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How to find out if a winding up petition has been issued

4th October, 2021
Robert Moore

Written ByRobert Moore

Marketing Manager


Rob has over a decade of experience in web and general marketing. He has extensive knowledge of the Insolvency sector and has helped many worried directors with their questions.

Rob is now working with the Board at KSA Group Ltd to develop strategic marketing programmes to support the business plan and drive more company rescues.

Robert Moore
  • A quick recap: What is a winding up petition?
  • 3 ways to find out if a winding up petition has been issued

If you are concerned about the solvency of a company or before you take any kind of creditor action, it is advisable to check to see if a winding up petition has been issued by another creditor.

If it has, you will not need to go through the costly legal process yourself, but can still support the petition. In many cases, you will be able to reap the benefits from the company’s liquidation.  This process is known as “piggy backing” on a petition.

Here, we’ll explain how to find out if a winding up petition has been issued, and what your next steps should be.

If you are worried that your own business has been served a petition then the following still applies but it is best to get urgent professional advice as early action saves costs in the long run.

A quick recap: What is a winding up petition?

A winding up petition is often seen as the last resort for creditors. It usually follows several attempts to recover debt and sometimes even legal proceedings (e.g. statutory demands).

A winding up petition occurs when an unpaid creditor petitions the court to have the debtor company wound up. It is an expensive option for creditors, and has serious consequences for the company in question.

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. The creditor submits the winding up petition to the court
  2. It then serves notice on the debtor company
  3. It advertises the petition in the Gazette
  4. The court hears the petition and either dismisses or approves its completion

If the court approves the petition, it is escalated into a winding up order and the process for compulsory liquidation begins.

The official receiver automatically becomes the liquidator, bank accounts are frozen and trading stops. The liquidator sells all assets and closes the company, then removes it from the register at Companies House. The Insolvency Service then investigates the director’s conduct.

A winding up petition is the beginning of a very serious process, so if you believe you might be subject to one, seek expert financial advice straight away.

3 ways to find out if a winding up petition has been issued

If you are served with a winding up petition, you will know first-hand that one has been issued. However, creditors struggling to recover debts are often unaware their debtor is in that position.

Here are three ways to find out if a winding up petition has been issued against your debtor company:

1. To Search for Winding Up Petitions Look it up in the Gazette

The London Gazette acts as the official public record for the British Government. It publishes all petitions in England and Wales as part of the legal process.

This is, perhaps, the easiest way to find out if a winding up petition has been issued as you can access lists of notices either in print or online.

The notice will contain information about when and where the court will hear the petition. It also invites other interested parties to support or oppose the petition, or give notice of their intention to attend the hearing.

However, it should be noted that the petition is only “advertised” in the gazette it does not have to be published there.  Also it may be advertised a month or so after it has been issued.  The petitioner can advertise it no later than 7 days before the hearing.  Quite often petitioners will not advertise it as it can have a very detrimental effect on the company worsening the position.

2. Visit the Companies Court

The Companies Court in London at

7 Rolls Buildings
Fetter Lane

This is where the petitions are heard.  The court has a computer system that has records of all winding up petitions.  A couple of terminals are available for the public to check.

Once you have gone through security, use the terminals in the public foyer to conduct your search. These will tell you if a winding up petition has been issued.

This is an important stage, as you must complete a search on these computers before issuing a petition yourself.

3. Ask your lawyer or subscribe to receive the information

If you are likely to be issuing a petition you will be using the services of the lawyer and they will subscribe to receive information about new winding up petitions. However, this is very expensive and therefore not always viable for small businesses just doing searches.

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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