Company Strike Off Services in the United Kingdom
3E Accounting provides a quick guide on how to go about availing company strike off services in the UK when you need to close shop.
A company strike off is one of the most pragmatic ways to close your business. Essentially, a strike-off allows a company without assets, but which is still solvent, to close down. Engaging company strike off services in the UK will allow you to hold on to the reigns right to the end. As a director, this means you retain control throughout the closing down process.
Closing Shop, the Right Way
In the United Kingdom, any solvent company can choose to close down via company strike off – this is considered a voluntary option. Insolvent companies or companies going through a formal insolvency process cannot avail themselves of this procedure.
Strike off is usually chosen when a company is considering restructuring or has been unsuccessful in business. It can also be employed where directors are retiring or leaving the company.
Before you go through the strike-off procedure and file form DS01, all creditors must be paid. Company assets should also be distributed before starting the dissolution process. Otherwise, such assets will be considered ownerless and transferred to The Crown via the rule of ‘bona vacantia’ or ‘vacant goods.’
Further, in the three months before strike-off procedures, your company must not have changed its name. Your company must also not have traded or sold business assets or rights within this time frame.
When you choose to strike off your company, and it is approved:
- You will need to file the strike-off form known as DS01, pay the fee and alert interested parties such as HMRC, shareholders, employees, etc.
- It is crucial not to make payment via the company’s account as this would then amount to a trade.
- All information about your limited company will be removed from the company registry at the Companies House.
- Your company will cease to exist, your business will be closed, and your company name will be available for others to use.
- There is no requirement to hold creditors meeting.
You will not be able to opt for voluntary strike-off in the following instances:
- Your business is not solvent
- Your business has an outstanding winding-up petition
- Your business cannot pay its creditors, meet its liabilities, etc
- Your company has an arrangement with creditors, etc.
It takes three months for the strike-off procedure. During this time, notices of the strike-off will be published in the relevant gazettes. This allows any objection to the dissolution to be raised followed by an investigation where applicable. The DS01 form can be rejected where there are unpaid taxes to HMRC, outstanding creditors, evidence of trading, etc. Companies House itself may strike off your company for not filing accounts.
A company that has been struck off can no longer trade, do business, etc., and any such breaches can result in penalties and fines. Directors can face up to 15 years disqualification as well. The law, however, is poised for change post-Brexit and to learn more about company strike off services in the UK, Contact 3E Accounting. Our team of specialists are on hand to guide you through the intricacies of the process and ensure full compliance. Give us a call today to speak to one of our friendly professionals.