The process of dissolving a company, or “striking off”, is a simple, cost-effective way to close a solvent company with no assets.
Striking of a company will allow the directors to keep full control of the business throughout the process. Any creditors however must be repaid before the closure of the company, but there is no need to hold a formal creditors’ meeting
In this article, we’ll break down the process of dissolving a company and the key points to consider if you’re thinking about dissolving your limited company.
The Company Strike Off Process
The process is fairly simple, you first need to inform companies house that you wish to dissolve your private limited company. To do this the completion of Companies House form DS01 is required.
To complete form DS01 you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Company Number
- Company Name
- The signature of the authorising officers for the company
You can apply to have your company struck off if, in the previous three months, it has not:
- Traded or carried on with business as normal
- Changed company name
- for value, disposed of property or rights that, immediately before it ceased to be in business or trade, it held for disposal or gain in the normal course of its business or trade (for example, a company in business to sell apples could not continue selling apples during that three-month period but it could sell the truck it once used to deliver the apples or the warehouse where they were stored); or
- engaged in any other activity except one necessary or expedient for making a striking-off application, settling the company’s affairs or meeting a statutory requirement (for example, a company may seek professional advice on the application, pay the costs of copying the Form DS01, etc).
You cannot apply for your company to be struck off if it is the subject, or proposed subject, of:
- Any insolvency proceedings (including liquidation, including where a petition has been delivered); or
- a Section 425 scheme
It is important that all parties carefully read and agree to the following notices before proceeding to strike off a company:
There is a fee of £10 payable to Companies House in order to file form DS01. You can obtain this form using the link below.
What it means when a company has been dissolved
Once the process has been completed and a company has been struck off or dissolved it is removed from the companies house register. Once this happens it cannot trade, sell assets, make any payments, or be involved in other business activities.
Once the business has been struck off its name then becomes available for new companies to use and register with. If you wish to start the business up again at any point you will have to do so with a different company name.
How Long Does it Take To Strike Off a Company?
The process is fairly long as you can imagine it’s quite a big decision with potentially a lot of parties involved. It can normally take at least 3 months for a limited company to be removed from the Companies Houe register.
Once the DS01 form has been submitted, and there are no incorrect details or problems you will receive an acknowledgement from Companies House in the post.
A notice will then be published giving three months’ notice of the intent to strike off the company. If no objections are received from interested parties during that time, another notice will be published and the company will be dissolved.