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From 1st October 2009 every director must provide Companies House with both their usual residential address, and for each directorship they hold, a service address. From that date the service address will be on the public record and will be public information, but the residential address will be protected information. The residential address will only be made available to prescribed regulatory authorities such as the police and HMRC, and it may also be made available to Credit Reference Agencies.

A director can choose any address as his service address including the registered office address of the company. The address must be a location where documents can be delivered and an acknowledgement or receipt can be provided if required. The address cannot be a PO Box or a DX number. If a director chooses to use his residential address as his service address, the fact that the two addresses are the same would not be evident from the public record.

For directors of existing companies, the residential address already showing on the register of directors will be deemed to be their service address unless and until a new service address is notified to Companies House on or after 1 October 2009.

Unfortunately addresses which have been on the register prior to 1 October 2009 will not be removed from the public record without the director concerned showing serious risk of violence or intimidation.

As a result of these changes, from 1 October 2009, companies will need to maintain two different registers for directors – a public register of directors (which details the service address) and a register of directors' residential addresses.