Registered Office vs Principal Place Of Business Difference

Registered Office vs Principal Place Of Business Difference

What’s the difference between a registered office and a principal place of business?

When a company is registered, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) requires the applicant to register both a principal place of business and a registered office. It can be convenient to list them as one and the same, however it is not mandatory to do so. Whilst both addresses need to be in Australia and cannot be post office boxes, there are important legal differences between the two that you need to be aware of.

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Table of Contents

Principal place of business

The principal place of business is the main location from which the business is conducted, decisions are made, and the company books and records are maintained. If your company has multiple places of business across Australia, ASIC will notify you which it intends to use as your principal place of business.

Registered Office

The registered office is where all communications and notices to the company will be sent. It is not necessarily the company’s head office or principal place of business. It can be, and often is, at the company’s accountants or lawyers, or at one of the director’s home or office addresses.

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How are they different?

Whilst the principal place of business and registered office are allowed be one and the same, it is the registered office which carries greater legal weight in the running of the business.

As a separate legal entity, s 109X of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) allows documents to be effectively served upon a company by posting to or leaving the documents at the registered office. If the register is not updated to reflect your current registered office and documents are served at the outdated address, there could be legal ramifications from overlooked service of important legal documents.

It is important that you ensure your current registered office address is listed on the ASIC register. You are required to inform ASIC of a change to your registered office within 28 days of the change. LawPath has a detailed ‘how-to’ guide outlining the steps you need to take to change your registered office address.

Conclusion

Whilst the two terms seem synonymous, the legal differences between the two are quite important to understand. LawPath can connect you with business lawyers who can assist you with setting up your company and understanding the legal implications of your company structure.

Need more help? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace or to get answers to your legal questions.

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