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A registered company address is an official address of a legal person that is assigned by every entrepreneur as part of the establishment process. It can also be referred to as legal residence, legal seat, or domicile. In addition to a registration number, a registered office is a mandatory attribute for any type of legal entity, which in most jurisdictions creates the necessary public records.

The purpose of the legal address is to reach government institutions and receive official correspondence there. A registered physical office is required to receive official correspondence from tax authorities, banks, partners, customers, shareholders, etc. However, the seat does not have to be equipped with a mailbox. Hence, business owners need to ensure that their correspondence reaches them when necessary.

Legal address requirements

The registered address must be in the same country in which the company is registered. The documents confirming your registered address are: Articles of Association for most companies or Articles of Association for most companies. Most jurisdictions do not allow you to use a PO Box as a place of business because it must be an actual and public address. You can only use it in cases where it is attached to the full address with house number and zip code.

If necessary, the address of the registered office may be changed by the director or other officer of the company in accordance with company documents. Make sure that you receive a properly executed confirmation of such a change (minutes or minutes) to be presented to your bank, auditor, partners, etc. upon request.

Renting a legal address

You can always choose to have a rental service from your registered address, or in other words - use a third-party address. There are many advantages to renting a legal address. First, it gives you privacy by shielding sensitive information from your home address. Second, it is a cost-saving option when you don't have to rent actual office space, especially abroad.

There are several things to consider when choosing a registered address for your business. For example, in some countries (Latvia, Lithuania) an actual rental agreement may be required for the tax authorities. Or some addresses are heavily overloaded or even blacklisted by banks or tax authorities. You can call up the information provided on Google Maps about the location of your legal address and scan some articles on the Internet that are related to the address you have offered.

Registered Office & Secretary

Some jurisdictions laws require to assign a Corporate Secretary with association of the Registered Office of the company. For example, it is required by law officer in Gibraltar, Cyprus, Malta and Hong Kong. Or, it is an optional position in Ireland, United Kingdom or Marshall Islands. A Corporate Secretary is quite a different positon from what we commonly understand by secretarial services. A Corporate Secretary is an official officer in the company, who oversees the efficient administration of a company, especially in respect of compliance with statutory and administrative requirements. The main duties of the Company Secretary may vary from country to country, but commonly those are:

To keep and sometimes issue share certificates;
To maintain the company’s statutory registers;
To maintain and update all company registers;
To keep the company’s seal;
To prepare the notices for board meetings or shareholders’ meetings;
To prepare and lodge filings and minutes of the company’s meetings;
To prepare and file annual returns and other financial documents with the Trade Register;
To prepare any other document required by the law;
To sign statutory declarations on behalf of the company and authenticate documents.

Registered office and substance

We have already mentioned the importance of company substance. Remember that registered address and business (or trading) address are two different notions. Adding substance to the service of Registered Office becomes crucial in today’s business environment. Read our article about the Substance Office and let us help you setting-up a solid and presentable structure for your company in a jurisdiction of your choice.

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