Cheap Way to Close a Limited Company
Closing a limited company may seem like a daunting task, but there are affordable ways to do so without breaking the bank.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the cheap way to close a limited company, whether solvent or insolvent, and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind during the process.
Evaluating Your Company’s Financial Situation
Before embarking on the journey to close your limited company, evaluating its financial situation is essential.
Is your company solvent, able to pay its debts and meet its obligations as they become due?
Or is it insolvent, struggling to pay its debts and meet its financial obligations?
The answer to this question will determine the most suitable closure options for your company.
If your company is solvent, you have two primary options for an inexpensive closure: company dissolution and members’ voluntary liquidation (MVL).
The choice between these two methods largely depends on the amount of your company’s physical assets and cash reserves.
Company dissolution is a straightforward process that doesn’t require specialist counsel and is best suited for businesses with retained profits below the £25,000 threshold.
On the other hand, MVL is a more advantageous choice from a taxation standpoint, especially if your company has a substantial amount of retained profits.
In an MVL, profits are allocated to shareholders as capital gain, or market value and subject them to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) instead of being considered income.
For insolvent companies, settling outstanding debts is of utmost importance before any money can be taken.
Two affordable options to consider for closing an insolvent company are Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).
A CVA allows your company to negotiate a repayment plan with creditors and avoid compulsory liquidation either, while a CVL is a formal process initiated by the directors to address the company’s debts, with an insolvency professional appointed to manage the liquidation.
Keep in mind that seeking professional advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner is crucial for insolvent companies, as they can help guide you through the process while ensuring compliance with legal obligations.
Inexpensive Closure Options for Solvent Companies
Dissolution is the most cost-effective method of closing a solvent-limited company. The fee for dissolution is only £10. This option is best suited for inactive businesses with few assets.
To initiate the dissolution process, simply submit an application to Companies House, ensuring that all outstanding accounts and tax returns are current and all assets have been allocated to shareholders.
Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is another closure option for solvent companies, though it comes with a higher cost, starting at £1,500.
An MVL stands for Members’ Voluntary Liquidation. In this case, a licensed insolvency practitioner is appointed to manage the distribution of the company’s assets and repay creditors.
This option is more beneficial for companies with significant assets, as it allows for tax savings through the distribution of assets to shareholders as capital rather than income.
Company dissolution involves removing your company’s name from the Companies House register through a formal procedure called voluntary strike-off.
With a cost of only £10, this method is the cheapest and quickest way to close a solvent limited company.
However, it’s crucial to ensure that all creditors are notified and no involvement from a licensed professional is present, as the company may be subject to reinstatement to the register if these requirements are not met.
Upon submitting the necessary documents and fees to Companies House, a notice for dissolution will be published.
Once the notice is published, the company is legally dissolved and ceases to operate, with the new company and name no longer appearing on the register.
Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL)
Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is a more expensive option for closing a solvent limited company, with costs starting at £1,500.
However, the benefits of an MVL may outweigh the costs, especially for companies with valuable assets.
In this process, a licensed insolvency practitioner is appointed to oversee the winding up of the company’s affairs and distribute its assets to shareholders as capital rather than income.
This allows for tax savings through Capital Gains Tax, which may be as low as 10% if the individual qualifies for Entrepreneurs’ Relief.
While more expensive and time-consuming than company dissolution, an MVL can provide significant tax benefits, making it a worthwhile option for solvent companies with substantial assets to distribute.
Closing an Insolvent Company Affordably
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is a formal procedure for insolvent companies to address their outstanding debts.
Typically initiated by the company’s directors, a licensed insolvency practitioner is appointed to manage the liquidation process, which includes handling the assets of the company, distributing the proceeds to creditors, and ensuring compliance with all legal regulations.
The liquidator’s fee for a CVL may range from £3,000 to £6,000, depending on the complexity of the case.
The company’s assets may not be enough to cover expenses. If that is indeed the case, the company directors could face personal liability.
If your company is insolvent but you’d like to avoid liquidation, you may consider a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
A CVA is a legally binding agreement between your company and its unsecured creditors, allowing for a proportion of debt to be repaid over a predetermined period of time, typically spanning 3 to 5 years.
This debtor-in-possession process has minimal court involvement and enables the company to continue its operations, provided that creditors agree to the arrangement.
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)
A Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is a formal procedure for insolvent companies to address their debts.
It is typically initiated by the company’s directors, who appoint an insolvency practitioner to manage the liquidation.
The insolvency practitioner is responsible for the company assets, handling the company’s assets, distributing the proceeds to creditors, and ensuring compliance with all legal regulations.
While CVL is an affordable option to close an insolvent company, it’s important to remember that the costs associated with it, such as the liquidator’s fee, should be factored into your decision.
Furthermore, delaying the process could lead to increased losses for creditors and may necessitate a thorough investigation into the conduct of certain conditions of the company’s directors, potentially leaving them personally liable for any additional debts.
Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) offers an alternative solution for insolvent companies looking to avoid liquidation.
This legally-binding agreement between the company and its unsecured creditors allows for a proportion of debt to be repaid over a predetermined period of time, typically 3 to 5 years.
With minimal court involvement, a CVA enables your company to continue trading while working towards resolving its financial issues.
It’s crucial to seek professional advice when considering a CVA, as the success of the arrangement depends on the agreement of the creditors. A licensed insolvency practitioner can guide you through the process and help you determine if a CVA is the best option for your company.
Seeking Professional Advice
Regardless of whether your company is solvent or insolvent, seeking professional advice from licensed insolvency practitioners and legal and financial advisors is highly recommended when closing a limited company.
These professionals possess the knowledge and experience needed to guide you through the complexities of the process, ensuring that you make informed decisions and comply with all legal obligations.
In addition to helping you understand the legal and financial aspects of closing a company, professional advisors can also assist with tax planning, investment strategies, and other financial planning services.
Their expertise can prove invaluable in navigating the intricate landscape of closing a limited company and securing the best possible outcome for your business.
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners are qualified professionals authorized by an authorized regulatory body to provide assistance to companies and individuals facing financial difficulties.
They play a vital role in the closure of a limited company, offering professional guidance and executing formal processes such as members’ voluntary liquidation and creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
When selecting a licensed insolvency practitioner, it’s essential to choose one with relevant knowledge and experience in handling company closures.
Their expertise can help ensure a smooth and efficient process, minimizing costs and maximizing the benefits for your company’s stakeholders.
Legal and Financial Advisors
Legal and financial advisors are experts who provide advice and counsel on legal and financial matters, assisting clients in making informed decisions and navigating intricate legal and financial issues.
They possess a comprehensive understanding of investments, savings, money management, and related legal matters, making them an invaluable resource when closing a limited company.
When engaging a legal and financial advisor, it’s essential to choose one with relevant knowledge and experience in handling company closures.
Their expertise can help you make informed decisions, ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and provide valuable counsel on a variety of topics, from investments and savings to legal matters.
Key Considerations Before Closing Your Company
Closing a limited company involves more than just choosing the right closure method.
There are several key considerations to keep in mind throughout the process, including notifying interested parties, settling outstanding liabilities, and adhering to record-keeping requirements.
Taking the time to address these considerations before closing your company can help ensure a smooth and efficient process, minimizing the risk of complications and potential legal issues down the line.
Notifying Interested Parties
When closing a limited company, it’s essential to inform all relevant parties, including creditors, shareholders, employees, pension fund managers, and customers.
This not only helps maintain transparency but also reduces the likelihood of objections during the closure process.
Failing to notify interested parties can lead to delays in the closure process and even potential legal disputes.
Ensuring all stakeholders are informed of your intentions to close the company can help safeguard against these issues and ensure a smoother process.
Settling Outstanding Liabilities
Before closing your company, you must address any outstanding liabilities, including unpaid debts, taxes, employee salaries, and pending legal disputes.
Depending on the financial situation of your company, you may need to enter into a formal insolvency process, such as a creditors’ voluntary liquidation or an administrative dissolution, to resolve these liabilities.
Taking the necessary steps to settle outstanding liabilities before closing your company can help protect you and your stakeholders from potential legal issues and ensure a smoother closure process.
Upon closing a limited company, you must maintain all financial records for a minimum of six years after the company’s closure.
This includes accounting records, company registers, bank statements, invoices, and receipts. Accurate record-keeping is essential for documenting and accounting for all financial transactions, as well as ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
In addition to retaining financial records, you’ll also need to submit the final accounts to Companies House and the final corporation tax and return to HM Revenue and Customs, ensuring all legal obligations are met.
Closing a limited company can be a complex process, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it’s possible to do so affordably and efficiently.
Whether your company is solvent or insolvent, it’s crucial to evaluate its financial situation, explore the available closure options, and seek professional advice from licensed insolvency practitioners and legal and financial advisors.
By addressing key considerations such as notifying interested parties, settling outstanding liabilities, and maintaining proper record-keeping, you can ensure a smooth and successful closure process for your limited company, safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it cost to close a limited company?
To sum up, depending on the complexity of closing a limited company, there can be associated costs involved.
Most commonly, striking off a solvent company is the most affordable option, however, fees may be incurred to Companies House and any other obligations owed money, such as outstanding debts and wages must still be paid.
These costs can vary depending on the size and complexity of the company, but it is important to ensure that all obligations are met before the company is closed. This includes any outstanding debts, wages or debts.
What is the most tax-efficient way to close a limited company?
The most tax-efficient way to close a limited company is through a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL).
This process allows you to extract the reserved funds of the business in cash and pay only 10% tax, as well as qualify for CGT allowances.
This process can be completed within weeks, allowing you to close your company quickly and effectively.
Can I close my limited company myself?
If your limited company meets the requirements for closure, then you can make the cheapest way to close it yourself.
However, in order to do so, you should seek professional advice to ensure the process is carried out correctly.
Closing a limited company is a complex process and requires careful consideration.
Professional advice can help you to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken and that the closure is done.
Can I just walk away from my limited company?
You can walk away from your limited company, but the process will depend on the financial and legal situation of the company.
You may need to seek professional help if you decide to close the business.
Make sure to consult an accountant and lawyer to determine the best course of action for closing the company.
Business Debt Information
Here are some other informative articles about closing a limited company in the UK:
- Can a Bounce Back Loan be Written Off?
- Can I Close a Company With Debts and Start Again
- Can I Wind Up My Own Company?
- Cheap Way to Close a Limited Company
- Closing A Company With Debts And No Assets
- Closing A Limited Company
- Compulsory Liquidation vs Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation
- Efficient ways to close my IR35 contractor company
- How to Close a Company with HMRC Debts
- How To Close A Limited Company Without Paying Tax?
- I Want To Close My Business and Walk Away
- Liquidation vs Dissolution – The Key Facts
- Should I Strike Off or Liquidate My Company
- What Happens if I Can’t Afford to Liquidate My Company?
- What Happens To Bounce Back Loans if a Business Goes Bust?
- What is a First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike Off?
- What Is Limited Company Strike Off
- What Is the Process of Liquidating a Partnership Business
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