as their service address – this is essentially the correspondence address which will be shown on the Companies House website. All directors must supply a residential address to Companies House, but can keep this off the public record provided they supply a different address as their service address.
However, for directors of companies incorporated a number of years ago, a quick trawl of previously filed annual returns (which are on permanent record at Companies House) will bring up details of a home address.
Protect your personal details
Given that directors are a target for online fraudsters (recent statistics estimate that 20% of all online victims are company directors) this can be a real concern.
How to remove your address from public record
The good news is that the Companies (Disclosure of Address) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 has changed this: under the new regulations a director may apply to have these historic details removed from the public record. The procedure is relatively straightforward and involves completing a Companies House form and payment of a £55 filing fee for each document to be removed. Both existing and former directors can take advantage of this; in respect of a former director only the first half of the individual’s postcode will be made available to the public. The Regulations also apply to company secretaries and LLP members.
If you would like further details of the new regulations, please get in touch with one of our company secretarial advisers.