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Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is an insolvency procedure undertaken by financially distressed companies when they can no longer meet their financial obligations and decide to wind up their affairs.

A CVL is an important mechanism that allows a company’s directors and shareholders to take control of the situation and bring about an orderly closure while prioritising the interests of the company’s creditors.

By opting for CVL, directors control the process, allowing them to appoint their liquidator and avoid the compulsory route.

The procedure begins with a board meeting of directors or the decision of a sole director, followed by the appointment of a certified insolvency practitioner to aid in organising meetings of shareholders and creditors.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL), shedding light on the process, requirements, and implications for all parties involved.

Whether you are a company director facing financial difficulties or a creditor impacted by the potential liquidation, understanding CVL is crucial in navigating the complex landscape of corporate insolvency.

Key Features of CVL

Company debts not backed by a Personal Guarantee (PG) usually get written off during a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).

This process helps businesses clear their outstanding liabilities. The company’s assets are sold, and the exceptional creditors distribute the proceeds.

It is important to note that personal guarantees are realised upon liquidation, and the individual who provided the guarantee (typically the company director) is held liable for repayment.

These key features highlight the importance of understanding the potential consequences of entering a CVL.

The process can relieve a struggling company, but directors and shareholders must be fully informed of the financial implications and potential liabilities involved.

The CVL Process: Step-by-Step Guide

The CVL process begins with a board meeting or the decision of a sole director, followed by the notification of shareholders and creditors.

The insolvency practitioner then prepares a report which outlines the company’s financial status.

This report includes a brief trading history, extracts from the company’s recent accounts and a deficiency account detailing financial and assumed financial movements between the date of the last accounts and the date of liquidation.

The Estimated Statement of Affairs of the Company is also prepared, outlining the financial standing of the company and providing estimated realisable values of company assets and an estimated deficiency to creditors.

During the period between the board meeting and the shareholder and creditor meetings, the directors are still in office and have an obligation to act in the best interests of creditors.

They must collaborate with the licensed insolvency practitioner to gather as much financial information about the company as possible.

Costs and Timeline of a CVL

Frost Group offers Bronze, Silver, and Gold service levels for their CVL packages, ensuring affordable, professional, and honest advice for companies facing financial difficulties.

The costs associated with a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) may vary depending on the size and complexity of the case, but it typically commences at approximately £4,000 – £6,000 plus VAT. This cost is generally paid out of the company’s assets once they have been realised by the liquidator.

The CVL process should take no more than two weeks. However, the duration of the liquidation process varies and is dependent on the size and complexity of the company’s assets. It is essential to consider these factors when deciding whether CVL is the right option for your company.

When estimating the costs of CVL, it is essential to consider factors such as the size of the company, the complexity of its assets, and the extent of its debts.

These factors will impact the overall cost of the process and should be taken into account when deciding whether to proceed with CVL.

Estimating CVL Costs

The cost of CVL for a small company is estimated between £4000-6000. VAT will be added to this amount.

Directors would be obligated to pay for the liquidation costs out of their own pockets only if the company’s assets are insufficient to cover the basic expenses of the liquidation.

It is crucial for directors to understand the potential costs involved in the CVL process and to make informed decisions based on their company’s financial situation.

Duration and Factors Affecting Timeline

The CVL process typically takes two weeks or less. However, the duration of the liquidation process varies and is dependent on the size and complexity of the company’s assets.

Factors that may influence the timeline of a CVL include the complexity of the company, the rationale for liquidation, and the fulfilment of requisite documentation.

Understanding the factors that may impact the timeline of a CVL is crucial for directors and shareholders.

A shorter timeline may be more appealing for those looking to move forward quickly, while a longer timeline may be necessary for more complex cases.

Regardless, it is essential to be aware of the potential duration of the process and to plan accordingly.

Impact of CVL on Directors and Creditors

The impact of CVL on directors and creditors can be significant. Directors of insolvent companies must prioritise the interests of creditors over their own and seek guidance from licensed insolvency practitioners.

They must also be prepared to face potential personal liabilities and legal consequences if they fail to act in the best interests of the company and its creditors.

Creditors, on the other hand, have certain rights during the CVL process, such as appointing the liquidator, seeing a summary of the company’s debts, and being paid equally among all creditors.

It is essential for both directors and creditors to understand their rights and responsibilities during the CVL process to ensure a fair and transparent outcome.

Benefits for Directors and Shareholders

One significant benefit of CVL for directors and shareholders is the ability to avoid personal liability for company debts.

By initiating a CVL, directors can take control of the liquidation process, avoiding a compulsory process that could potentially harm their reputation and personal liability for company debts.

Another advantage is the opportunity to start a new business. CVL allows directors and shareholders to take control of the liquidation process, thus avoiding a compulsory process and protecting their reputation and personal liability for company debts.

This can provide a fresh start for those looking to embark on a new entrepreneurial venture.

Drawbacks and Risks

On the other hand, there are some potential drawbacks and risks associated with CVL. Directors may face accusations of wrongful trading and could be held personally liable for company debts if they fail to take appropriate action.

The closure of the company also means that directors will no longer be able to oversee the company and will have to seek alternate employment.

Additionally, during the CVL process, the insolvency practitioner has the authority to investigate the conduct of directors. If any misconduct is found, directors may face legal consequences and potential disqualification.

These risks highlight the importance of understanding the potential consequences of entering a CVL and the need for directors to act responsibly throughout the process.

Directors’ Responsibilities and Potential Liabilities

Directors have several responsibilities during the CVL process, including ceasing operations, convening meetings for shareholders and creditors, appointing a liquidator, submitting all business records, paperwork, and assets to the liquidator, and acting in the best interests of the company and its creditors.

Failure to take appropriate action could result in personal liabilities for the company directors in the future.

It is crucial for directors to be aware of their responsibilities and potential liabilities during the CVL process.

By understanding their obligations and acting in the best interests of the company and its creditors, directors can minimise the risk of personal liability and ensure a fair and orderly liquidation process.

Pros and Cons of Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

There are both advantages and disadvantages to the CVL process. Benefits include the capacity to regulate timings, the opportunity to settle or waive debts, and an effective closure of the business.

However, drawbacks include the public nature of the process, the closure of the company, and the potential for investigation into the conduct of directors.

It is important for directors and shareholders to weigh the pros and cons of CVL before deciding to proceed.

Understanding the potential benefits and risks can help them make a more informed decision about the future of their company.

Difference between CVL and Compulsory Liquidation

As mentioned earlier, the primary difference between CVL and compulsory liquidation lies in who initiates the process. While directors voluntarily initiate CVL, compulsory liquidation is a court-ordered process that occurs when a company fails to pay its debts and creditors apply to the court for a winding-up order.

Choosing CVL over compulsory liquidation has its advantages. For example, directors have more control over the process and can appoint their own liquidator, which can help protect their reputation and personal liability for company debts.

By understanding the differences between these two processes, directors can make informed decisions about the best course of action for their distressed company.

Role of Insolvency Practitioner

The insolvency practitioner plays a vital role in the CVL process. Upon appointment, they are responsible for realising any assets of the company and distributing them to creditors.

As the overseer of the CVL process, the licensed insolvency practitioner is tasked with communicating with creditors, identifying assets, ensuring the company is closed in an orderly manner, and confirming the company’s name is removed from the Companies House register.

In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, the insolvency practitioner also has the authority to investigate directorial conduct.

This investigation ensures that directors have acted in the best interests of the company and its creditors, and it can have significant implications for the directors involved.

Meetings and Notifications

A shareholders’ meeting must be called to initiate the CVL process, during which shareholders must resolve to voluntarily enter the liquidation process and appoint a designated liquidator.

Directors are responsible for delivering a notice to creditors, soliciting their decision regarding the nomination of the liquidator in accordance with section 100 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and rule 6.14 of the Insolvency Rules 2016.

A decision must be made within 14 days during the meetings to confer authority to the licensed insolvency practitioner.

The meetings and notifications are crucial in ensuring the transparency and fairness of the CVL process. They provide the opportunity for all parties involved to be informed of the company’s financial position and to have a say in the liquidation process.

Asset Realisation and Distribution

In a CVL, the liquidator is responsible for realising company assets and settling debts according to a specified order of priority.

The assets are sold, and the proceeds are distributed equitably among creditors. After all assets have been realised and creditors have been paid, any remaining proceeds are distributed to shareholders.

The asset realisation and distribution process is a critical aspect of CVL, as it ensures that creditors are treated fairly and that the company’s debts are addressed as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Rights and Priorities of Creditors

Creditors have certain rights and priorities during the CVL process. Preferential creditors generally have priority over secured creditors, with unsecured creditors having the lowest priority.

Creditors also have the right to appoint a liquidator, view a summary of the company’s debts, and receive equal payment.

It is vital for creditors to be aware of their rights and priorities during the CVL process.

By understanding their position in the liquidation process, creditors can ensure that they receive the appropriate treatment and are paid fairly according to their priority status.


Navigating the complexities of Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and guidance, directors and shareholders can make informed decisions about their company’s future.

Understanding the CVL process, the role of insolvency practitioners, and the impact on directors and creditors is essential.

By considering the advantages and disadvantages, costs, and timeline of CVL, as well as the responsibilities and potential liabilities of directors, you can make the best choice for your company and its stakeholders.

Remember, the path to financial recovery starts with knowledge and a clear understanding of your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are the most common questions we get asked regarding Creditors Voluntary Liquidation:

Can CVL be stopped by creditors?

Yes, creditors can attempt to recover the debt associated with the CVL if they are personally guaranteed.

What does CVL mean in liquidation?

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is an insolvency process used to close a company that has become insolvent and unable to pay its debts. It involves a voluntary liquidation of the company, ensuring that creditors and stakeholders are compensated as fairly and efficiently as possible.

The process is initiated by the directors of the company, who must pass a resolution to wind up the company and appoint a licensed insolvency practitioner as the liquidator. The liquidator will then take control of the company’s assets and liabilities, and will work on those assets and liabilities.

What is the difference between MVL and CVL?

The primary distinction between a creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL) and a members’ voluntary liquidation (MVL) is that CVLs are used to dissolve an insolvent company, whereas MVLs are used to end solvent companies with profits that can be distributed.2 Nov 2022.

What are the requirements for creditors voluntary liquidation?

Creditors must meet the statutory requirements to enter into voluntary liquidation. This includes resolution of at least 75% of the shareholders to wind up the company, with a physical creditors’ meeting only required if requested by 10% of creditors in value or 10 creditors.

With these necessary steps taken, a company can begin the process of voluntary liquidation.

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