View Full Version : Company registration - Catch 22

16-04-2008, 07:56 PM
We're currently engaged in setting up a restaurant business. We have found premises, we have start-up capital and the terms are particularly appetising and we are keen to get this up and running as soon as possible.

So, in order to sign the lease, we need to have a registered company and in order to have a registered company, we need business premises. This provides us with a Catch-22.

We're aware that we can hire an address and then transfer it to the lease later, but clearly this costs money. I have a law background, so will be incorporating the company myself. We all lease flats due to the uneconomical cost of mortgages and the impending crash, and we are not allowed to use our addresses for business.

Our accountant is working for us 'outside' of his day job so we cannot use his address. Our lawyer is trying to charge us a fortune to use his. We are based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the cheapest addresses for rent seem to be around 90, so while this is certainly possible, it seems a lot of money to pay for an address that will only be registered for a matter of days.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to get around this? What are the implications of having an address registered as a business address?

I realise this seems like penny pinching, but we believe that this attitude is the difference between sink and swim in a business.



bill mccallum
16-04-2008, 08:27 PM
You don't need business premises to register a company, you only need a registered address, which can be your home.

Once you have set up, you can then change the registered address to the new business address.

16-04-2008, 08:51 PM
Can be anywhere. Someones parents house as an example may be the answer.


16-04-2008, 09:07 PM
To setup your company any solicitor in Scotland should be able to do this
I suggest you contact at least three and ask them :
How much to search and register the company name with Companies House
How much to hold the company registered office as their address until the business premises are secured

Ironically, by this stage you should already have a solicitor, and if I am correct one of your partners is a former Law Student, so that person should know better...
They could even use their address!
What kind of law did they study, booze law?!

James Smith
17-04-2008, 08:50 AM
I would suggest you use a parents address if you aren't willing to use your own or fork out a whole 90.

Obviously dont know the circumstances with your friendly accountant but if they are still training or working in a different area it would be totoally unrealistic to expect them to help to the same depth as a proffesioanl one would. They will also have some fairly strict issues with their relevant professional body about what they can/cant do, cant being the main operative word here! Chartered accountants (ie proper qualified ones at least - there are lots of bookkeepers about who call themselves "accountants" but haven't passed any exams, or have failed the Chartered ones but set up anyway (!)) are normally prohibited from acting independently in this manner either by their terms of employment or by the terms of their institute in that you need a practicing certificate to prove you are fit to act and proper PI insurance etc. Just worth bearing in mind. I should point out I am not touting for work, I don't offer my services in this sector just seen this sort of arrangement end in tears several times over and had to dig the company out of the mire!


17-04-2008, 10:58 PM
@m8 thanks for your reply. If you'd read the original post, you'd see that we do have a lawyer, only the lawyer is wanting to charge 200 for the formation and use of address. Our issue is not with company formation - that is not a problem. Our issue is with finding an address to use for a day or so until we can sign the lease.

BTW - the ex law student has a first class LLM from Edinburgh University, although he does like a tipple or five! Of course, that's the prerogative of any Scotsman. I do suggest you buy some glasses however (and not the kind that holds beer or methadone). :)

@lfrier - good solution but, for various reasons, not possible. We're looking at friends, but everyone seems to be a little wary that their house is going to get repossessed!

I think that we have two options; firstly, we're going to ask the landlord for permission to use the address as the registered address, then we can sign the lease the same day/next day.

Secondly, if that fails we'll just pay our lawyer to do the whole thing. We're not going to spend any more time on this, but saving 150 or so is worth ten minutes of thought and a couple of posts on the internet.

@James - Can you PM me or give me your email? I'd like to talk with you a bit further. Thanks a lot.