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Advantages and Disadvantages of Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation

Dealing with financial distress can be overwhelming for any business. In such situations, it’s essential to find the right solution to address outstanding debts and secure the best possible outcome for all stakeholders.

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is a popular method for resolving business insolvency, but is it the right choice for your company?

This blog post will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of creditors’ voluntary liquidation, providing a comprehensive understanding of the process and its implications to help you make an informed decision.

Short Summary

  • Creditors Voluntary Liquidation offers cost-efficiency, control over the process and potential asset repurchase opportunities.
  • Reputational damage, asset loss and director investigations are potential drawbacks of a CVL.
  • An insolvency practitioner provides guidance to directors throughout the process while ensuring assets are distributed in a way that maximizes returns.

Understanding Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation is a process designed for financially distressed businesses with limited assets and no viable future prospects.

By choosing this method, a company can settle its outstanding debts, distribute dividends to creditors, and ultimately have those debts written off.

Unlike compulsory liquidation, in which a court orders the liquidation, CVL allows company directors to call company liquidation and retain control over the liquidation process commences, by using creditors’ voluntary liquidation control and appointing their own licensed insolvency practitioner.

When a company decides to enter into CVL, it is essentially closing down the company entering liquidation, and ceasing trading. The insolvency practitioner will oversee the liquidation process, selling off the company’s assets using liquidation proceeds to repay monies owed to creditors.

The ultimate goal is to maximize returns for the company’s creditors while also ensuring that the company directors fulfil their legal obligations.

Advantages of Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

There are several advantages and disadvantages to opting for a CVL, including its cost-effectiveness, the ability to retain control over the process, and the potential to repurchase assets.

Let’s explore these advantages in more detail.

Cost-Effective Solution

One of the main advantages of CVL is its cost-effectiveness. The costs associated with the process,

Such as the insolvency practitioner’s fees, are generally covered by the sale of company assets, making it a financially viable option for many businesses.

Moreover, all unpaid debts are written off at the conclusion of a CVL, lifting the burden of debt and allowing directors to pursue other opportunities without the weight of outstanding liabilities.

Additionally, directors may be able to fund the initial expenses of the CVL through their redundancy entitlements, further reducing the financial strain on the business.

By choosing a CVL over other insolvency procedures, companies can minimise costs and maximize the return for their creditors.

Retaining Control

Another significant advantage of CVL is the ability to retain control throughout the process. Unlike compulsory liquidation, directors can appoint their own insolvency practitioner, ensuring that they have a say in how the liquidation is managed.

This can provide peace of mind and confidence that the process will be handled in the best possible way for the company’s borrowing, and its other creditors.

Directors who engage in voluntary insolvent liquidation are demonstrating their awareness of the company’s financial situation, which can help reduce creditor losses and minimize reputational harm.

Additionally, directors may be eligible for redundancy pay if they meet certain criteria, providing a financial cushion during the difficult CVL process.

Asset Repurchase Opportunities

When a company enters into CVL, its assets are sold to repay creditors. However, one advantage of this process is the potential for directors or shareholders to repurchase those assets and establish a new company.

This presents an opportunity for a fresh start, allowing business owners to learn from past mistakes and move forward with a stronger foundation.

The ability to repurchase assets can be particularly beneficial for businesses with valuable equipment, intellectual property, or other assets that are crucial to their operations.

By acquiring these assets in the CVL process, directors or shareholders of a limited company can ensure the continuity of their business, albeit under a new company structure.

Disadvantages of Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

While CVL offers several advantages, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as reputation impact, loss of company assets, and director investigations.

Let’s examine these disadvantages in more detail.

Reputation Impact

Entering into a CVL can have a negative impact on a company’s reputation, as it signals to the public that the business has faced financial difficulties and has chosen to cease trading.

This can be particularly damaging for companies that rely heavily on their brand image and customer trust.

Moreover, the creditors’ meeting must be publicly advertised in The Gazette, making the process transparent and potentially drawing unwanted attention.

However, it’s worth noting that by choosing a CVL, directors demonstrate their commitment to addressing the company’s financial problems and acting in the best interests of their creditors.

This responsible approach can help mitigate some of the reputational damage and may be viewed more favourably by other creditors, and other stakeholders.

Loss of Assets

As mentioned earlier, the company’s assets are sold during a CVL to repay creditors. This can lead to a significant loss of assets, as the liquidator may be required to sell them at a reduced price to quickly generate funds for debt repayment.

The loss of assets can be particularly challenging for businesses that rely on specialised equipment or property, as it may be difficult to replace these items if they decide to start a new company.

However, the company leasing potential to repurchase existing assets can offer some relief in this regard, allowing directors or shareholders to reacquire crucial company assets, and continue their business operations under a new company structure.

Director Investigations

During the CVL process, directors may be subject to investigations by the insolvency practitioner or other regulatory bodies.

These investigations can be time-consuming and stressful, as they may scrutinize the directors’ conduct, financial decisions, and overall management of the company.

If any wrongdoing is found, directors may face significant penalties, including disqualification from acting as a director, personal liability for company debts, and even criminal prosecution in severe cases.

Despite the potential drawbacks, it’s essential to remember that engaging in a CVL demonstrates a director’s commitment to addressing the company’s financial problems and acting in the best interests of its creditors.

By taking a proactive approach and seeking professional advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner, directors can minimize the risk of investigations and ensure compliance with their legal obligations.

The Role of an Insolvency Practitioner in CVL

Insolvency Practitioners play a crucial role in the CVL process, providing comprehensive advice and support to company directors throughout the procedure.

As licensed professionals, they are responsible for realizing the company’s assets and distributing the proceeds to the company’s creditors force others, aiming to maximize returns for those stakeholders.

Moreover, Insolvency Practitioners have extensive authority to examine directorial behaviour and, if necessary, institute proceedings of wrongful trading.

By working closely with an insolvency practitioner, directors can ensure that they fulfil their legal obligations and navigate the CVL process with confidence and minimal risk.

Navigating Personal Guarantees and Wrongful Trading

Personal guarantees can be a significant concern for directors during the CVL process, as they may become personally liable for the company’s outstanding debts if the business is unable to pay.

This is because personal guarantees can result in legal action against the directors and the potential loss of personal assets. To minimise the risk associated with personal guarantees,

it’s crucial for directors to seek professional advice and consider alternative solutions, such as a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

Wrongful trading is another important issue to consider during the CVL process. This occurs when a director continues to trade a company despite knowing that there is no reasonable prospect of the company avoiding insolvent liquidation.

If the company’s house found guilty of wrongful trading, directors may face personal and legal liability for the company’s debts, disqualification from acting as a director, and even criminal prosecution.

By engaging in a CVL and working closely with an insolvency practitioner, directors can minimize the risk of wrongful trading allegations and demonstrate their commitment to addressing the company’s financial problems.

Company Debts and Company Voluntary Arrangements

When a company enters into a CVL, it’s important to consider the impact on various types of company debts, such as lease and hire purchase agreements.

In most cases, these agreements are terminated at the date of insolvent company liquidation. Directors may also be held personally liable for overdrawn current accounts in their company’s house in the event of company liquidation.

An alternative solution to CVL is a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which allows the company to continue trading while repaying its debts over an agreed period.

A CVA can be a more suitable option for businesses that have a viable future and want to avoid the negative consequences of liquidation.

However, it’s crucial to seek professional advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner to determine the most appropriate solution for the specific circumstances of the company.

Employee Rights and Redundancy Pay

During a CVL, employees are often subject to redundancy as the company ceases trading. However, they are entitled to claim any monies owed to them, such as arrears of wages, holiday pay, or pay in lieu of notice, up to statutory limits.

These claims cover only redundancy pay members and further payments can be made through the Redundancy Payments Service, ensuring that employees receive the financial support they are entitled to during this difficult time.

Interestingly, company directors may also be eligible for redundancy pay if they meet certain criteria.

Such as being employed by the company for a minimum of two years, receiving a salary under PAYE, and working at least 16 hours per week in a practical capacity.

This can provide a financial cushion for directors during the CVL process and help them navigate the challenges of creditors’ voluntary liquidation company.

Preparing for a Creditors Meeting

When entering into a CVL, one of the key steps is preparing for a creditors meeting. This involves convening a meeting of directors, calling a meeting of shareholders, setting an agenda, and voting on the proposed agenda.

Company directors will also need to compile and submit a statement of the limited company director’s affairs to provide creditors with information about the limited company director’s financial standing.

The appointment of an insolvency practitioner is another crucial step in the process, as they will administer the liquidation and ensure that the company’s affairs are handled in the best interest of creditors.

Determining the insolvency practitioner’s fees is also an important aspect, as this will need to be negotiated and agreed upon by both the company and the appointed insolvency practitioner.

UK Insolvency Law Directors’ Responsibilities

According to UK insolvency law, directors have a duty to act in the best interests of the company and, if insolvency is a possibility, to creditors as well.

When a company becomes insolvent, directors are responsible for taking appropriate actions to minimize losses for the company’s debt creditors, including appointing an insolvency practitioner and preparing a statement of affairs.

By engaging in a CVL, directors demonstrate their commitment to addressing the company’s financial problems and acting in the best interests of its creditors.

This responsible approach can help mitigate potential legal risks and ensure compliance with UK insolvency law.

It’s crucial for directors to seek professional advice and guidance from a licensed insolvency practitioner throughout the CVL process to navigate the complexities of insolvency law and fulfil their legal obligations.


Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation is a widely used method for addressing business insolvency, offering both advantages and disadvantages for company directors.

While the process provides a cost-effective solution, the ability to retain control, and asset repurchase opportunities, it also carries the risk of reputation impact, loss of assets, and director investigations.

Understanding the implications of CVL and seeking professional advice from licensed insolvency practitioners are essential steps for directors to make informed decisions about the future of their businesses.

In conclusion, while CVL may be the right choice for some companies, it’s crucial to consider all available options and their respective consequences before making a decision.

By understanding the ins and outs of CVL, directors can take a proactive approach to address their company’s financial challenges and strive for a successful outcome that benefits all stakeholders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of creditors’ voluntary liquidation?

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) allows companies to be wound up in a controlled and orderly manner, enabling stakeholders to access professional advice and meet their legal obligations.

It also provides an opportunity to minimise any adverse tax implications for the company’s shareholders.

The process is usually concluded more quickly than a compulsory liquidation and is often seen as the preferable option when winding up a business.

What are the disadvantages of voluntary liquidation?

The biggest disadvantage of voluntary liquidation is that it can result in legal investigations into the directors’ conduct and potential personal liability.

The company’s creditors also have the right to challenge any decision made by directors before the liquidation process is completed.

Additionally, the insolvency process can be expensive as fees for insolvency practitioners and other associated costs must be paid from the company’s funds.

What are the advantages of the voluntary company?

Voluntary company arrangements (CVA) offer numerous advantages for companies struggling with cash flow, allowing them to remain in control of their business and enjoy lower costs than alternative insolvency solutions.

Additionally, the process is less public, meaning customers do not need to be informed.

Finally, there is an opportunity to develop a plan to pay creditors over time, so the company’s financial position can benefit from a fresh start.

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