Companies House is streamlining its process to dissolve England and Wales companies which have been in compulsory liquidation for 10 or more years and have not made contact with Companies House for 10 years.
How do I find out about placing my company in liquidation (or any other insolvency proceeding)?
Companies House guidance covers liquidation, receivership, administration and corporate voluntary arrangement, as well as giving general information on insolvency:
We recommend taking professional advice (from a solicitor or insolvency practitioner) before going ahead with any of these proceedings.
Please note that matters relating to striking off a company or LLP from the Register, where no liquidation or insolvency proceeding is taking place, are dealt with separately in the following guidance:
What is the difference between a voluntary and a compulsory liquidation?
A voluntary liquidation, which can be either a members' voluntary liquidation or a creditors' voluntary liquidation, is brought about by resolution of the company and is conducted by a qualified practitioner. A compulsory liquidation is brought about by an order of the court and can be conducted by the Official Receiver or a qualified practitioner.
Do the people in charge of insolvency proceedings hold any kind of qualification?
Anyone undertaking the duties of liquidator, administrative receiver, administrator or supervisor of a corporate voluntary arrangement must be a qualified insolvency practitioner. Those holding the position of receiver or manager do not need this qualification, nor does anyone who was already in office before the Insolvency Act 1986 (for England, Wales and Scotland) or the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (for Northern Ireland) was implemented.
How do I complain about the conduct of one of these qualified practitioners?
Complaints should be addressed in writing to the Insolvency Service. More information is available from the following websites:
They will pass it to the appropriate authorising body for action. Alternatively, you can contact the relevant authorising body direct.
Do all insolvency proceedings mean the company is insolvent and will eventually be removed from Register?
Not always. In a members' voluntary liquidation, the directors swear a statement, known as a declaration of solvency, to say the company will be able to pay all its debts within a period not exceeding twelve months. In this circumstance the company is not 'insolvent'.
I understand that a company is dissolved three months after the liquidation is concluded. I need the company to remain on the live Register for a time. If I write to you, will you defer the date at which the dissolution will take place?
No. The Registrar cannot defer the dissolution which follows a liquidation proceeding. For voluntary liquidation, an application can be made to the court to defer dissolution (for England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). For compulsory liquidation, an application would need to be made to the Secretary of State in England and Wales, or the Department for Trade, Enterprise and Investment in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, an application may be made to the court to defer the date of dissolution.
The deferral notice/order must be filed with the Registrar following the registration of the concluding documentation in the liquidation and before the date of dissolution. Once dissolution takes place, you will have to apply to the court to have the dissolution declared void.
For more information on deferring dissolution, please see the relevant legislation:
For England and Wales:
- Section 201 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for voluntary liquidation, and.
- Sections 202, 203 and 205 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for compulsory liquidation.
For Northern Ireland:
- Article 166 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 for voluntary liquidation, and.
- Article 167 to Article 169 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 for compulsory liquidation.
- Section 201 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for voluntary liquidation, and.
- Sections 204 and 205 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for compulsory liquidation.
A company owes me money. They have told me they have ceased trading but are not going into liquidation. Can I have them wound up?
It is possible for a creditor to petition the court to have a company placed into compulsory liquidation. Please refer to the guidance and seek professional advice.
Where do I get the relevant insolvency forms for filing with the Registrar?
Forms LQ01 and LQ02 (for England and Wales and Northern Ireland) and Form 600 (for England and Wales) are available from Companies House website.
- Statutory insolvency forms for England and Wales are prescribed by the Registrar of Companies in the Registrar's rules.
- Statutory insolvency forms for Scotland are available from the Accountant in Bankruptcy website.
- Statutory insolvency forms for Northern Ireland are not available from Companies House. They can be viewed by obtaining the relevant legislation on www.opsi.gov.uk or from The Stationery Office (TSO).
Where can I obtain further information?
Why is Companies House streamlining its process?
To remove companies from the public record that are no longer required.
How does Companies House have a power to do this?
Section 1001(1) of the Companies Act 2006 states that where a company is being wound up and the registrar has reasonable cause to believe that (i) no liquidator is acting/the company is fully wound up and (ii) the liquidator has not made the required returns for a period of 6 consecutive months, the Registrar must publish in the Gazette and send to the company or liquidator a notice that the company will be struck off and dissolved in 3 months time unless cause is shown to the contrary.
What process will Companies House follow to remove these companies?
Where a company, with a liquidator appointed, has been in compulsory liquidation for 10 or more years and the registrar has not received contact from the liquidator for 10 years, Companies House will send a notice to the liquidator at the last known address to inform them of our intention to strike off the company. If there is no response a formal notice will be sent stating that unless cause is shown to the contrary we will strike off and dissolve the company within 3 months.
In cases where the Official Receiver is in office and no liquidator has been appointed, Companies House will serve notice on the Insolvency Service in the form of a list of companies to be struck off stating that unless cause is shown to the contrary, the name of each company mentioned in the notice will be struck off the register and dissolved at the expiration of 3 months from the date of the notice.
I act as an Insolvency Practitioner for a company which has been in compulsory liquidation for more than 10 years and the insolvency proceedings are continuing. What must I do?
Please file any outstanding documents or provide notice in writing that the company is still in compulsory liquidation and Companies House will take no further action.
I have received a notice stating that unless cause is shown to the contrary Companies House will strike off and dissolve the company within 3 months. What must I do?
Please file any outstanding documents or provide notice in writing that the company is still in compulsory liquidation and Companies House will stop strike off action.