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Cheapest Way To Liquidate a Company

24th October, 2023
Keith Steven

Written ByKeith Steven

Managing Director

07879 555349

Keith is the author of the content on this comprehensive rescue, turnaround and insolvency website. He is the managing director of KSA Group Ltd - a specialist firm of turnaround and licensed insolvency practitioners. Keith was nominated for Turnaround Practitioner of the Year 2014 at the National Insolvency and Rescue Awards in 2014.

Keith Steven
  • A Cheap Liquidation
  • Typical dubious practices
  • So how do I protect myself and ensure that I am getting good advice?

A Cheap Liquidation

Liquidating a company is a complex process subject to the law and various rules and regulations.

The cheapest we can liquidate a company for is £4000 + VAT.  This would be for a company with only a couple of creditors such as HMRC and a Bounce Back Loan.

It’s important to note that while cost of liquidation is a significant factor, the primary objective in a company liquidation is to ensure that all legal and financial obligations are met in a fair and orderly manner.  This will save you problems done the line.

If you cannot afford a liquidation and need a more cost effective procedure, there are options!

Legally…CHEAP Liquidations

  • You can self fund your liquidation by selling the company assets. The proceeds will then be used to pay off creditors and Insolvency Practitioners, in order of priority.  This allows the liquidation to be done cheaply.
  • Insolvent company directors receive redundancy payments from HMRC – this can help fund the liquidation so it is cheaper overall.
  • Allow a creditor to force the company into a compulsory liquidation.  This is the cheapest option in that it doesn’t actually cost you anything.  BUT it takes a long time and can be stressful.  In addition, the court appointed liquidator is more likely to pursue you for debts you owe to the company due to the simple fact they are not restricted by how much money is in the case.
  • If you have no assets to liquidate, you can simply dissolve the company by striking off the companies register as long as it does not owe any significant monies to creditors.


The insolvency industry does sometimes get bad press, mainly because there are some unscrupulous advisors out there who purport to help business people in a vulnerable position, when all they want to do is rip you off!

The most common scams occur in the debt management market. For instance, people are persuaded to hand over large amounts of cash to their “advisors” who will negotiate on their behalf with creditors for a fee.

Another common one is the “insolvency specialist”, offering to liquidate or pre pack your business very cheaply. All they are doing is taking a fee to then refer you to an actual Licensed Insolvency Practitioner who will liquidate your company for an additional fee. ONLY a licensed insolvency practitioner can put the company into voluntary liquidation AFTER creditors have appointed him or her. Also, disbursements may not be included in the quote that could be in excess of £1000. Some companies will say they liaise with creditors but all they do is send a letter out and that is it and will not answer any calls. So they will end up calling you instead. Best get a proper professional IP to do the job properly. This will save you time, worry and stress.

Typical dubious practices

Court Liquidation

Another dubious process in England & Wales is the practice of effectively taking money from you to then wind up your company through the court. This is sometimes known as a directors petition. Some courts may allow this if the directors are also creditors. Other courts will reject this procedure as an abuse of court process.

Dissolution promises

Advising you that you can dissolve the company when it has lots of debts BUT not pointing out that creditors can object. HMRC will typically reject dissolution even if only a few thousands pounds of tax debts exist.

Saying that directors redundancy will settle the costs

It is possible that directors will receive redundancy in a liquidation but only if they have an employment contract and have paid themselves via PAYE, AND they do not owe the company any money.  This situation is very rare in our experience!

Forcing you down a particular insolvency route.

Pre pack administration appears the most attractive to directors, as some think that they can buy back the assets on the cheap and shed their debts quickly and easily – according to advertisements anyway! It is not a quick process, but it is a powerful rescue tool in the correct circumstances. For instance, some banks will not allow a pre pack sale to a company that is owned by the directors of the previous firm. Also the value of the assets has to be assessed by an independent valuer, normally a Chartered Surveyor who is regulated by the RICS. It is against the law to sell assets from an insolvent company at an undervalue. Basically, if the advisors have not at least talked to you about a CVA then they have not given you all the options and the advice is flawed.

So how do I protect myself and ensure that I am getting good advice?

First and foremost you must ensure that the firm you are dealing are Licensed Insolvency Practitioners. You can call yourself an “insolvency specialist” and not be regulated in any way. The regulators are the following:

  1. Insolvency Practitioners Association
  2. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
  3. Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
  4. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
  5. The Law Society
  6. Law Society of Northern Ireland
  7. Law Society of Scotland
  8. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

As a “competent authority” under the Insolvency Act 1986, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) – and, for Northern Ireland, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment – also authorises IPs.

Note that you can still be a member of the Institute of Chartered accountants and not actually be licensed to be an insolvency practitioner.

The next step is to ensure the company has a good track record. Perhaps look them up on companies house, look for testimonials or case studies and perhaps ask if they can provide references. A very short about us page or who we are page should arouse your suspicion. Especially, if it does not have details on actual people, just phone numbers and email address.

Also remember that business to business selling is not governed by the same strength of regulation as business to consumer selling. There is no Business Protection Act just a Consumer Protection Act 1987. If you sign a contract then you are unlikely to be able to get out of it easily. There is no “cooling off period” no “distance selling rights” etc to protect you as is the case if you were a member of the public. It is very much if you are a business then you need to do your own research and caveat emptor (buyer beware).

So, if you want to liquidate your company cheaply then you should visit our dedicated liquidation site at  We can provide an estimate within the hour.

Worried Director What Will Happen To Me After Liquidation?

in Company Liquidation What is …?

"A man in the pub said I cannot be a director of any other company if I liquidate my company. Is this true?"Actually, this statement is entirely false! Misconceptions like this frequently arise from individuals with limited understanding of the subject matter. Such misinformation can cause undue anxiety for directors considering liquidation, fearing it might personally affect them. Guess what? Listening to bar room experts, inexperienced accountants, or no insolvency specialist lawyers can stop decisions being made, this failure to make a decision is really what could land you in trouble. So how will liquidation affect me and how long does it take? Having a limited liability company means that the directors have little risk (or limited liability) if the company fails, as long as they have acted properly and acted in time. What is more, if as a director, you have been compliant and on the payroll for many years, you can actually claim redundancy from the government like any other employee. But, and it is a big but, if you fail to act in time, fail to act reasonably, fail to keep books and records, continue taking credit KNOWING that the company cannot possibly repay it, then you ARE at risk of personal financial loss or worse such as losing your house. So, act now and get help for your company and more importantly start reducing your own risks.Voluntary liquidation is the quickest most efficient way to deal with an insolvent company that has no future. As a director of an insolvent company, you are at risk if you do not act. This risk RISES the longer you don't act to put the company into liquidation.If you fail to act and the company is wound up by the creditors (compulsory liquidation) then the Official Receiver (OR) will be appointed to liquidate the business and he or she will investigate the activity of the directors and the business over the last 2-3 years. This is known as a conduct report on each director.  If the OR can prove there was wrongful trading where, for instance, you have taken credit from a supplier or took deposits from customers when you knew that it was highly unlikely that you could pay them back, then you could be made personally liable.This is known as the "lifting of the veil of incorporation" that protects directors under limited liability. If this happens then you could made liable for PAYE, VAT and creditors monies from the time that you should have known the company had no reasonable prospect of surviving the problems it faced.Additionally, the directors may face disqualification proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 for up to 15 years, they can be fined and may face the loss of personal assets like your home, or even personal bankruptcy.Look, if you as directors have acted naively you may not know that you have broken these laws, but now you do know, it is vital to ensure that you protect yourself as a director by acting quickly to cease trading and put the company into voluntary liquidation; or consider a company voluntary arrangement if the company is VIABLE if the problems are solved. What is Creditors Voluntary Liquidation and what does it mean for me? In short, liquidation usually means, the company's trading stops and it's assets are turned into cash or "liquidated".All other possible liabilities, like employment liabilities, landlord's rent or payments to lease companies are stopped. It really is the end of the company, but the "business" may survive if a phoenix is organised. Liquidation is a powerful way to END creditor pressure and let you get on with your life. What if I have signed personal guarantees? If you have signed personal guarantees or indemnities to lenders, then the liquidation could lead to them being called in if the bank cannot get its money back from the company. There is little that can be done about that, but you should not delay decisions on liquidation to try and prevent a PG being called in: just think what ALL of the company's debts landing on your shoulders would do. Also it should be noted that HMRC now rank ahead of floating charge holders in any liquidation since December 2020.  Consequently, this may well mean that lenders that you have personally guaranteed will get less recovery hence exposing you more.All banks will agree a deal to repay the PG over time - provided you work with the bank to reduce their exposure.One great piece of FREE advice - always make sure that ALL tax returns, VAT returns and annual returns have been completed and sent in and that other "compliance" issues are dealt with wherever possible. These are important processes and will help protect you as individual directors. It shows that you have been acting properly.  I have heard about directors being able to claim redundancy in liquidation If you have been employed by the company and made payments via PAYE then you will be able to claim redundancy from the government and this is in fact a very simple process (20 minutes to fill out a form and we can help with that) so there is no need really to employ a third party to make a claim.  This process has been open to fraud so the HMRC are cracking down on operators that claim to be able to get money back when there is not enough "paperwork".  It isn't worth the risk.  If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!You need to learn more about the options. This is clearly a general guide so, if you have any worries at all, please, just call us and we will talk you through the situation free and with expert guidance for your situation. Call one of our advisors or if you prefer, call our IPs (insolvency practitioners) now:Just one CALL will help relieve the stress and get you out of the mess.Why not call 08009700539 or 020 7887 2667 now?We could help you start the liquidation process today.(8.15am till 5.00pm; Out of hours call on 07833 240747, Wayne Harrison (IP)  or Eric Walls (IP) on 07787 278527)Finally, please remember this: NO BUSINESS is worth losing your health, relationships, marriages or your children over. Act properly, take advice, get the problem sorted and then get on with your life. In a little while the stress will go and you can focus on other things that are more important.Want more information on liquidation? Get our new free 2023 Experts Complete Guide to Creditors Voluntary Liquidation that covers Bounce Back LoansWe are experts in liquidation, voluntary liquidation, administration, pre-pack administration, business rescue, corporate rescue and company rescue, we can help solve your problems but only if you talk to us. Call 0800 9700539 for help.or email us your worries at 

Worried Director What Will Happen To Me After Liquidation?

Notice of Intention To Appoint Administrators

A notice of intention to appoint administrators is when the company files a document to the court to outline that it intends to go into administration if a solution cannot be found to its immediate financial problems. It can be used as part of the pre-pack administration process as well as used to restructure a failing business to avoid its liquidation.

Notice of Intention To Appoint Administrators
Man with umbrella

What Is A Winding Up Petition By HMRC or Other Creditor

A winding up petition is a legal notice put forward to the court by a creditor. The creditor petitions to the court if they are owed more than £750 and it has not been paid for more than 21 days. The application, in effect, asks the court to liquidate the company as they believe the company is insolvent.

What Is A Winding Up Petition By HMRC or Other Creditor

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