December 2011

Companies Act 1985 – dealing with Confidentiality Orders

The Companies Act 2006 has repealed the legislation creating Confidentiality Orders. Those orders granted up to 30 September 2009 remain valid. To assist staff having to deal with a Confidentiality Order we reprint advice give in a previous edition of the Technical Manual:


3.36 Companies House - Confidentiality Orders

The Companies (Particulars of Usual Residential Address) (Confidentiality Orders) Regulations 2002 came into force on 2 April 2002. The Regulations enable company officers and permanent representatives of the company, who consider that they are at serious risk of violence or intimidation to apply for a Confidentiality Order. If a Confidentiality Order is granted, then the statutory requirements under the Companies Act 1985 to disclose the usual residential address for the public records is disapplied. Instead, a service address may be filed for the public record and the usual residential address will be held on a secure register. The service address must be at a place at which documents may be physically served i.e. not a PO Box or DX address, as service must be capable of being acknowledged.

Information held on the secure register would not be made available to the public under the Regulations. However, the official receiver, as a Competent Authority under schedule 1 of the Regulations is designated to receive the confidential information. Where a Confidentiality Order is in place the company officer's address will be substituted by the text 'This is a service address'. If the official receiver requires the company officer's address, where, for example, there is no response from the service address, he/she may contact the Administrator to obtain a copy of form CA03 which requests the company officer's residential address. The address is:

The Administrator
PO Box 4082
CF14 3WE

Tel:0845 3032400

Form CA03 should be returned to the Administrator enclosing a fee of £4 per individual's address requested. Prior to requesting the information, the official receiver should give consideration as to how the information should be stored and used.  The address should not be used in any documents issued to any third parties, or in any public advertisement of the liquidation.  It is possible to flag the address on screen 2 on LOIS as “withheld”, though it is likely to be more appropriate to avoid recording the address on LOIS at all to avoid any accidental revelations.  The address should be treated as protected personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (see Chapter 81A) and restrictions imposed by that act must be complied with.