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Changes to Companies House should avoid service of Santa Claus at Reindeerland in the future!

On 3rd January 2024, Louise Smyth, Chief Executive and Registrar of Companies House announced that in March 2024, new legislation will bring in a number of changes to strengthen their powers.

They will include new rules for registered office addresses which will mean all companies must have an appropriate address at all times. Companies will not be able to use a PO Box as their registered office address. They will also include greater powers to query information. This means they will be be able to scrutinise and reject information that seems incorrect or inconsistent with information already on the register. In some cases, they’ll be able to remove information.

As process servers we welcome this change. We are frequently tasked with serving documents at incomplete or even fictitious addresses, and on one occasion we were tasked to serve a company who had provided their registered office as Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ, which is the address Royal Mail give to write letters to Santa. On further investigation, the director of that company was recorded as being Santa Claus! Clearly a physical attendance to the address was not going to be possible, and nor was locating any address at which we may meet with the director.

We hope that the new changes will bring about the requirement to only be able to provide an address which can be verified with Royal Mail, and our days of trying to find buildings and places which do not exist are numbered.

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