A SAIL address (Single Alternative Inspection Location) is an optional address that companies (and LLPs) can use for the purpose of storing their statutory records and making them available for inspection, rather than keeping them at their registered office.
There is no legal requirement for a company to use a SAIL address. It is entirely optional and only used by companies when they require a different storage and inspection location for statutory records than their registered office address.
You would use a SAIL address for your company if the registered office address was not a suitable or convenient location for the storage and/or inspection of your statutory company records. For example, if your registered office is your home address and you do not wish to have members of the public inspecting your statutory records there.
Your SAIL address cannot be the same as your registered office address, because the sole purpose of a SAIL address is be an alternative to the registered office address for the storage and inspection of statutory company records.
Company law does not prohibit the use of a home address as a SAIL address, on condition that it is situated in the company’s country of incorporation. However, SAIL addresses are published on the public record and must accommodate the public inspection of statutory company records, which will affect your privacy.
A company’s SAIL address must be in the same UK jurisdiction as the company’s registered office. There are three jurisdictions in the UK in relation to company formation – England and Wales (or Wales only), Scotland, Northern Ireland.
You are not permitted to set up a SAIL address in any country other than the one in which your company is registered (incorporated). In the UK, companies are incorporated in the jurisdictions of England and Wales, Wales only, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.
If you set up a SAIL address and elect to keep certain statutory company records there, you are legally obligated to keep the stated records at that address and notify Companies House on forms AD02 and AD03. If you decide to move some or all of the records back to the registered office, you must tell Companies House on form AD04.
The statutory company records that may be kept at a SAIL address include the following:
You may choose to keep all or only certain statutory company records at the SAIL address.
You must tell Companies House if you set up a SAIL address and elect to move your statutory company records there from the registered office address. You can do this online using Companies House forms AD02 and AD03. There is no requirement to tell HMRC about a SAIL address.
Once you have selected a suitable SAIL address, you need to inform Companies House by filing form AD02. You must also file form AD03 to state which statutory company records you have moved from the registered office to the SAIL address. These forms can be filed online.
You may change your company’s SAIL address at any time. If you do, you must tell Companies House by filing form AD02. You will also need to file form AD03 to specify what records have moved to the new SAIL address.