For a company to be struck off, an application must be made by the directors to Companies House. At least a majority of the directors must agree to the striking off before the process can begin.
Once the application has been made, the firm has seven days to send copies to:
- Creditors (including both current and prospective creditors)
- Any party that may have an interest in the company’s affairs (for example, trust managers, pension fund operators etc)
Much like a MVL, it is important for company directors to immediately stop the process if it becomes apparent their business will not be suitable to be struck off. If they do not, they could face grave repercussions. If you are ever unsure, it is a good idea to speak to an expert.
Once the application to strike off a company has been received, Companies House will publish a notice in the Gazette and invite anybody who objects to the proposals to contact them in writing.
Provided there are no objections, the business will be struck off the register of companies some two months after the notice appeared in the Gazette. A further notification will also appear in the Gazette to confirm the process has been completed.
Dealing with Assets
Prior to the company being struck off, all suitable assets must be extracted from it in accordance with regulations. Any distributions should be handled in a tax-efficient manner.
When the company is struck off, all remaining assets become the property of the Crown. Detailed planning is required to ensure you make the best out of the process, so seek guidance if you are ever unsure.