Commercial Litigation Partner Jeremy Laws raises that Directors may wish to review their registered offices in light of the coronavirus.
At a time when many businesses are ‘working from home’, especially professional service firms, it is worth reviewing the location of your company’s registered office.
Many companies use the address of their accountants or auditors for their registered office, and for good reason. Normally, the formal service of documents at a registered office that is the office of a firm of accountants (or similar) is a safe practice. Typically the post will be opened and monitored by partners, and the accountants will have various ways of contacting the directors of the company to ensure that they are made aware of the relevant documents.
During the current pandemic, however, this may not be the case. Accountants and other professionals are likely to be working from home, and there is a risk that incoming post will not be monitored or will not be monitored regularly. There is in turn a risk to companies that they will be formally served with documents (including court proceedings) but the documents will not actually come to the directors’ attention. Section 1139 of the Companies Act 2006 allows a document to be served on a company by leaving it at or sending it by post to the company’s registered office. This provision in the Companies Act still applies – it has not been amended by the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Similar provisions apply to service of documents on Company’s officers, including directors. See our blog on this issue.
In the current circumstances you may wish to review the location of your registered office and the arrangements in place for monitoring incoming post. A registered office can be changed by the directors deciding to change it and then filing a form AD01 at Companies House.
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