If you’re running a company in the UK, or are preparing to establish one, you might be confused by the concept of a SAIL address. SAIL stands for Single Alternative Inspection Location and is something frequently used by companies and LLPs in the United Kingdom.
What is a SAIL address and how is it different from your company’s business address? And what potential benefits might having a dedicated SAIL address introduce?
What is a SAIL address?
With a Single Alternative Inspection Location address, your company might use a different location to store company registers that must be made available for inspection. According to the Companies Act 2006, all companies in the UK must keep a selection of registers , or statutory records. These can be stored at either a SAIL address or at your company’s registered address, but must include documents such as a register of members, directors and their residential addresses, secretaries, People with Significant Control, as well as a register of charges and mortgages.
There are additional registers, of course, that can be kept at a SAIL address, even though they might not need to be made available in case of public inspection. Documents like records of share transfers and allotments or company resolutions might also be kept at a SAIL address, limiting the number of documents you’ll have to store at your business address.
What are the benefits of using a SAIL address?
There are many reasons why you would want your company to have and use a SAIL address. It’s a practical solution for storing statutory registers and making them easily available for public inspection. If you’re running a business from home, you might not want public inspectors to come visit looking for company records. With a SAIL address, you can direct them to a separate location that contains everything that must be made available present, and nothing more.
If there’s no one present at your business address, an inspection might cause complications in your company operations, requiring you or someone designated by you to visit the location and help officials in accessing the necessary documents. If you’d like to supervise these inspections yourself, a SAIL address allows you to choose a location where you’re present on a regular basis.
Regular inspections at your registered office can disrupt the work, leading to losses and inefficiencies. Using a SAIL address that’s remote to your office solves that issue, allowing you to host an inspection without distracting your employees. If you’re running an office that’s not built for storing important documentation, such as a small workshop or a studio apartment, a SAIL address will make sure you have an additional place where registers are kept safe.
What is required to set up a SAIL address?
Setting up a SAIL address is relatively easy, but there are some requirements you need to fulfill. First of all, LLCs are only allowed one SAIL address at a time, which means you’ll have to store all of your registers at a single location. The SAIL address also needs to be in the same jurisdiction your company was incorporated in, and there are currently three in the UK: England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
A SAIL address cannot be a simple PO Box – it must be a full, physical address. Keep in mind that you cannot store a part of your registers at the business address and another part at the SAIL address – all of the documents relevant for public inspection must be kept at either one or the other address. The Companies House of the UK needs to be notified about the use of a SAIL address as soon as possible, and you must inform them of any records moving to or from it.
Registers at a SAIL address can be kept in either hard copies or in digital format – the choice is yours. While most companies prefer hard copies, it’s always recommended to keep an additional backup for security reasons. In case of a fire or a flood, hard copies can easily get damaged – a digital backup ensures their safety.
How could Mükellef help you?
If you’re wondering about the details of establishing a company in the UK, we’re here to help at Mükellef. We’ll help you start your company in the UK from anywhere in the world, walking you through the entire process and explaining all that you might need to know. We also provide professional online bookkeeping software for innovative businesses.