Strike off your limited company from the Companies Register

If you are looking to close your limited company volutary striking off (DS01) is an alternative procedure to a formal liquidation.

The official government rules state

“You can close down your limited company by getting it ‘struck off’ the Companies Register, but only if it:

hasn’t traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months
hasn’t changed names in the last 3 months
isn’t threatened with liquidation
has no agreements with creditors, eg a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
If your company doesn’t meet these conditions, you’ll have to voluntarily liquidate your company instead.”

When you apply to ‘strike off’ your company, you have certain responsibilities to close down your business properly.

If you dont meet this criteria and are attempting to strike off then the likely result is that the application will be suspended.

Many directors also seem unaware that any assets of a dissolved company will be “bona vacantia”.

Bona vacantia literally means “vacant goods” and is the technical name for property that passes to the Crown because it does not have a legal owner.

The company’s bank account will be frozen and any credit balance in the account will pass to the Crown when the business is struck off.

I can’t afford to liquidate my business

This is a very common issue. If you have no money you simply have no money. You may even have taken advice form an Insolvency Practitioner and if you can’t pay their bill they can’t help you.

In the past we have observed that a number of companies striking off and not meeting this criteria would simply slip through the net anyway, probably due to the volume of applications.

Also a number of people have either been advised or found information online in business forums to simply inform creditors of closure and pay the £10 fee as a “poor mans liquidation.”

However in the last 18 months, we have seen a steady rise in company suspensions, particularly where HMRC hasnt been informed or believe the company owes them unpaid tax and where there is an outstanding Bounceback loan.

Remember, directors can be held to be personally accountable for company debts if the company is wound up at a later date, without settling them.

Plus, even if the company is struck off, the company can now face investigation from The Insolvency service leading to director disqualification and compensations orders without being restored to the register.

How can I close my business?

If you dont meet the strike off criteria or are unsure, then before you attempt to strike off or during the strike off period of 2 months (and in our experience around another 10 days) you need to establish your options.

We understand that you may have no funds available at this stage to enter formal liquidation, but there are options such as payment plans,using your statutory redundancy claim or business assets to fund the actions you need to take.

If you need some guidance feel free to call EMERALD on 01744 333001 or 01925 506027.