The Companies Act 2006 introduced a change to the law; the filing at Companies House of residential addresses for public disclosure became optional for all directors and even though Companies House holds the residential address of all directors, access is restricted to certain public authorities and credit reference agencies.

However, this doesn’t offer any privacy protection to those directors and secretaries who have held their appointment for many years and as such their residential addresses remain visible on the company register as part of the historical information held.

An application can be made for the residential address of a director or secretary to be made unavailable for public inspection but only on very limited grounds and only in respect of residential addresses placed on the register on or after 1 January 2003.

So what about the residential addresses of those directors and secretaries that were registered pre-1st January 2003? Well here’s the good news – the draft Companies (Disclosure of Address) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 proposes new law to remove the restriction preventing applications from individuals whose residential address was placed on the register before 1 January 2003.

Under the new Regulations, directors and secretaries, regardless of the year that they were appointed, can apply to Companies House to have their residential address removed from the register in order to protect their privacy. Furthermore, the draft regulations remove the necessity to only make an application on specific grounds such as a risk of violence or intimidation and so the process should be much simpler and available to most company directors and secretaries.

Although not in force yet, the government has said it plans to bring the new Regulations in by the end of summer 2018.

If you have any queries with regards to what personal information is accessible via your company’s record at Companies House or you’d like to discuss the new regulations, please contact Farleys’ corporate team on 0845 287 0939 or email us.