May 2nd, 2018

Directors’ Residential Address Protection

The Companies (Disclosure of Address) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into force on 26 April 2018.

Unusually these were produced without consultation as BEIS has received serious and concerning complaints about people being put at risk because their home address is publicly available on the Companies House register.

According to Cifas, the fraud prevention organisation, company directors form 9% of the population but make up 19% of victims of impersonation.

Since 2009 directors have been able to give a service address for the public file whilst their residential address was kept private for use only by government agencies and authorised credit reference firms.

Since Companies House made so much data freely available on their 'Beta' site however, it is very easy, and free, to download pre-2009 documents revealing company director details.

This applies to company directors and others such as secretaries, people with significant control (PSC) and LLP members, whose home address is publicly available on company documents.

To remove a home address, you can apply at a cost of £55 for each document you want to suppress.

An alternative correspondence address must be provided if the individual in question is still appointed to a live company, such as a current director. This will replace the home address on the public register.

This does not apply once the people with significant control are no longer appointed to the company. Instead, only the first half of the postcode will be available to the public.

This process cannot be used to remove a home address if its being used as a company’s registered office.

The regulations will be of particular interest to any director or shareholder in place before 2009 and who has not moved house since.

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