Even the biggest trending firms have to obey the law

It started life as an American news and entertainment website that quickly spread to several other countries including the UK with it’s brand of cheeky gossip, celebrity news and it’s USP – the oddly numbered clickbait list – “27 things you didn’t know about clickbait lists”. 

Keeping your eye on the big picture is a valuable business tool but you also need to make sure you’re doing the day-to-day fundamentals which somebody in Buzzfeed’s accounting department has overlooked. 

Little things such as keeping up with redundancy payments for laid off staff and making sure that the yearly accounts are sent to Companies House in good time. 

Companies House don’t like to be kept waiting.

So much show that after waiting two months for Buzzfeed UK’s annual accounts to be submitted, they’ve issued a First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike Off.
This formal sounding warning should be taken seriously because if the accounts aren’t forthcoming within the next two months then Companies House will strike them from the register meaning that the business will legally cease to exist and will be dissolved. 

The notice reads: “The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, the Company will be struck off the registrar and dissolved not less than 2 months from the date shown (10 December 2019).” 

A spokesperson for Buzzfeed said it will file its accounts by the end of this year although this publicly embarrassing episode could be a sign of deeper troubles for the insurgent news site. 

Former editor Janine Gibson left earlier this year and more cutbacks and job losses have been announced with a reduction of 15% of all staff announced by founder and CEO Jonah Peretti.


One strike off and out

A company strike off is the name for the procedure of removing a company from Companies House official register of companies. The notice to strike off has to be published in The Gazette, the official Journal of public record, where all statutory notices appear. 

There are several reasons why a company might want to be struck off the register. It’s a cost-effective way of closing a solvent company, directors retain control of the business throughout the procedure and while outstanding creditors still have to be paid, there’s no need to hold a formal creditors meeting. 

The notice allows interested parties to object to strike offs if they are owed money or if they have other reasons why they don’t want the company to vanish. 

Similarly HMRC will always object to a company being struck off if they owe any taxes or fees. It’s not a cunning way of avoiding debts or liabilities. Company directors, shareholders or creditors can submit formal objections to a strike off action via email, post or if very close to the deadline by calling a dedicated phone line and asking for a two-week hold to be put on the strike off. 

If you’re facing a strike off notice and are unsure of what to do next, speak to one of our BusinessRescueExperts today for a free initial consultation. 

With over 15 years experience in all aspects of business restructure, we can help you decide what will be the best approach for your company and you.