28 June, 2022

Self-Employed Business Address Explained: What Is It and Do You Really Need It

As someone who’s self-employed, without the need for an office, you may not think you need a business address. However, a business address can have plenty of advantages, so it’s worth exploring to see if it’s something you could benefit from.

Why self employed need a business address

What is a business address?

A business address is an address to where your business is registered, which is usually an office or professional address. It’s where all mail related to your business will be sent, and the address you provide to HMRC and Companies House if you decide to register as a limited company.

It’s also the address you will advertise to your clients, customers, and potential investors, and will appear on the likes of invoices, business cards, and your website.

If you’re self-employed, do you still need a business address?

If you’re a sole trader, such as a plumber or electrician, then it’s expected that you will always be on the road, and therefore have less need for a professional office address. In these circumstances, it’s not uncommon for sole traders to use their home addresses.

However, it’s less common for limited companies, or sole traders intending on becoming a limited company.

When registering as a limited company, the address you give to Companies House is the address that will be made public on their website. Because of this, you want to make sure you’re keeping your personal information - ie, your home address - private. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use an office or virtual office address when registering as a limited company.

On the subject of privacy, keep in mind that if you operate in ecommerce, your correspondence address must be disclosed to your customers. Your business contact address doesn’t have to be the same as the address you used during sole trader registration. However, it’s more convenient to use the same address across different business operations. To avoid revealing your home address to everyone online, you can book a virtual office address in London.

So, it makes sense to have a self-employed virtual address because you can: 

  • Protect your private residence from public channels; 
  • Save money by getting a premium address without paying premium physical office prices;
  • Operate your business outside of the UK while still being registered with Companies House and HMRC;
  • Get access to mail management services;
  • Create a positive perception of your company for the public.

A virtual business address for self-employed works the same way for other business types; for example, if you’re in a partnership. In this arrangement, you need an address to register with the relevant government departments and to make tax payments individually or on behalf of the partnership.

How to Change a Self-Employed Business Address

In short, the self-employed can change their business addresses through HMRC. If your business is registered with Companies House, you can download an AD01 form on the government website and send it by post or use the online service to your company’s registered office address. Keep in mind that if your address changes, Companies House must be informed within 14 days.

We’ve already posted detailed instructions on how to change a registered business address, so check out the full article.

Can you use your home address?

Yes, any business can register and receive official business mail using their home address. However, as mentioned above, your information will be made public, and as your business grows your customers will easily be able to get access to your personal details.

Because of this, if you do intend, at any point, in becoming a limited company, you should think twice about using your home address. Even using a virtual business address for a sole trader will come with similar advantages.

One major advantage of a business address is the added level of professionalism it brings. If your business has an address that is clearly a home address, it’s not going to be as appealing to potential clients and customers as one that has a professional business address - especially one in London.

Alternatives to using your home address

If you’re self-employed, there are several options available to you as a business address rather than using your home address.

Renting or buying office space

Even small office spaces can be expensive, which is why it may not be a suitable option for somebody who’s self-employed. And, if you’re constantly on the road, or working from home, you won’t want to pay for a space you have no intention of using.

PO box

A PO box is a service run by the Post Office, which provides you with an address you can use to receive mail. There are two options available with a PO box:

  • Collection - you will have to go to the location of your PO box yourself to collect your mail in person
  • Forwarding - the Post Office will forward your mail to your chosen address
  • A PO box is a good temporary solution, but it has two major disadvantages that prevent it from being the ideal choice:
  • Cost - PO boxes can be expensive, with either 6 or 12-month contracts
  • Companies House - you can’t use a PO box as an official business address to register with Companies House

Virtual business address

A virtual business address has several advantages that mean it’s likely the ideal solution:

  • Provides you with a prestigious and professional business address
  • Highly affordable cheap virtual office address with no locked-in contracts
  • Register with Companies House and keep your home address private
  • Receive your mail with a mail forwarding or scanning service
  • Provides meeting space you can rent by the hour

Set up a business address in minutes with Hoxton Mix

At Hoxton Mix, we can provide you with a prestigious London-based virtual office address for self-employed, right in the heart of trendy Shoreditch.

For more information and to set up your self-employed business address in minutes, check out what a virtual office address with Hoxton Mix can do for you.


Do you need a business address if you are self-employed?

Yes, when you register as a self-employed, you need to provide your business details, including an address. Technically, you can use any address you like as your self-employed address, providing it is a physical address, it is located in the same country as you operate, and you can access the mail from there. But there are some options that offer additional benefits for sole traders, specifically, virtual business addresses.

How to change a self-employed business address

If your business address is registered with Companies House, you can inform them about the change online (via the government portal) or by post. Make sure to let them know of the change within 14 days. 

Is it legal to use a virtual address for the self-employed?

Yes, a virtual business address for self-employed is not only legal but also can be the most convenient option. The only two legal requirements for business addresses are that they must be physical locations and match the country where you operate. So, as long as your virtual address meets both stipulations, you can register it as your business address or change your details online or by post.

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