what does it mean “register_moved_to” ? is the information about the “usual_residential_address”
not available anymore ? What is included in those fields ?
I agree - the main registers documentation doesn’t give context.
I find it helps to remember that this all started - and indeed can still be done - on paper forms. So think of the database as being pulled from a set of paper documents. “Updates” of some kind imply “we received another form”. I’ll refer to this below.
From the English Wikipedia page for Companies House:
…private companies can elect to keep certain statutory records on the central register which is held and published by Companies House, instead of maintaining their own registers. These records include:
Register of members
Register of people with significant control
Register of directors
Register of directors’ usual residential addresses
Register of secretaries
The “Register of directors’ usual residential addresses” is of interest because the default for all addresses that are available publicly via the API is for them to be a “service address”. This could be the person’s residential address but it is almost always a company’s address, normally the registered office address.
As I understand the process (and I am not an expert): a company is required to keep and maintain registers (lists) of the information mentioned above. The company must also inform Companies House where this information is. The vast majority of companies maintain these lists at their company registered office address. This is the “default” situation - and in that case you won’t normally get any “registers” member from the API I think. However at some point (possibly from when the company is first registered) a company can instead ask Companies House to keep some or all of these lists. If this happens the list is on “the public register”. Companies House will then have a registers record available via the API. That register’s
register_moved_to field will be
public-register and the
moved_on field will be the date that Companies House got this. So you can think of this as a physical “movement” or “transfer” of this list to Companies House.
If a company later removed the information from the public register I’m not sure what happens. I would guess that there would still be a registers record and that this would have an extra entry in the registers member with the date in
moved_on and where these went in
register_moved_to. I do not know if the original record (e.g.
public-register) would remain.
Have a look - if you can bear it - at the form to register a company. This is Form IN01 and in Part 6 you’ll find “Election to keep information on the public register (if applicable)”. Hopefully looking at that and the director, secretary and PSC sections above you’ll be able to see what data is collected and thus where these fields come from.
There are other effects that occur as well. Depending on what registers are “moved” to Companies House the data sets available (e.g. for directors, secretaries, PSCs) may then show extra information. In the case of the officers list you need to pass in the “registers view” parameters as described above to get this. You may see the actual home / residential address of directors, and / or full dates of birth (with day of the month).
Again this is not hugely useful generally if you want “extra data” since most companies will keep this at their registered office from the start. So Companies House will actually know this (they receive it on e.g. the initial company registration form) but it isn’t made publicly available.
I agree with @ash - most of the API is of limited use unless you understand the context. I did not have this knowledge although our company has others with specific expertise in areas of this. What I found useful was:
The actual forms that are used to communicate with Companies House - so you can clearly see what data is required and get a feel for just how “fuzzy” this is going to be (and see why certain “mistakes” are very common).
Companies House blog (for announcements and some context)
A document giving information about the registrar - more “context”
If you really want detail then UK legislation is available online.