What's the Difference Between a Correspondence Address & Residential Address?

At UK Postbox, a considerable part of the service we provide is the many different types of mailing addresses we offer. From UK based business addresses and free PO Boxes to London Street addresses and Royal Mail redirection addresses, with our services you can easily read, manage and send post remotely from any location using a connected device. A very common question we see, however, concerns two other types of addresses: correspondence addresses and residential addresses. In the following article, we will explore what these two types of addresses are, what the main differences are between them, as well as what they will typically be used for.

What is a Correspondence Address?

A correspondence address is an address that you can be officially contacted at but do not reside within. To register for a correspondence address, you will need to provide proof of identification and conform to PSD2 SCA requirements. A correspondence address is commonly used by people when registering for different services; some services or registrations will accept the correspondence address, while others may require a residential address. 

For example, when a company registers itself within the UK, all significant individuals must provide a form of correspondence address to be contacted at to the Companies House. This includes individuals such as the directors, secretaries and shareholders, if they become members during the registration process or if they are also PSCs in the company. A correspondence address does not necessarily have to be a physical location that you are in constant contact with either: so long as it is a physical postal address that can receive and store mail.

If you're using a correspondence address to sign up for a service, check with the provider whether they accept this address type.

What is a Residential Address?

In contrast to a correspondence address, a residential address is simply the address you give for where you officially live. For a location to be classed as a residential address, you need to be living there for a minimum of 183 days per year. You will then need to be able to provide proof of this fact. A person can also have more than one residential address, a common example being university students. 

An example of when a residential address is used is when registering vehicle ownership with the DVLA. You cannot sign up for this service with a correspondence address- it must be the location where you live. Another example is when a university student studying far from home may have multiple residential addresses during term times and out of term times (presumably where their family lives). This is because students would understandably not want to be receiving their post at a location they are not currently occupying.

Residential addresses can be used for most services but will need to be in the same country as the provider.
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What's the Difference?

A common question that we see regarding these two types of addresses is what the main differences are between a correspondence address and a residential address and whether or not they can be used for the same purposes. One of the most explicit differences between the two is that a correspondence address does not need to be a habitable location; it merely needs to be a physical location that is capable of receiving and storing mail. A residential address, however, requires you to prove that you live at that address for at least 183 days out of a given year. 

Another difference is that a correspondence address doesn't need to be located in your country of residence. Unlike other addresses, such as a registered office address, a correspondence address can be based in any country, so long as you have permission to use it. It must also be a physical address that mail can be easily delivered to and signed for during regular business hours. A residential address, however, always needs to be located in the same country you are residing in for 183 days a year minimum. The key factors of both addresses in the context of business mail can be summarised as follows;


Correspondence Address:

  • A correspondence address is somewhere to receive mail correspondence and parcels
  • This address can be located anywhere in the world
  • You never need to physically visit or see this address
  • It cannot be used for services that require a residential address

Residential Address:

  • Must be a physical home address that is occupied for a minimum of 183 days a year
  • It is required when signing up for certain services that require you to provide your home address
  • It can often be used in place of a correspondence address but contains more sensitive information as it's the address you live at

Can I use my Residential Address as my Correspondence Address?

Provided that you fulfil all the criteria needed, you can always use your registered residential address as your correspondence address for receiving mail. However, this is sometimes not recommended as your correspondence address may be made available to the public depending on the service you're using the address for. A non-residential address will protect your privacy and help you avoid unsolicited marketing mail being delivered to your home. It could also be argued that using a more commercial address will give your company a more professional image, with the option of address locations such as major cities and towns.

An excellent example of an address perfectly suited to being your business's correspondence address is any one of our virtual street addresses. Our addresses provide you with easy access to a location that can store and receive incoming business mail and can even be used to register a new business in the UK

As this article has hopefully shown you, there are many differences between correspondence addresses and residential addresses, and the two are usually used for entirely different purposes. With UK Postbox, any one of our virtual business addresses can be used to set up and register your UK businesses- even as a correspondence address. For more information on these services and the costs involved, you can view our pricing page here.

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Donna Chester
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