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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Employer records: maintain employer record: maintain employer address

This subject is presented as follows

Types of addresses

There are a number of addresses that are connected to an employer or contractor. It is important you understand what addresses can be held on an employer record before you make any amendment to the employer record.

If you are in any doubt about which type of address should be applied, contact the employer / agent for clarification.

Business address

This is the address where the premises of any business for which a trade has been set up. This address is held on the employer record.

This will also be the address to which all correspondence will be sent unless the employer elects for a different address (see Payroll / Correspondence Address below).

Payroll / Correspondence address

The address of a person or body who normally will have responsibility for operating PAYE on behalf of the employer. For example payroll agent or agent.

This address is held on the employer record unless the business address is this address ‘also’ in which case only one address is shown. All correspondence will be sent to this address.

Agent address

The address of the person acting in a representative role, for example an accountant. The agent’s details should be noted for information purposes in the Notes field, using Function AMEND EMPLOYER NOTES.

Note: The agent indicator for purposes of EBS is only set where that agent receives all correspondence and their details would be entered in the payroll / correspondence fields.

Email address

This is a unique address consisting of a user and domain name that allows information to be directed to that address electronically. This address can be held on the employer record.

Registered Office address

This is an address at which a limited company or plc is registered.

Entering a new address on an employer record

From April 2001 a business address or payroll correspondence address can only be entered (or amended) by using Function ADDRESS SEARCH. This function is accessed using a [Search] button from either

  • Function EMPLOYER SET UP - when setting up an employer record, or
  • Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY - when maintaining an employer record

Note: Depending on the address you need to enter or amend will determine where you will access Function ADDRESS SEARCH from when using either of the above functions.

The purpose of Function ADDRESS SEARCH is

  • To trace and store an address found on the Address Framework that has been verified from a copy of a database of UK addresses from the Post Office known as the ‘Post Office Address File’ (or ‘PAF’), and where no match can be made or the address to be held is abroad
  • To enter an address manually

When a ‘search’ is undertaken the computer will access the Post Office’s database of addresses known as the Post Office Address File (PAF).

An address that has been successfully matched and stored on the employer record will hold a status of ‘Verified’.

Addresses that have not been matched and entered manually will be indicated by the status ‘As Input’.

Manually entered addresses

It is essential that addresses stored on an employer record should if possible be taken from an address held on the Address Framework. However, where this is not possible or an address is not in the UK all manually entered addresses must consist of no more than the following

  • Three lines consisting of a maximum 28 characters
  • A fourth line consisting of a maximum 18 characters
  • The postcode


  1. Where an address is longer than four lines of address the town name should always be used in preference to a county name.

  2. A PO Box number is unacceptable unless it forms part of a full address, including a postcode which can be validated by the Post Office address file.

Additional delivery information

There may be occasions when a payroll correspondence address or business address that has been matched with an address on the Post Office Address File (PAF) and stored on an employer record does not complete the full postal address. If this arises there is a field on Functions EMPLOYER SET UP and AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY that allows you to enter additional delivery information which will be included on any correspondence sent to the employer as an aid to assist delivery of post to the correct destination within that address.

Examples of additional delivery information could be

  • A room or flat number
  • A wing of a building

Note: An entry in the Additional Delivery Information field must only be made where the verified address does not contain this information. It can not be used for an address that is input manually ‘AS INPUT’.

When the address has been matched with the Post Office Address File (PAF) do not update the address to ‘As Input’ to include any additional delivery information, such as a village or area of a town. The address will automatically be updated at the next PAF run with the address held on the PAF.

Note: Where the employer insists that the address held on the Post Office Address File is incorrect, the employer must contact the Post Office to make arrangements for that file to be updated with the correct address.

Foreign addresses

Foreign addresses can be held on an employer record. Where this arises you will need to set the Abroad Indicator. Addresses that are abroad are not held on the PAF and must therefore be entered manually. To enter an address manually when it is a non-UK address you must ensure

  • A tick is entered in the Abroad checkbox
  • An entry is made on each of the first three lines of the Address Details box, but
  • No entries are made in the fourth and fifth lines of the Address Details box
  • The foreign country is entered in the foreign country field (Note: You may need to enter the foreign country in the third line of the address field and in the foreign country field)

Entering an address manually in this way will ensure that any output automatically produced will replicate the entries you have made on the employer record and possibly avoid post being returned undelivered.

RLS and DLO addresses

There may be addresses held on employer records that are

  • RLS, or
  • DLO

The RLS indicator set against an address will prevent any correspondence being sent automatically to that address. The RLS indicator is visible on EBS and will also be displayed on the PAYE Service and BROCS against the corresponding address on those computers.

The DLO indicator is only displayed on EBS when an address has been automatically updated. You cannot set this indicator yourself.

Note: As the DLO indicator is only held on EBS, RLS will be displayed on other systems for both RLS and DLO addresses.

If an employer record held an address that was DLO and this is updated with a new address, the DLO indicator would be automatically removed from EBS but the RLS indicator would remain on the PAYE Service and BROCS.

You must therefore when changing any address that was DLO on EBS

  • Review the PAYE Service to see whether the RLS signal is held on the PAYE Service against the corresponding address

Where it is present you must

  • Use Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to set the RLS indicator against that address on EBS, and on the same day
  • Use Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY again to remove the RLS indicator

If you amend an address, or set / cancel the RLS indicator, you must ensure that you amend the correct address and that any changes you do make are reflected on other systems.

Exceptionally, you may set the RLS indicator on an employer record to prevent the issue of correspondence to an employer whilst records held on other systems are being realigned.

  • It is essential that the indicator is removed at the earliest possible date.

Failure to keep the employer record updated may mean that essential correspondence, is not issued to the employer.

Any other correspondence

You may receive notification of a change to the employer address from various sources. These may include

  • Correspondence from the employer, contractor or agent
  • Notification from another section or office

Automatic updating of addresses

Periodically (normally once a month) an automatic process will take place that will review all addresses held on EBS.

The process will

  • Change any address that was previously not verified where a successful match is made
  • Send the updated information to the PAYE Service and BROCS
  • Identify any verified address held on EBS that has now become RLS

Long address

There may be occasions when you have used Function ADDRESS SEARCH to search for an address but have been unsuccessful. When this arises you will need to enter an address manually. If the address is too long to be held in full on the computer, you will have to abbreviate the address. That abbreviation will appear on printed output.

There is no provision to issue correspondence manually using the full, unabbreviated, form of the address. You should ensure the employer agreed to the abbreviated address prior to entering it on the employer record. Bear in mind when entering any address manually the rules covered in ‘Manually entering addresses’ within this subject must be followed.

Abroad indicator

Where you enter an address, which is abroad, you must set the Abroad indicator (signal) against that address. When correspondence is issued by the computer to that address, the indicator identifies the need to separate that item from mail to be issued at the UK second class rate. The Abroad indicator can only be set or removed from the employer record by using Function ADDRESS SEARCH.

Address Histories

From April 2001, changes to an employer name, business address and / or payroll correspondence name and address and the date those changes were made on the employer record can be displayed.

Function EMPLOYER NAME & ADDRESS HISTORY allows you to view the current details and any changes to the employer name and business address information.

Function PAYROLL & CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS HISTORY allows you to view the current details and any changes to the payroll correspondence name and address information.

Any changes to a name or address will normally result in an historical record being created.

Note: Where there are a number of changes made on the same online day only one historical record is created.