Now that the latest implemenation of the Companies Act 2006 is in place, company directors can now request to use a service address rather than a home address as the public record at the Registrar.
"From 1st October 2009 every director must provide Companies House with both their usual residential address, and for each directorship they hold, a service address. The service address will be on the public record and will be public information but the residential address will be protected information. A director can choose any address as the service address including the registered office address of the company. The address must be where documents can be delivered and an acknowledgement or receipt can be provided if required. The address can not be a PO Box or a DX number. If the director chooses to use his residential address as the service address the fact that the two addresses are the same would not be apparent from the public record."
"Q. If a company is in default, will any letter addressed to the directors go to the Service Address or residential address?
A. Letters will be sent to the Service Address initially."
This is handy for the Directors as it prevents fraudulent use of their details by scammers. However, it may create an upsurge in fraudsters creating companies using completely false addresses and as I posted on Twitter the other day, there may be a case for the Government to review this.
The Registrar is only a place of record and little checking of details is performed on submitted documents. While the rest of us struggle on with banks and other institutions wanting to KYC (know your customer) check us every time we need a new account or credit card, it is entirely possible to create a fictitious company at a false address.
Please take part in our poll (see right hand side of this blog) and tell us if you think the service address is more or less likely to increase fraud. You can sign in to use the poll using a Google, Yahoo or even a Twitter account and share the poll results using your twitter page.