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Your home address available at Companies House - don't put your home at risk

Posted in 'Business' by Arron Dickens

02 November 2015

Current UK legislation allows company directors to register a service address with Companies House in order to record a directorship. All directors must provide Companies House with their residential address, but Companies House can keep this private if a service address is used and displayed on the official public record. This provision has helped business owners and directors to keep their home address private, and avoid the possibility of customers, or even protestors, from turning up at their home address.

There have been several cases where a director's home address has been accessed from this public record, which has caused serious security fears. Prior to the relaxation of the law, Huntingdon Life Sciences was a key target for protest groups including the Animal Liberation Front, who targeted the company directors of the institute to protest against the research and testing which had been carried out.

In 2001, Brian Cass the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences was attacked at his home by protestors who had located his address from the public record at Companies House. Animal rights protestors have also targeted directors' homes at other large corporations including GSK and Bayer. Accessing a director's address in this way has not been solely limited to big businesses though, in 2005 activists targeted the home of a company director of a small brokers firm - Canaccord Capital. Again the address had been obtained from these public records.

With the change in law many directors have been taking advantage of using a service address to protect their own homes. Though the use of a service address is not just limited to company directors. A public address also raises privacy and security concerns for website owners who have to record their address details with WHOIS after purchasing a domain name. WHOIS publish these details in its online directory, meaning website owner’s information is also publically available.

Several eBay businesses have also raised concerns about customers and clients turning up at their home - many eBay businesses are run from the seller’s home, and in some cases customers can turn up un-announced after finding the address on the website. eBay offers different ways of displaying the information but it insists that business sellers must show a real geographical address - not a PO Box.

This is exactly what ScanMyPost can provide - a real geographical service address to keep your home address secure, and maintain your privacy and safety.

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Arron Dickens

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Arron has a degree in Business Administration from Cornwall Business School. He writes mostly on matters relating to living overseas.

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