If you find yourself facing a statutory demand it is important that you act decisively and work intelligently. Our expert team is on hand to help you do just that.

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What is a Statutory Demand for Payment?

A statutory demand is a notice issued by creditors which enables them to demand speedy repayment of a debt owed to them. Should the debtor continue to fail to repay their debt, reach an agreement over terms, or apply to have the demand set aside in court within the statutory period, the company could be deemed insolvent and liquidated.

If you, as a business owner or as an individual, are served with a statutory demand notice, the most important thing you need to do is act quickly. Given that a creditor does not need a court order to issue a statutory demand against you, it can come as a surprise — especially if you are not aware your firm is in financial difficulty.

The demand will specifically state whether the debt is expected to be paid in full, or in instalments. For a statutory demand to be issued, the creditor must have a firm belief that the debtor is capable of repaying the debt (including fees). Creditors will usually apply for a statutory demand if they believe the debtor secretly has enough funds to settle their obligations, or have evidence that the debtor has other assets that could be seized to pay what they owe.

After 21 days from the statutory demand being served, if the debtor has not paid in full, or come to some form of mutual arrangement, a creditor can begin more serious sanctions against them. Potential consequences can include bankruptcy, the winding up of the company, and significant legal costs. Everything that a company director will have worked so hard to achieve could be lost — so it is important to act upon a statutory demand as soon as possible.

How an Insolvency Practitioner Helps with Defending a Statutory Demand

An insolvency practitioner is an expert who is hired by a business or individual when faced with financial issues. They will be able to walk you through what the best options for your company are when faced with a statutory demand, whether that be to pay off the debt, or contest it in court.

Business owners who have found themselves in the position of receiving a statutory demand frequently seek advice from our expert team, who can assist in a wide variety of areas. These include setting aside the statutory demand, disputing it, or responding to one being served. We will also talk you through all of the different options available to you upon receiving a statutory demand from your creditors.

In many cases, a business will only go about appointing an insolvency practitioner once the financial difficulties and stress they face means they can no longer continue on, and the current situation within the company has reached an unmanageable level.

While it is important to seek out the advice of an insolvency practitioner if you ever do reach that stage, dealing with a statutory demand requires swift and decisive action. An expert insolvency practitioner is worth significantly more to your business the earlier into the process you can bring them in. 

Our statutory demand experts are available to help talk you through the process of defending a statutory demand, and will guide you through the steps we believe you should take.

Download Our Fact Sheet

Are you the director of a company? No matter how successful and secure you may feel now, it’s vital to carefully consider and assess your position when it comes to minimising the threat of potential future personal liability to company debts.

Make sure that your position and financial future are secure against any eventuality. To help, Inquesta has produced a handy fact sheet concerning avoiding director exposure.

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The Statutory Demand Process

If you are handed a statutory demand there are options available to you, each with their own varying pros and cons; from complying with the demand, negotiating, coming up with an alternative solution, disputing it, and more. No matter which option is best for you, it is important that you take the appropriate action early to avoid an escalating situation.

How Inquesta Can Help with Statutory Demands

It is important if you ever receive a statutory demand that you know the best route to tackle it for your individual circumstances.

No matter what stage of the statutory demand process you are facing, the future of your business and its financial security could hinge on the accuracy of knowledge and detail-oriented thinking that an insolvency practitioner can bring.

A statutory demand can be a stressful time in the life of any business and its directors, so tensions can be high. But it is key that you come together and respond to a statutory demand in an efficient, and premeditated manner.

Decades of experience assisting companies through the statutory demand process, as well as other areas from company insolvency and business recovery, mean that we are specialists with a wealth of knowledge on hand to tailor-make a service that can suit whatever your circumstances may be.

Inquesta possesses a world-class team of insolvency professionals ready to guide you through the statutory demand process, to make it as clear and stress-free as possible. Contact us today and see what we can do to help you.

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Our Specialist Team

When dealing with a statutory demand, it is important that you have experience and expertise on your side. Our specialist team has both, and is able to assist you with whatever your circumstances may be.


Steven Wiseglass

Director of Insolvency

A co-founder of Inquesta, Steven is a licensed Insolvency Practitioner with over a decade of experience in the field. He is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association, Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), and his insolvency licence is issued by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. In addition, he sits on the R3 committee of the North West Regional Committee.

Steven specialises in advising directors of small to medium-sized businesses, and has a wealth of expertise in providing the most appropriate advice whatever the firm’s circumstances may be. He has also been instrumental in helping company directors save their business and rebuild them into successful enterprises.



When dealing with a statutory demand it is important that you know all the facts. While time is of the essence it is important that you do not act too hastily and rush into the situation without clarity. Everything you do during the process should be backed by knowledge and facts, not emotion.

A statutory demand must be personally served. This can either be done by physically handing the written notice to the debtor, with a company director or secretary, or at the firm’s place of business. It cannot be served via email or any other indirect method.

A statutory demand is valid for up to four months, meaning that failure to comply with the demand could lead to a petition for bankruptcy within the stated period. It is possible to extend the duration of a statutory demand, if permission is granted by the court.

In a majority of cases, a debtor that is able to comply with the statutory demand and repay their creditor will have their credit score totally unaffected by the demand. However, not being able to pay will result in this failure being recorded on the debtor’s credit file.

Also in Company Insolvency & Recovery


Business Recovery

Company Voluntary Arrangement



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Winding Up Petition

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Court Bailiff Action

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