I want to wind up my limited company and move on. What are my options?

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  • Which arrangement best fits your company’s circumstances.
  • How to stop legal action and creditor pressure for the duration.
  • What will happen to your employees and any redundancy claims.


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    How to Wind Up Your Limited Company

    As a director, you may want to wind up your limited company. Whether it’s due to a high level of unpayable debts, or if you feel it has no future going forward, you may wish to close it down, allowing you to move on.

    While you have heard of a limited company going through a winding-up process, such action is often initiated by creditors looking to reclaim their money through submitting a winding-up petition. If you want to wind up your limited company, you can do so by putting the company into liquidation.

    Is the company solvent or insolvent?

    Since there are different types of liquidation, the process best suited to wind up your limited company will depend on its solvent position.

    A company is considered insolvent if it cannot repay its liabilities when they fall due. Creditors may be chasing your company to repay the debt it owes them, and may have even taken legal action. Directors of a company facing insolvency need to act quickly to limit the damage.

    How to wind up your limited company

    How we can help wind-up your company

    If you want to wind up your company, whether it’s solvent or insolvent, speak to us for free, impartial advice with no obligation. We have an experienced team of initial advisors to assess your circumstances and direct you down the best path for your company.

    • Winding up a solvent limited company
      If you want to wind-up your limited company and it has enough cash to cover its liabilities, you can apply for a Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL). An MVL has several advantages over applying for a company dissolution. If your company has more than £25,000 of cash to distribute to shareholders, you could benefit from a quick cash release without having to wait for clearance from HMRC. Directors could also benefit from Business Asset Disposal Relief (formerly Entrepreneurs’ Relief).
      Apply for a Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL)
    • Closing an insolvent limited company
      If your limited company has debts it cannot afford to repay, and other insolvency arrangements wouldn’t be suitable, you should put the company into an insolvent liquidation, also known as a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL). If you wind-up your limited company in such a way, it draws a line under the debts, stopping all creditor pressure and legal action, allowing the directors to move on and start afresh while employees can claim unpaid wages and redundancy pay.
      Apply for a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)

    In summary

    As a director, you may want to wind up your limited company either due to high levels of debt that the company cannot afford to repay, or you may want to retire or go into a different line of work. The company’s solvent position has a bearing on how you wind up or liquidate your company. Solvent companies can close via a Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL), allowing a distribution of the company’s assets to the directors and shareholders and the possibility of claiming Business Asset Disposal Relief. If the company is insolvent, you should close via a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL), closing the company in an orderly manner before it’s forced into compulsory liquidation.


    How do I wind up a limited company that owes me money?

    If a limited company owes you more than £750 and attempts to recover the debt through reminders and court orders have proved unsuccessful, you can apply for a winding-up petition. Once the petition is advertised in the Gazette, the company’s bank freezes its accounts, making trading impossible. Unless the company can dispute the petition, it becomes a winding-up order, forcing the company into compulsory liquidation. The assets are distributed to creditors, and the director’s conduct may be investigated.

    More on winding-up petitions

    Can my creditors wind up my company if I owe them money?

    If you owe a creditor money, you should repay it. Failing to repay means your creditors can pursue you for the debts. Winding-up petitions are often considered the last resort for creditors trying to recover what they’re owed if reminders by letter and telephone and County Court Judgements (CCJs) have failed. If your company receives a winding-up petition, you should act immediately to stop the company from entering compulsory liquidation. You can either pay the petition or apply for a Validation Order to have the bank accounts unfrozen.

    What to do if you receive a winding-up petition

    Beverley Horton Christopher Callaghan Stephen Hall

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