Close a Limited Company

How do I close a Limited Company? We can help with this

"Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to close your company the best thing you can do is get in touch with our team first"

There are many reasons why a Director may want to close their Limited Company, but whatever the situation, be it the company can no longer pay its debts, retirement, or becoming a sole trader, there are usually two main routes to closing a company - Dissolution/Strike off or Liquidation.

Our team at The Directors Helpline can help you understand all options available and, if needed, we can help you to close your company the right way. We hold your hand throughout the entire process and are here to support YOU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, usually you can start a new business after you close your company.

However, in some circumstances there may be problems when a director has committed any wrongdoing, hasn't followed the correct procedures, or has previously been disqualified.

It's best to seek advice before entering into a formal process to understand how to start a new business if you close.

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The process of closing a company that has never traded, or is no longer trading, is relatively simple, as long as:

  • there are no debts
  • no impending legal action
  • and it hasn't traded ever or within the last 3 months

You will need to take the following steps:

  1. All directors and shareholders must be in agreement
  2. Complete a DS01 form along with the £10 filing fee
  3. Submit the form to Companies House
  4. If there are no objections made, your company will be struck off the register and cease to exist

An insolvency practitioner is someone who is licensed and authorised to act in relation to an insolvent individual, partnership or company.

They are required to process a corporate liquidation and have several duties in their position, some being:

  • Distributing the realised assets and surplus funds to the appropriate parties.
  • Investigating any wrongdoing that may have taken place at any point throughout the life of the company.
  • Creating a Statement of Affairs document for the creditors. This is a financial statement explaining the business’ position in some detail.

All liquidation procedures must involve a licensed insolvency practitioner and they will manage the affairs of the process from start to finish.

How to close a limited company with outstanding debts

If you’re looking to close a company with outstanding debts (such as HMRC arrears or a Bounce Back Loan), then a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) may be the most appropriate route for you. This is by far the most common way that directors choose as they have an element of control over the process and who they engage as the Insolvency Practitioner, plus they are doing the responsible duty as a director of the company.

Not addressing the company's situation could lead to it being forced into a Compulsory Liquidation by one of your creditors, which is not advised as it can lead to some serious personal consequences for you, the director.

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How to close a limited company with debts

Closing a limited company with no debts

If your Limited Company has no outstanding debts or substantial assets there are two ways you could close it – get it struck off the register from companies house through a dissolution, or by entering a Member’s Voluntary Liquidation.

A dissolution is a relatively simple and inexpensive process and usually takes up to 2 months. A company director can request that their company is struck off the register by submitting a DS01 form to Companies House and paying the appropriate administration fee.

If your company is solvent and has over £25,000 left once you pay off all your debts, you may choose to enter a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) as this may be a more tax efficient way of taking your income from the business.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are various reasons why a company may choose to enter liquidation, be it solvent or insolvent.

Solvent companies can afford to pay off any debt within the business. They may choose to enter a Members Voluntary Liquidation because they are retiring, or no longer intend to run the company.

Insolvent companies either cannot afford to pay off any debts within the business, or their liabilities outweigh their assets. They should choose to enter a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation to close the company. All unsecured debts are written off, such as Bounce Back Loans and HMRC debt.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to company liquidation which is why it's always best to seek advice before entering any formal process.

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Yes, but the only way to do this is through Liquidation. However, it is important you understand if there would be any personal implications for you, the Director.

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Insolvency fees range from £4k-£6k.

However, this depends on the firm you use, and the complexity of the case. There can also be hidden fees or personal implications which weren't addressed beforehand.

The Directors Helpline will assess this before entering liquidation.

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During the process of liquidation, the liquidator sells the company assets to generate funds for the creditors. Once all creditors have been repaid (as far as funds allow), any remaining debts will be written off.

In order to correctly liquidate a company, you need a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, which requires a fee. Therefore, any advertisements for free company liquidation are not true.

Our guidance is completely free for you to help you understand all your options and any potential implications before you decide to enter liquidation.

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If your company cannot pay its debts, is insolvent, and you need to close it, then liquidating it may be the most suitable option.

However, if you can't afford a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation, there are a few things you could consider:

  1. Sale of company assets
  2. Personally financing some or all of the fees
  3. Instalment plan with the liquidator
  4. Director redundancy pay
"If your company does need to close, we hold your hand throughout the process..." Jonathan Cooper, Founder and Director
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