Voluntary Strike Off - Can I Use It To Close My Company?
When you’re looking to close your company, there are several routes you can go down. The route you choose will ultimately depend on the situation of your company. For example, you can only use the voluntary strike off process if the company is still solvent, so be careful and make sure you can go through the process.
What does it mean to strike off a company?
The strike off process is how a limited company is removed from the Companies House Register.
Once a company has been removed from the Companies House Register, it can no longer trade, make payments, or sell assets.
Are there any limitations regarding company strike off?
Several conditions need to be met before a company can be struck off the register:
- The company needs to be solvent and able to settle any outstanding debts within 12 months
- The company should have no outstanding legal action against it
- The company shouldn’t be under a creditor agreement, such as a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
- Within the last three months, the company cannot trade or carry out other activities other than those required for the strike off
- The company must not have changed its name within the last three months
- Within the previous three months, the company must not have sold any property or rights owned by them
Is there anything that needs to happen before a company is struck off?
Before you begin the strike off process, there are several things the company needs to do.
- Complete all outstanding work and collect any monies due
- Pay staff a final wage along with any other monies due (such as unused holiday allowance)
- Sell off all company assets and distribute the proceeds among the shareholders
- Prepare your final accounts and tax return and submit these to Companies House and HMRC. Make sure it is made clear that these are the final documents and you are closing down the company.
- Pay any tax liabilities to HMRC
- Close down any payroll schemes
- Deregister for VAT (if applicable)
- Pay any outstanding debts
- Close any company bank accounts
- Bring utilities and monthly services to an end
What happens once the company has been struck off?
To initiate the strike off process, you will need to complete form DS01; if this has been completed and submitted correctly, it will then take three months before the company is struck off the register.
Don’t forget: interested parties can object to the company being struck off. The striking off will only occur if there are no objections to it.
Once the strike off has occurred, you are not able to carry out any other activities related to the business, and the company name will be free for other businesses to use.
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