Voluntary strike offs are back - what does this mean?

Companies House have announced that they will be restarting the voluntary strike-off procedure from Thursday 10th September 2020.


Voluntary strike offs are coming back

Strike off

 

The system was suspended in March when the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown was announced, so staff will be working through the backlog of received requests to strike off . They will also review any received objections to strikings off which could further delay those applications. 

 

The lockdown curtailed activity for thousands of businesses and it might have brought matters to a head for several of them. 

 

Some owners might have moved their retirement plans forward reasoning that the pandemic might have changed everything including their priorities in life. Others might have disagreements with other directors that can’t be overcome, so instead of muddling through or risking a draining battle for control over the company, have instead decided that a clean break to pursue their own vision is the way forward. 

 

Other businesses might realise that while they are solvent for now, there is no realistic prospect of post-Covid-19 growth so this will be their best opportunity to close the business and disperse assets accordingly. 

 

Companies House are also experienced and realistic to know that not every company would be looking to be struck off for genuine or honest reasons. 

 

Some might have been trying to evade creditors and looked to turn a confusing and fast-moving situation to their advantage by trying to sneak through a striking-off that could be challenged. 

 

Still others might have taken advantage of the government-guaranteed Bounce Back Loans scheme and literally thought they could take the money and run, knowing that they wouldn’t be the ones responsible for paying it back.

 

By suspending all applications, Companies House will have the opportunity to examine  requests and make sure there are no outstanding issues or questions with them.

 

From 10th September, if no objections to a dissolution are received and two months have passed from an intention to strike off notice being published in The London Gazette then the process will continue. However if an objection is made you may need to consider liquidation as an alternative and how to fund it.

 

Any company filing to be struck off from July 10th  won’t be affected by the changes but will have to wait for any backlog to clear.

 

If the application is acceptable then it will be registered, a notice will be published in the Gazette and if no objections are received then the company will be struck off in approximately two months time. 

 

Along with High Court Enforcement Officers being allowed to visit commercial premises again and businesses starting to reopen, certain aspects of business reality are returning. 

 

But if your future doesn’t include your current business then closing it down or striking it off if it’s solvent and no longer trading or feasible is one of the most straightforward tasks we can help with. 

 

Get in touch with us today and speak to one of our team of expert advisors. We’ll be able to guide you through every stage of the process and discuss any other ideas you have about what you want to do next. 

 

Nobody will forget 2020 in a hurry but you still might be able to remember it for some more positive reasons than the coronavirus.

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