Strike Off A Company – Follow These Simple Steps

How to Strike off a Company (Company Dissolution) is the process for shutting down a limited company. The correct process should be followed to avoid objections. It can be done for different reasons, such as financial hardship, legal troubles, or simply because the owners no longer want to operate the business.



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    What is Meant By Company Strike Off?

    Company Strike Off (company dissolution) is the legal process of ending the life of a company. When a company is dissolved, it's struck off from the Companies House. Companies House is the public register which displays all the official company information. Once a company is struck off, it has no legal existence. There are two main ways to do this: voluntary strike off and compulsory strike off.

    Company Strike Off Vs Liquidation

    It is important to note that company strike off is different from liquidation.

    Company strike off is the legal process of closing a company in situations where it no longer has any creditors. Striking off simply ends the life of the company without selling off assets.

    Liquidation, on the other hand, is the process of selling off business assets in order to pay its outstanding debts. Once the debts have been paid, the company is struck off. Licensed insolvency practitioners will be involved in the process.

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    Eligibility Requirements for Company Strike Off

    There are certain eligibility requirements that must be met to strike off a limited company.

    1. The company has not traded for the last three months.
    2. The company has no outstanding debts and is not threatened by any legal action such as liquidation or bankruptcy.
    3. All shareholders have agreed to the dissolution.
    4. The company name has not been changed in the last three months.

    To strike off a company in the UK, the creditors must be informed, and their permission is required. Creditors have three months to consider the request and can reject it. Once these requirements have been met, the process of striking off can begin.

    What to do Before Filing for Company Strike Off

    A few things need to be taken care of before applying to strike off a company.

    1. Assets Distribution:
      All business assets must be distributed fairly and equitably among the shareholders. Distributing assets include physical assets such as property, equipment, and inventory and intangible assets such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
    2. Debt Repayment:
      Unpaid debts must be repaid before the dissolution can be finalised. It includes loans, credit lines, and accounts payable. It's important to note that shareholders are not liable for the company's debts.
    3. Tax Clearance:
      All of the company's tax liabilities must be paid. It includes VAT, income taxes, corporation taxes, and capital gains taxes. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must be notified of the company's dissolution to cancel its tax registration.
    4. Company Tax Return:
      The company will need to file its final tax return. The final accounts and the Corporation tax return should be prepared and submitted to HMRC and Companies House.
    5. Closing Company Bank Accounts:
      Close company bank accounts, and all remaining funds must be transferred to the shareholders. Service accounts such as utilities and internet must also be cancelled.
    6. Notify Creditors:
      You must notify concerned parties about the company's dissolution within seven days of submitting your application to Companies House. It includes all shareholders, creditors, and employees.
    7. Final Wages
      All employees must be paid their final wages and any outstanding vacation pay. Employees are also entitled to receive their accrued pension benefits and any other benefits they may be entitled to.

    Once these things have been taken care of, the company strike off process can begin.

    Process to Apply to Strike off a Company

    You can either follow the traditional company strike off process or use the new online service from companies house.

    The traditional company strike off process involves filling out form DS01 and submitting it to Companies House. Once you fulfil the filing requirements, Companies House will review them and ensure that all requirements have been met. They will publish a notice in the London Gazette if everything is in order.

    The online service from Companies House is a new and more straightforward way to strike off your company. It can be done online, and there is no need to submit physical forms. All you need is your Companies House account and authorisation code.

    Steps To Strike Off a Limited Company

    A few steps must be followed to strike off a company legally. They are as follows:

    Companies House Register:

    The first step is to check the company number and registered address on the Companies House register. You will need this information to fill out the form correctly.

    Check Company Status:

    The next step is to check the company's status on Companies House website. The company must be active to be eligible for dissolution. It means that it cannot be in the process of winding down or wound up.

    Fill Out The Form:

    Once you have gathered all the required information, you can begin filling out the form on the Companies House website. A company director or company secretary must sign the form. If there is more than one director, more than half of them must sign the form.

    The next step is to send the form to Companies House. It can be done by post or online. Once the forms have been submitted, Companies House will review them and ensure that all requirements have been met.

    Gazette And Notice of Company Dissolution:

    If everything is in order, they will publish a notice in the London Gazette announcing the company's dissolution. There are three gazettes, so that the notification will appear in one of them. The gazettes include:

    • London Gazette, which deals with companies in England and Wales
    • Edinburgh Gazette, which deals with companies in Scotland
    • Belfast Gazette, which deals with companies in Northern Ireland

    The notice will include the company's name, registered address, and date of dissolution. It will also state that the company ceases to exist from the date of dissolution.

    Objections To Striking off a Company

    There are a few potential objections to striking off a company.

    • First, HMRC can object to the strike off of a company on several grounds. The primary objection is that the company owes HMRC money in taxes, VAT, or PAYE. If the company cannot demonstrate that it can pay its debts, HMRC will not allow dissolution to proceed. Submission of tax returns must be up to date. HMRC are likely to object where there have been bounce back loans and or CBILS that have not been repaid.
    • Secondly, you must ensure you owe no money to creditors, as they can object to the dissolution. If you do owe money, the creditor has the right to restore the company to the register in order to collect the debt.
    • A creditor can still try to collect the debt even if the company has been dissolved by petitioning to have the company restored. If this happens, you'll have to liquidate the company. To legitimately close an insolvent company an insolvency practitioner is required.
    • Note that Bounce Back Loans must be repaid. If the money your company borrowed is not repaid, your company may be investigated by the Insolvency Service, even if it has been dissolved. If the company has not been dissolved they may object to its dissolution. Should they find there was misconduct in the use of the loan, action may be taken against you personally and your company. You should seek advice from an insolvency practitioner if you find yourself in this situation.

    Drawbacks Of Striking Off a Company

    It's crucial for company directors to weigh the pros and cons of company strike off before making a decision. While there are many benefits, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered.

    One downside of striking off a company is that it can negatively impact the company's credit score. It could make it difficult for the company to obtain future loans or other forms of funding.

    Another drawback is that striking off a company can be seen as an act of financial misconduct. It could damage the company's reputation and make it difficult to do business with other companies.

    For more information, read our article on Striking Off with an outstanding Bounce Back Loan, Strike Off with a Bounce Back Loan?

    How To Withdraw the Application

    It is not uncommon for a company to change its mind about striking off or for creditors to have a disagreement which means strike off is no longer the best course of action. If this happens, you can apply to the court to set the dissolution order aside.

    To do this, you must submit a paper form DS02 to the court that made the order, along with the original dissolution order and the fully paid court fee.

    Alternative to Company Strike Off

    If you're considering striking off your company, it's essential to weigh all of your options. Strike off is a permanent solution and is not always the best option. One alternative to strike off is to put the company into members voluntary liquidation, and the other is registering the company as a dormant company. Let's take a look at these alternatives in more detail.

    Members Voluntary Liquidation

    If the company is solvent, meaning it can pay its debts, then Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) may be a better option than dissolution. With members voluntary liquidation, the company's assets are sold, and the proceeds are used to pay off creditors. Any leftover money is distributed to shareholders.

    MVL is a process that a licensed insolvency practitioner oversees who ensures the process is carried out correctly and that all of the company's debts are paid before the company is finally struck off.

    Making A Company Dormant

    Making a company dormant works cost-effectively if you are not planning to use the company for some time but still want to keep it registered. You can avoid significant financial costs, and the company will remain on the register.

    Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

    If the company is insolvent, meaning it can't pay its debts, then Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) may be the best option. Again, you need a licensed insolvency practitioner to do this. With CVL, the company's assets are sold, and the proceeds are used to pay off creditors. Otherwise, the company might be forced into Compulsory Liquidation by the court. The company is struck off only after the liquidator files his final account.

    How Can Company Doctor Help?

    If your company is insolvent or you want to close it down, we can give you professional advice and affordable help for the formal process of liquidation. Free confidential advice is just a call away on 0800 169 1536.

    Our experienced insolvency practitioners will work with you to understand your financial situation and advise you on the best course of action.


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    The dissolution process can take around three months from start to finish. It includes the time it takes to file the necessary paperwork with the state, liquidate assets, and pay off any outstanding debts.

    Yes. HMRC can chase a struck off company for up to six or twenty years, depending on the case. If fraud is suspected or directors are considered negligent, the timeline is extended to twenty years. The government department's first action would be to apply for the company's reinstatement.

    The easiest way to check if your company has been struck off is to search for it on the Companies House website. If the company is no longer registered, then it has been dissolved. The company name and the date of dissolution will be displayed on the website.

    The decision to strike off a company is a difficult one. You should weigh your options and get professional advice before making a decision. Strike off is a formal process that should not be undertaken lightly. It is recommended in cases such as when the company is no longer trading and has no assets or liabilities.

    For more information if you receive a Winding Up Petition from HMRC read our article

    What You Need To Know If You Receive A Winding Up Petition From HMRC →

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