The final term in need of explanation is the single alternative inspection location. This is a new option that was introduced in 2009. Before 2009 the government required that a whole range of documents should be kept at a limited company's registered office address and be made available for inspection for at least two hours each working day (all day for a public limited company). Private limited company's is normally given ten working days' notice before an inspection. Public limited companies must make the documents available with no notice.
The Single Alternative Inspection Location provision allows companies to keep their documents at an alternative address to their registered office address so that if their documents are investigated then their place of work will not be disrupted. Nominating a SAIL might be an attractive option for someone who runs their business from home and would prefer to avoid having the authorities conducting an investigation there.