What Is Limited Company Strike Off
Limited company strike off is a crucial legal procedure that marks the removal of a company from the official register, effectively dissolving its legal existence.
It is a process undertaken when a company is no longer active, has ceased trading, or when the directors and shareholders decide to wind up the company’s affairs.
Understanding the concept of limited to companies and company strike off is essential for all companies, business owners, directors, shareholders, and anyone interested in the world of such companies and corporate governance.
In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide to limited company strike off, shedding light on its purpose, procedures, and implications for all stakeholders involved.
Whether you are a company director considering winding up your company or a concerned or interested party affected by the potential to strike off a company, having knowledge of this critical process is invaluable.
Defining Limited Company Strike Off
Limited company strike off is the process of removing a company from the Companies House register, effectively bringing its existence to an end.
This may occur for various reasons, such as fulfilling its purpose, achieving its objectives, selling a non-viable product, or the retirement of its owners.
It is essential to note that striking off a company involves ceasing all trading activities and payments, as dictated by the voluntary strike off conditions listed in the Companies Act 2006.
The procedure for striking off a company entails applying for suspension, submitting all outstanding accounts or confirmation statements, and paying the required fee.
The strike off process can be either voluntary or compulsory, depending on the circumstances and the company’s eligibility.
Voluntary vs Compulsory Strike Off
Voluntary strike off occurs when a company applies to be struck off the register, while compulsory strike off is enforced by Companies House or a creditor.
The procedure for a company voluntary arrangement to to strike off a company name involves submitting a DS01 form to Companies House, paying the requisite administration fee, publishing a notice in the Gazette declaring the intention to dissolve the company, and allowing for a period of two months with no objections before the company’s name is removed from the register.
In contrast, compulsory strike off is usually initiated as a result of the company’s failure to comply with its legal obligations, such as filing annual accounts or submitting confirmation statements.
To be eligible for voluntary strike off, the company must meet specific criteria, such as having no outstanding debts, not having traded or changed names in the preceding three months, and having the majority of its directors sign the DS01 form.
The company must take action if its share capital exceeds £25,000. It is recommended that the company either be put into voluntary liquidation prior to dissolution or take steps to legally reduce its share capital before applying for strike off.
Eligibility Criteria for Strike Off
A company must meet certain criteria to be eligible for strike off. It must be solvent, have no outstanding debts, and must not have traded, sold any property rights, or changed names in the preceding three months.
Additionally, the majority of the company’s directors must sign the Companies House form DS01 to apply for strike off.
It is crucial to note that all outstanding debts must be settled before a company can be struck off. If a company fails to meet the requirements for voluntary strike off, it may need to consider alternative measures such as voluntary liquidation instead.
If a company is no longer eligible for strike off after the application has been submitted, it is recommended to withdraw the application for strike off.
Preparing for Limited Company Strike Off
Before applying for a limited company strike off, directors must ensure the company is prepared for the process.
This involves closing company bank accounts, settling outstanding debts, distributing company assets, and informing all relevant parties and HMRC of their intentions.
It is important for directors to be aware of the administrative requirements, redundancy payments, and debt settlements associated with striking off a limited company.
In the next sections, we will delve into the critical steps to prepare for a limited company strike off, including closing company bank accounts, settling all outstanding debt and company debts due, distributing company assets, and informing interested parties.
Closing Company Bank Accounts
Closing company bank accounts is a crucial step in preparing for a limited company strike off. Directors must identify the bank accounts associated with the company by reviewing the company’s financial records and contacting the bank directly.
Once the bank accounts are identified, directors must close them by visiting the bank in person, filling out a closure form and submitting it to the bank, or contacting the bank directly.
It is essential for company directors first to reach out to the bank to confirm the closure of the company bank accounts transfer them. Failure to close company bank accounts prior to submitting an application for strike off may lead to complications in the strike off process and could result in the company being unable to dissolve.
Settling Outstanding Debts
Settlement outstanding debts is another key aspect of preparing for a limited company strike off. Directors must identify and resolve any outstanding debts before applying for strike off.
To do this, one must review the company’s financial records, contact creditors, and make arrangements to settle any outstanding debts.
It is important to note that a company cannot be struck off while it still has outstanding debts. A company must submit its final statutory accounts and a Company Tax Return to HMRC, if it fulfills the criteria of trade for strike off.
These final accounts and documents should certify that the final accounts used are the last final accounts used for trading purposes and soon the business will be officially dissolved.
Distributing Company Assets
Distributing company assets is another vital step in preparing for a limited company strike off. Directors must inform all relevant parties and HMRC of their intentions, comply with company regulations regarding employee treatment, distribute business assets, and clear out accounts.
The general steps for distributing company assets involve converting the company creditors assets into money, paying off the company’s debts, and allocating any remaining funds to shareholders.
Before submitting the DS01 form to the dissolution and Companies House, it is crucial that the distribution of company assets is finalised. Failure to distribute company assets appropriately before applying for strike off may lead to complications in the process and could result in the company being unable to dissolve.
The Strike Off Application Process
Once the company is prepared for strike off, the application process can begin. The strike off application requires the completion of form DS01 and must be signed by the majority of directors.
The application can be submitted online or by post, and a fee is required for submission. It is recommended to secure pre-emptive clearance from HMRC that no tax is or could be due prior to applying for strike off.
In the following sections, we will explore the steps involved in the strike off application process, including completing form DS01, informing interested parties, and the role of Companies House and the Gazette notice.
Completing Form DS01
The DS01 form is the document required for the strike off application and must be signed by the majority of directors.
The completed form can be acquired from Companies House and completed either online or by post. Companies House provides instructions to assist with the completion of the DS01 form.
The fee for submitting the DS01 form is £8 for an online application and £10 for a paper application. Once completed, the completed application form and the required fee should be sent to the specified address.
Informing Interested Parties
Upon applying for strike off, it is necessary to inform all interested parties, such as creditors and shareholders, of the company’s intention to be struck off.
A copy of the DS01 form must be sent within seven days of its submission to Companies House. Informing all relevant parties and HMRC is crucial court order to avoid complications in the strike off process.
Failure to inform interested parties may result in objections to the strike off and could delay or halt the process.
It is vital for directors to ensure that all interested parties are informed and consent to the proposed strike off before submitting the application.
Companies House Review and Gazette Notice
After submitting the DS01 form, Companies House will review the application and determine if it meets the necessary criteria.
An acknowledgement from Companies House will be sent to confirm that the DS01 form has been received and is currently under review.
The Gazette will publish a notice with a minimum of two months’ notice prior to the company’s strike off. This notice provides a window for any relevant party to submit an objection as to why the company should not be struck off.
If no objections are raised, the company will be removed from the Companies House register and cease to exist.
Objections and Challenges to Strike Off
Objections to strike off can be made by interested parties, such as creditors. These objections may delay or halt the strike off process.
Common grounds for objection include unpaid taxes, outstanding debts, legal claims against the company, tax fraud and objections from creditors or other interested parties to sell assets.
In the next sections, we will discuss the common grounds for objection and how to respond to objections in the strike off process.
Common Grounds for Objection
As mentioned earlier, common grounds for objection to a limited company strike off include unpaid taxes, outstanding debts, legal action or claims against the company, and objections from creditors or interested parties. Frequent objectors are typically from outstanding debt or creditors, such as suppliers or HMRC.
It is crucial for directors to address these issues before applying for strike off to minimise the risk of objections and ensure a smooth strike off process. Failure to address objections may result in the company being unable to dissolve and could lead to legal repercussions.
Responding to Objections
When faced with objections to the strike off process, it is essential to effectively listen to the objection, ask clarifying questions to ensure comprehension, and propose a resolution to the concern that meets the requester’s satisfaction. Verify with the objector that the proposed solution is acceptable.
Addressing objections appropriately can help to resolve issues and ensure a successful strike off. Failure to address objections may result in the company being unable to dissolve and could lead to further legal proceedings and repercussions.
Post-Strike Off Considerations
Upon successful strike off, the company ceases to exist, and its assets become property of the Crown. It is important to note that the company will no longer have a legal owner, and its bank account will be frozen, with any credit balance in the account being passed to the Crown.
Directors must ensure that all records are retained for the required period, typically six years after the end of the financial year to which they pertain.
In the next sections, we will discuss the consequences of a company ceasing to exist and the record retention requirements after a successful strike off.
Company Ceases to Exist
When business owner personal liability of a company ceases to exist, it may remain a legal entity despite the cessation of business activity. Upon dissolution, the company is no longer a legal entity, and creditors may not be able to recover any money owed by business owner personal liability of the company.
If a company has been struck off companies register and still owes late filing penalties to Companies House, these fines will typically be waived upon dissolution.
If a company has been struck off but still has outstanding debts, it may be possible to reinstate the company through a court order, depending on the circumstances of the strike off. However, this process can be complicated and time-consuming.
Record Retention Requirements
After a successful strike off, it is important for directors to retain certain records for a specified period. Limited companies are required to maintain records for a period of six years from the conclusion of the previous financial year to which they pertain.
This includes accounting records file accounts, company registers, and other pertinent documentation.
Some of the documents that should be retained following a company’s dissolution include invoices, receipts, company bank statements, and employers’ liability policy and schedule.
Proper record retention is crucial to ensure compliance with legal requirements and to protect directors from potential future legal issues.
Alternatives to Limited Company Strike Off
In some cases, a limited company strike off may not be the most suitable option for a company. Alternatives to limited company strike off include Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL).
These processes are formal insolvency procedures that can be employed when a company is unable to meet its financial obligations or is still solvent and able to fulfill its contractual obligations tax liabilities and debts.
In the next sections, we will explore the alternatives to limited company strike off, including Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL).
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) is a formal insolvent liquidation process employed when a company is unable to discharge its debts in full.
A licensed insolvency practitioner oversees the CVL process, which facilitates the orderly conclusion of an insolvent company while ensuring that all creditors are treated equitably in line with the Insolvency Act 1986.
The CVL process involves identifying the company’s assets, addressing any outstanding creditors, and guaranteeing distributions are made in accordance with a specified hierarchy of priority.
Upon completion of the Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation process, the company will be officially dissolved from the Companies House register and will no longer exist as a corporation tax a legal entity. Any outstanding debts will be discharged, unless they have been personally guaranteed by the directors.
Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL)
Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is a formal process of closing down a solvent company. This process allows shareholders to appoint a liquidator to distribute assets and cash to them in a tax-efficient manner.
It is important to note that this process can only be used when a company is still solvent and able to meet its contractual obligations and debts. Typically, the winding up of solvent companies is conducted by a registered liquidator.
Funds distributed through an MVL are not treated as income. Instead, they are regarded as capital gains and taxed accordingly.
The tax liability can be further reduced to 10% if the distributions meet the criteria for Business Asset Disposal Relief (previously known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief). This has a lifetime limit of £1 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some of the most popular questions about Company Strike Offs:
Why would a Ltd company be struck off?
Non-compliance with Companies. House requirements are the main reason a limited company would be struck off. This can happen if the company fails to submit their annual accounts due, annual confirmation statement or legal paperwork on time.
Not adhering to these legal requirements could result in being involuntarily struck off.
What does it mean when a company is striking off?
Striking off a company means removing it from the Companies House Register. This is inexpensive process typically done by directors when they wish to close down a business in a more cost effective alternative more-effective corporation tax, manner corporation tax move.
The company must not have traded or sold any stock in the past 3 months before the strike off can occur.
What happens to directors when a company is struck off?
When a company is struck off, it becomes a dissolved company and all directors of the companies struck off company are removed from their role. This means that any rights tax liabilities and duties associated with being a director of dissolved company no longer exist.
Directors should take appropriate measures to ensure they have taken steps to avoid this if they do not wish for their company to be struck off.
What is a limited company proposal to strike off?
A limited company proposal to a strike off the company name is a process initiated by the company directors whereby they petition shareholders to vote on whether the business should be removed from Companies House register. This voluntary request requires the completion of the DS01 form and, assuming all the details are correct, can take at least three months for the company to be struck off the companies house register by name.
The process of striking off a former company name is relatively straightforward, but it is important to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to ensure that the company is removed from the register in a timely manner. This includes ensuring that all outstanding debts are paid and that all outstanding debts are paid.
In conclusion, a limited company strike off is a critical process for business owners seeking to bring their company to an end. Understanding eligibility criteria, preparation steps, and application process is essential for a successful strike off.
It is also important to be aware of the potential objections, challenges, and alternatives to strike off, such as Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL).
By following the steps outlined in this blog post, business owners can navigate the process of limited company strike off with confidence and ensure a smooth transition.
Remember to consider all aspects of the limited company strike off process, consult with professionals when necessary, and explore alternatives if strike off is not the most suitable option for your company.
Taking the time to understand and properly execute each step will help you achieve a successful strike off and bring closure to your company’s journey.
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
Areas We Cover
- Limited Company Strike Off Greater London
- Limited Company Strike Off Essex
- Limited Company Strike Off Hertfordshire
- Limited Company Strike Off Kent
- Limited Company Strike Off Surrey
- Limited Company Strike Off Bedfordshire
- Limited Company Strike Off Buckinghamshire
- Limited Company Strike Off Berkshire
- Limited Company Strike Off Cambridgeshire
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- Limited Company Strike Off Suffolk
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- Limited Company Strike Off Northamptonshire
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- Limited Company Strike Off Greater Manchester
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