A compulsory strike off, also known as a dissolution, occurs when a company's legal existence is removed from the Companies House register.
It can be voluntarily, if directors decide they no longer have a use for the company, or it can become compulsory, by a third-party petitioning. The third party is most usually Companies House, who raise the petition by non-compliance to filing accounts or annual statements. Before being struck off, the request is placed in the Gazette, with a two-month period for any other person to object the application. If the strike off is voluntary you need to send in form DS01 (pictured)
What are my options following a request to strike off?
This all depends on your plans going forward, for the company.
If you are happy for the company to cease trading, the option is simple – let the process run on, so long you have no debts or liabilities outstanding.
If you intend for the company to remain trading, an application to suspend the request should be filed to Companies House. They will then review, strictly dependent on why the strike off was requested to begin.
Who can submit an objection? You, Your Shareholders, Outstanding Creditors (HMRC included)
Creditors ultimately want to object and suspend the application as if the strike off is successful, and the company is removed from the company register, they will be unable to recover any money they were owed, thus they are left with a bad debt.
Following dissolution, any left over assets and cash is referred to as ‘bona vacantia’, with Crown taking automatic possession.
Of course, you would want to retain ownership yourself, but to do this you will need to submit an objection application to the strike off. Should the objection be upheld, the company continues trading and stays active, with the chance for you to move the assets out of the business or continue trading.
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