If your company is struggling to pay its debts, you might be expecting a winding-up petition. Equally, you may have been issued a petition and be unsure what to do next, or how to see if one’s been issued. A creditor (or agent) will always need to deliver the petition to the company’s registered address, so you would normally be aware if a petition had been issued.
Find out if you have been issued a winding-up petition
The London Gazette acts as an official public record for the Government. It publishes all winding-up petitions across England and Wales, which is part of the legal process for compulsory liquidation. The London Gazette is a common way of finding out if a petition has been issued against your company. However, the petitioner can advertise it no sooner than seven days after it has been issued and no later than seven days before the hearing. This means that you could search the Gazette during the first seven days after issue and nothing would show up. The Gazette can be viewed both online and in print.
The notice includes all information regarding when and where the court proceedings will commence, as well as inviting interested parties to support or oppose. At this point, other creditors may join the petition. The Gazette, however, does not have to publish the petition, only advertise it.
The Companies Court in London is where petitions are heard. It has a system which keeps records of all winding-up petitions issued; they do have these systems available to the public for them to check.
There are terminals available to the public, but the records are only kept on these computers.
Why the urgency?
Once a petition is issued, the bank accounts belonging to the company are frozen, which essentially stops the business from trading. Additionally, any suppliers may terminate their contracts, and the company would come to a complete standstill.
Issued with a petition – what are your options?
A winding-up petition is the most serious action a creditor can take to try and reclaim what they’re owed. If you have been threatened with a winding-up petition, it’s essential to act quickly and try to solve the problem.
Pay the petition
Whenever you receive a winding-up petition, you will always have the option of repaying your creditors. Repaying isn’t always an option; a winding-up petition’s issuing suggest you’ve been unable to repay your debts, which indicates bigger problems within the business. You could also have multiple petitions, which could make repayments unlikely.
Creditors Voluntary Liquidation
A Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) would only be available if the petitioning creditor agrees to drop the petition. However, this is only likely to happen if they are repaid. The main benefit from this is that you can see an end to the company, meaning you no longer have to deal with the constant creditor pressure. A CVL would also give you the advantage of being able to appoint your own insolvency practitioner during the liquidation.More information on Creditors Voluntary Liquidation
Company Voluntary Arrangement
A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is a formal repayment procedure, designed to pool together creditor debts into affordable monthly payments. For a CVA to be agreed, the petitioning creditor will usually need a portion of their debt repaid. For the CVA to then be approved, you need at least 75% of your creditors by value to agree to the terms. This option would only be realistically viable if the company has a genuinely viable future.More information on Company Voluntary Arrangements
If your company is struggling to repay its debts on time, you may already suspect that a winding-up petition is on its way. You can check the London Gazette to see if a petition has been issued. If you find a petition against your company, or if one turns up at your registered company address, you should act as quickly as possible. Doing so will minimise the damage and increase your chances of saving your business.
How we can help
If you feel like a winding-up petition is on its way, or you have already been issued one, you should ensure you act fast. There are limited options available, and it’s essential to act as quickly as possible. With our help, we can come to the best arrangement available and the most viable solution. If you’re unsure where you stand with a petition, we can monitor the position of your company and alert you to any petitions. If you have been issued one, we can explore different methods of defending the petition or find alternative solutions before the company receives a winding-up order. This might be liquidation or alternative methods of repayment to creditors if possible.
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