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I've been wondering what the legality of using a PO box as a registered address for a limited company is.

I've done some research and the Royal Mail site seems to imply that it is legal for me to use a PO box in that matter. However, various other resources make claims that you cannot do it. For example, Small Firms Services states the following:

The general rule is that you cannot use a PO Box as a company’s registered office. It is important that a company’s official address is real and can be found by a member of the general public.

It later further states that it can be done, however the conditions to this are that the PO box must have a full address including: house number and road name.

The only time a PO Box address can be used is when a full address including house number and road name is also supplied. For example PO Box 123, 5 The High Street, London. This implies that within a physical address there is a physical Post Office Box service provider that can accept mail on behalf of the company.

Despite this post, I'm still unsure on the legality behind this, they do not actually state what law it breaks and I would like a more concrete answer on this matter.

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Mailing address: yes, Registered Office: no

The Company’s Act 2006 requires a company to have a registered office (s86). The purpose of a registered office is to allow personal delivery of legal documents (e.g. summonses, subpoenas) to the company.

It does not have to be the location from which the company actually operates, indeed, there may be several of these but only one registered office. Many companies use their accountant’s office as their registered office.

  • I said exactly that and got down voted and called belligerent lol. – Putvi Apr 6 at 16:50
  • That's why I've not accepted the answer @Putvi You need to drop this and accept I disagree and would like concrete proof of your claims. But Dale is not the one accusing me of being a scammer. – J.J Apr 6 at 17:18
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Someone ,actually in the UK, wrote this:

Where directors or secretaries are natural persons (i.e. not companies). The address used for them on the company registration application must be their usual residential address and not a business or Post Office Box number.

In situations where a PO Box is used for a company’s registered office, the post code provided must be that which relates to the actual location of the office and not that which belongs to the PO Box.

https://www.completeformations.co.uk/using-po-boxes.html

The person who wrote that article says he has "12 years of professional incorporation services". It says that the application was denied when the client only provided a P.O. box.

  • I also understand that only natural persons, not other legal entities can be a director of a company. This may have changed in the recent past as I also remember it differently. – TorstenS Aug 27 at 11:46
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Section 86 of the UK's Companies Act of 2006 says:

86 A company’s registered office A company must at all times have a registered office to which all communications and notices may be addressed https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/pdfs/ukpga_20060046_en.pdf

A P.O. box is not an office, therefore you must list an office address and not only a P.O. box.

  • "the registered office address does not have to be where the organization conducts its actual business or trade, and it is not unusual for law firms, accountants or incorporation agents to provide the official registered office address service. – J.J Apr 5 at 20:41
  • That is absolutely fine if law firms, accountants, or agents provide the address, but it still must be an office and not a P.O. box, as per the Companies Act. – Putvi Apr 5 at 20:42
  • The "registered office" only needs to be able to accept communications & notices, and well, a PO box can do that perfectly fine. Thus, under the definition of the word "registered office" I don't need to actually conduct my business there, it just needs to be able to receive th aforementioned communications & notices. – J.J Apr 5 at 20:42
  • It needs to be an office under the act I linked you to. A P.O. box is not an office. – Putvi Apr 5 at 20:43
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    @Putvi I have down voted this answer because its reasoning is deficient and the source it relies upon is not sufficient to determine the answer. In fact, there are places where a registered office with a P.O. Box address is allowed and there are others where it is not and the mere word is not sufficient to know. An ipsi dixit answer isn't appropriate unless you have real world experience with the question. Your behavior on this site is very problematic and if it persists further action may be necessary. – ohwilleke Apr 5 at 21:51

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