Guidance

Applying to protect your personal information on the Companies House register

How to restrict disclosure of certain information if you’re at serious risk as a company director, limited liability partnership (LLP) member or person with significant control (PSC).

What protection means

Most information registered at Companies House is available to the public.

Other personal details, such as your home address and full date of birth, are not published on the Companies House register.

This information is only shared with:

  • credit reference agencies (CRAs)
  • specified public authorities (SPAs) such as the police

You can apply to protect your personal details if you (or someone living with you) are at serious risk of violence or intimidation because of your company or LLP’s activities.

For example, you could be a director, LLP member or PSC that’s:

  • been targeted by activists
  • licensed under the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
  • active in the defence industry
  • an easily traceable supplier to (or partner of) one of these organisations

This is not a complete list. Each case will depend on your individual circumstances.

If possible, you should provide evidence to support your application.

You cannot protect your home address where it’s showing as the registered office of the company or LLP.

What protection is available

There are 2 types of protection. You can:

  • protect your home address from CRAs - directors, LLP members and PSCs
  • protect all your information - PSCs only

If you’re a PSC, you can also make a combined application for both.

SPAs like the police will still be able to request the information.

Protecting your home address

You can apply to protect your home address under:

This means we will not provide your home address to CRAs.

It costs £100 to apply.

Protecting all your information as a PSC

A PSC can apply to have all information protected under section 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006.

This means:

  • none of your information as a PSC will be shown on the public register
  • we will not provide your home address to CRAs

You can only apply if you (or anyone living with you) will be at serious risk of violence or intimidation if you’re linked with the company or LLP.

This would be because of:

  • the activities of the company or LLP
  • your personal circumstances when associated with the company or LLP

Example You might be a member of a particular religious community and you’re a PSC of a company whose activities conflict with the principles of that religion.

It costs £100 to apply.

If you are given protection, the company or LLP must still send your information as a PSC to Companies House.

The Companies House register will only show a PSC who is subject to protection. Your details will not be available to the public.

Combined application

If you’re a PSC, you can make a combined application for both types of protection. This means that your home address will be protected from CRAs from the time we register your application.

It costs £100 to make a combined application.

If your home address is already protected

You can send us an abbreviated application if you already have protection in place for your home address. This means you will not have to provide evidence for a second time.

It costs £15 for an abbreviated application.

Your existing protection can only apply to the same type of corporate body.

As a director or PSC of a company

If you already have protection in place for your home address, you can send us an abbreviated application if:

  • you’re a director and become a PSC of the same company
  • you’re a PSC and become a director of the same company
  • you become a director or PSC of another company

You must send us a full application even if you already have protection as a member or PSC of an LLP.

As a member or PSC of an LLP

If you already have protection in place for your home address, you can send us an abbreviated application if:

  • you’re an LLP member and become a PSC of the same LLP
  • you’re a PSC and become a member of the same LLP
  • you become a member or PSC of another LLP

You must send us a full application even if you already have protection as a director or PSC of a company.

Who can apply

An application can be made by:

  • the individual director, LLP member or PSC - including those who have not been appointed yet
  • the company or LLP on behalf of its directors, LLP members and PSCs - including those who have not been appointed yet
  • a subscriber to a memorandum - if the company or LLP has not been incorporated yet

It is an offence to make a false statement.

When to apply

If possible, you should apply for protection before registering your information at Companies House. This means we can withhold your personal information from CRAs while we review your application.

You can apply at any time, including:

  • before you incorporate a company or LLP
  • when you incorporate a company or LLP
  • before becoming a director, LLP member or PSC
  • when you register as a director, LLP member or PSC
  • after your details have already been shared with CRAs as a registered director or LLP member

Applying in advance

You can apply for protection before you’ve been appointed or registered with Companies House.

You do not have to tell the company or LLP, and you can apply without them knowing. But if you’re applying to protect all your information as a PSC, you should tell the company or LLP in plenty of time so they can manage your personal information appropriately.

Companies and LLPs must not disclose any home address details, even if they are not protected.

How to apply

Applying online

You can apply online for a director or PSC of a company.

Applying by post

You can only apply by post:

  • for a member or PSC of an LLP
  • if the company is not registered with Companies House
  • if you want to protect both your identity and your home address as a PSC

You can request a paper application form by email: dsr@companieshouse.gov.uk.

Our team will advise you about the process and send you the correct forms. We will only accept the forms on the coloured paper provided.

Send your paper application with any supporting evidence and the correct fee to:

The Registrar of Companies
PO Box 4082
Cardiff
CF14 3WE

We’ll reject your application if you do not include the correct fee.

Supporting evidence

To support your application, you should provide evidence such as:

  • a police incident number if you’ve been attacked
  • documentary evidence of a threat or attack, such as photos or recordings
  • evidence of possible disruption or targeting, such as by animal rights or other activists
  • evidence that you work for an organisation whose activities put you at risk, such as the Secret Intelligence Service

If your details change during the application process

You should contact our team immediately if any of the information on your application changes.

This includes:

  • a change to your address or other personal details
  • if you no longer require protection

You’ll also need to update any records on the Companies House register such as a:

  • change to a director’s details (CH01)
  • change to an LLP member’s details (LL CH01)
  • change to a PSC’s details (PSC04 or LL PSC04)

How we process your application

We’ll send you a letter to tell you we’ve received your application. You’ll also get an identification number for each PSC applying for protection.

We’ll check the details you’ve provided and review your reasons for protection. Your information will be protected while we review your application.

We may ask you for more evidence to support your application if we do not have enough information. To help us reach a decision, we’ll also ask for an assessment from a relevant authority about the nature and level of risk.

Once we’ve processed your application, we’ll send you notice with our decision within 7 days. We’ll also send this notice to the company, LLP or subscriber if they applied for you.

If your application is accepted

Your information will be protected from the time we register your application. The protection will remain in place until you tell us you no longer need protection.

If you’re already registered as a PSC and you’ve applied to protect all your information, we’ll remove your information from the Companies House register as soon as reasonably practicable.

Companies House can withdraw the protection if the applicant (or anyone else the application relates to) is found guilty of a false statement offence under section 1112 of the Companies Act 2006.

If your application is refused

We’ll send you notice with our decision within 7 days. We’ll also send this notice to the company, LLP or subscriber if they applied for you.

Your home address will be available to CRAs after the period allowed to appeal has passed.

If you applied to protect all your PSC information, it will be made available on the public register from 42 days after the notice date.

We cannot refund your application fee.

How to appeal

You can appeal to the High Court on the grounds that the decision is unlawful, irrational or unreasonable, has been made on the basis of a procedural impropriety or otherwise contravenes the rules of natural justice.

In Scotland, you must appeal to the Court of Session.

You must appeal within 28 days of the Companies House notice date.

If you appeal after 28 days, the court will need to be satisfied there was good reason why you did not appeal within this period.

You must send a written notice of your appeal to Companies House within 7 days of making your appeal.

The court will either:

  • dismiss your appeal
  • quash (cancel) the decision from Companies House

If the court quashes the decision, your application will be returned to Companies House for us to reconsider.

How to file information for your company or LLP

If your home address is protected from CRAs

You can continue to file information for your company or LLP in the usual way. You can file online or send us a paper form.

If all information is protected as a PSC

You must contact us to request a paper form for any documents that include PSC information. We’ll only accept the forms on the coloured paper provided.

Contact us

If you have a general query about protection, you can contact the team:

dsr@companieshouse.gov.uk
02920 380938
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Published 16 September 2020