Strike Off Company: The Ultimate Guide for Company Directors

Strike off Company - The Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that to strike off company is the process of closing a business and having it removed from the Companies House database. But why would a company choose such a fate? Well, there are various reasons, ranging from business closure to simplifying administrative burdens. Understanding the strike off process is crucial for any company director or owner.

It involves more than just vanishing into thin air. It requires following specific guidelines outlined in the Companies Act and notifying various stakeholders, including HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Failure to comply with these obligations may result in warning letters or even legal action. Therefore, having a comprehensive guide on how to navigate this process becomes essential.

So if you’re ready to demystify this often overlooked aspect of running a business, let’s dive right in!

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The Process of Applying for Voluntary Strike Off

Applying for voluntary strike off involves a straightforward process that requires certain documents and forms. Let’s take a look at the key steps involved in this application process:

  1. Overview of voluntary strike off application procedure: Voluntary strike off is a method by which a company can be dissolved when it is no longer needed or has ceased trading. It allows the company to wind up its affairs and distribute any remaining assets among its shareholders.
  2. Required documents and forms for voluntary strike off: To initiate the process, the company must complete an application form for strike off and submit it to Companies House. This form typically requires details such as the company name, registered office address, names of directors, and confirmation that the majority of shareholders agree to the strike off.
  3. Timelines involved in the application process: After submitting the application form, there is a waiting period before Companies House proceeds with the dissolution. Typically, this waiting period is around two months from the date of submission.
  4. Role of Companies House in approving the application: Once all requirements are met, Companies House reviews the application to ensure compliance with legal obligations. They may also notify interested parties such as creditors or tax authorities about the proposed dissolution.
  5. Fee and final steps: A fee is payable upon submission of the application form. It is important to settle any outstanding debts or taxes before proceeding with voluntary strike off. Once approved by Companies House, a notice will be published stating that the company will be dissolved after three months if no objections are raised.

By following this process diligently and providing accurate information on relevant forms, companies can successfully apply for voluntary strike off and have their entity officially dissolved by Companies House.

Remember: It’s always advisable to seek professional advice from an insolvency practitioner or qualified service provider who specializes in these matters to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Requirements and Steps for Voluntary Strike Off

To apply for a voluntary strike off, there are certain criteria that must be met. Several steps need to be followed in order to prepare the company for strike off. Here’s what you need to know:

Criteria for applying

  • The company should have ceased trading or never commenced business activities.
  • No outstanding debts or liabilities should exist.
  • All shareholders must agree and sign a form DS01 requesting the strike off.

Steps involved in preparing for strike off

  1. Ensure all financial matters are resolved: Submit final accounts and tax returns before applying for strike off.
  2. Notify shareholders, creditors, and employees: Inform them about the intention to strike off the company through proper channels.
  3. Complete form DS01: Fill out the DS01 form, which is required when applying for voluntary strike off.
  4. Pay any outstanding fees: Clear any remaining fees owed to Companies House.

By following these requirements and steps, you can initiate the process of voluntarily striking off your company. It is important to ensure that all necessary criteria are met and that proper notifications are made to relevant parties.

Please note that seeking professional advice from a qualified accountant or legal expert is recommended when undertaking such procedures.

Remember, voluntarily striking off a company involves specific obligations and compliance with legal requirements.

Understanding Compulsory Strike Off and its Implications

Explanation of compulsory strike off and when it is initiated by Companies House

Compulsory strike off is a process initiated by Companies House, the UK government agency responsible for maintaining the official register of companies. When a company fails to fulfil its legal obligations, such as filing annual accounts or providing a registered office address, Companies House may take action to strike off the company from the register.

During this process, Companies House will issue warning letters and notices to the company, giving them an opportunity to rectify their non-compliance. If these warnings are ignored or if there is no response within a specified period, Companies House will proceed with striking off the company.

Consequences faced by companies undergoing compulsory strike off

Companies facing compulsory strike off can experience several significant consequences. These include:

  • The company ceases to exist legally and loses all rights and assets.
  • The bank accounts of the company are frozen.
  • Contracts with suppliers or customers may be terminated.
  • Any remaining assets of the company become property of the Crown.

It’s important for directors to understand that once a company has been struck off, it cannot trade or enter into any legal transactions until it has been restored to the register.

Impact on directors’ responsibilities during the process

During compulsory strike off proceedings, directors still have certain responsibilities they must adhere to. These include:

  • Ensuring that all necessary filings and paperwork are submitted promptly.
  • Cooperating with Companies House throughout the process.
  • Informing employees, shareholders, and other relevant parties about the situation.

Directors should also be aware that they can still be held personally liable for any debts incurred by the company during this period.

If directors fail to comply with their obligations during compulsory strike off proceedings, they may face serious legal consequences. These can include:

  • Personal liability for any outstanding debts of the company.
  • Disqualification from acting as a director in the future.
  • Potential legal action taken against them by creditors or other interested parties.

It is crucial for directors to understand the gravity of their responsibilities and take appropriate action to comply with their obligations during this process.

Differences Between Voluntary and Compulsory Strike Off

Voluntary and compulsory strike off processes differ in several key aspects. Understanding these distinctions is crucial to determine which type applies to a company. Let’s explore the main differences between voluntary and compulsory strike offs:

  • Control over timing: In voluntary strike off, companies have control over the timing of the process. They can choose when to initiate the strike off procedure, allowing them flexibility in planning. On the other hand, compulsory strike off does not provide this luxury as it is initiated by external authorities, such as regulatory bodies or creditors.
  • Liability considerations: During voluntary strike off, company directors need to ensure that all liabilities are settled before initiating the process. This includes clearing any outstanding debts or obligations to avoid potential legal issues. In contrast, with compulsory strike off, liabilities may still exist even after the company has been struck off, potentially resulting in personal liability for directors.
  • Financial implications: Both types of strike off incur costs; however, these costs differ between voluntary and compulsory processes. Voluntary strike off typically involves administrative fees associated with filing relevant documents and publishing notices. In contrast, compulsory strike off may involve additional expenses due to legal proceedings or investigations.
  • Bona vacantia: Bona vacantia refers to property or assets that become ownerless when a company is dissolved. In voluntary strike off, companies have an opportunity to distribute their assets appropriately before initiating the process to avoid bona vacantia situations. However, in cases of compulsory strike off where external authorities take action, there might be a higher risk of bona vacantia occurring.

Understanding these distinctions between voluntary and compulsory strike offs helps companies navigate through the appropriate procedures while considering factors like liability and financial implications associated with each type.

Factors that Can Prevent Company Strike Off

Situations where Companies House may reject a voluntary strike-off application

  • If the company has outstanding debts or liabilities, Companies House may reject the voluntary strike-off application.
  • Failure to submit accurate and up-to-date accounts can lead to rejection of the strike-off application.
  • In situations where there are ongoing legal proceedings involving the company, Companies House may refuse to strike off the company.

Common reasons why companies are prevented from being struck off

  1. Unresolved objections from interested parties:
    • Shareholders or creditors who object to the strike-off can prevent it from proceeding.
    • Directors must address these objections by providing necessary documentation or resolving outstanding issues.
  2. Insufficient evidence of solvency:
    • Companies must demonstrate that they are solvent and able to pay their debts in order to proceed with a strike-off.
    • Failure to provide appropriate evidence can result in rejection.
  3. Non-compliance with closure requirements:
    • Failure to fulfil all necessary closure obligations, such as notifying HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and settling outstanding tax payments, can hinder the strike-off process.

Actions required to resolve issues preventing successful strike-off

  1. Address objections raised by interested parties:
    • Engage with shareholders and creditors who have objected and attempt to reach a resolution.
    • Provide necessary information or clarification requested by these parties.
  2. Ensure accurate financial records:
    • Submit updated accounts reflecting the current financial status of the company.
    • Rectify any discrepancies or errors identified during the review process.
  3. Fulfil closure obligations:
    • Notify HMRC regarding cessation of business activities and settle any outstanding tax liabilities.
    • Complete all required paperwork and submit it promptly to relevant authorities.

By addressing objections, maintaining solvency, and fulfilling closure requirements, companies increase their chances of successfully striking off their operations. It is crucial for directors to carefully navigate these factors to ensure a smooth and efficient strike-off process.

Reinstating a Struck Off Company: HMRC’s Role and Process

The role of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is crucial. They play a pivotal role in the process, ensuring that companies meet the necessary requirements for reinstatement.

To begin the reinstatement process after being struck off, certain procedures need to be followed. These steps are essential to ensure a smooth and successful reinstatement:

  1. Application: The first step involves submitting an application to HMRC for reinstatement. This application should include all relevant details and documentation required by HMRC.
  2. Review: Once the application is received, HMRC will review it thoroughly to assess whether all necessary criteria have been met. They will examine factors such as outstanding taxes, compliance with reporting obligations, and any other relevant information.
  3. Documentation: During the reinstatement process, specific documentation needs to be provided to HMRC. This may include financial statements, tax returns, evidence of cleared debts or liabilities, and any other documents deemed necessary by HMRC.
  4. Communication: Effective communication with HMRC is vital throughout the process. It is important to promptly respond to any queries or requests for additional information from them.
  5. Bounce Back Loan Considerations: If your company has obtained a Bounce Back Loan under government schemes like those offered during COVID-19, it is crucial to address this during the reinstatement process. Ensuring proper handling of loan repayments or settlements can help facilitate the reinstatement procedure.

By following these steps and providing all required documentation promptly, you can increase your chances of successfully reinstating your struck-off company with the assistance of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Their expertise and guidance are invaluable in navigating through this complex process.


Understanding the process and implications of strike off is crucial for making informed decisions about your company’s future. Once struck off the register, the company becomes inactive and cannot engage in business activities or contracts.

If you voluntarily applied for strike off, congratulations on completing the necessary steps. Your company will be removed from the register, providing closure and enabling you to explore new ventures.

However, if your company faces compulsory strike off due to non-compliance or other reasons, address outstanding issues promptly to avoid personal liability or legal consequences. Factors like unresolved debts, ongoing legal proceedings, or objections from creditors can prevent strike off, so resolve these matters first.

In some cases, you might consider reinstating a struck-off company. To do this, follow HMRC’s specific process for reinstatement and seek professional advice to ensure compliance. Always take appropriate action based on your unique circumstances and seek expert guidance when needed.

If you have any questions about the strike off process or wish to discuss insolvent liquidation options such as a creditors voluntary arrangement, please contact us here at Company Doctor today on 0113 237 9503 or via the WhatsApp link below to speak with one of our professional advisors.

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Can I still access my company’s bank account after strike off?

No, once a company has been struck off the register, its bank account will typically be frozen or closed. It is advisable to make arrangements beforehand for transferring funds or managing financial matters prior to strike off.

Will striking off my company affect my personal credit score?

Striking off your company should not directly impact your personal credit score unless there are outstanding debts personally guaranteed by you as a director. However, it is always recommended to review your credit report regularly to ensure accuracy.

Can I start a new company after strike off?

Yes, you can start a new company after strike off. The process of starting a new company is separate from the strike off procedure. Ensure that any outstanding issues from the previous company are resolved before commencing with a new venture.

How long does it take for a company to be struck off?

The time taken for a company to be struck off can vary depending on various factors, including the type of strike off (voluntary or compulsory) and whether all requirements have been met. Typically, voluntary strike offs take around three months, while compulsory strike offs may occur more swiftly.

Can I appeal against a decision for compulsory strike off?

Yes, you can appeal against the decision for compulsory strike off if you believe it was unjustified or there are mitigating circumstances. Seek legal advice promptly and follow the appropriate procedures outlined by Companies House.


The primary sources for this article are listed below.

Strike off your limited company from the Companies Register: Close down your company – GOV.UK (

Sign in to WebFiling account – Companies House WebFiling account – GOV.UK (

Details of our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content can be found in our editorial policy here.

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