Making an application to Strike Off a company is relatively simple. However for it to be successful various steps have to be undertaken and criteria met. These include properly informing any outstanding creditors and ensuring the company is dormant. The process normally takes a minimum of three months to complete.
- The steps that must be taken to Strike Off a company
- Who needs to be notified?
- Can the application be turned down?
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Inform any creditors of intention to Strike Off
Before applying to Strike Off a company the directors must inform all outstanding creditors and other interested parties of the intention. This must be done in writing. It is particularly important to inform HMRC even if you believe the company has no outstanding Tax or VAT liabilities.
The creditors must be given three months to consider their position. If after 3 months no-one has raised any objections or taken further legal action against the company the application can be made.
The company should be dormant for the three months prior to a Strike Off application being submitted. During this time assets can be sold and funds used to pay off the company’s debts. It is vital that records of all accounts, copies of all letters to creditors and book keeping records are maintained during this period.
Submit Strike Off application to Companies House
After the 3 months notice period the application for Strike Off can be made to Companies House. The directors will need to complete a DS01 form. It must be signed and dated by the sole director if there is only one. If there more than one directors then all or the majority need to sign the form.
Depending on where the company was registered the completed form will need to be sent to the registrar of companies at Companies House in Cardiff, Edinburgh or Belfast.
Within 7 days of sending the application to the registrar a copy of the application form should also be sent to all shareholders, creditors and employees of the company. A copy of the application must also be sent to any person who becomes one of these at any time after the application is made. This obligation continues until the dissolution of the company or the withdrawal of the application.
When is the Company Struck Off?
Companies House will examine the application to Strike Off the company. If it is completed correctly an acknowledgement is sent to the address of the applicant which has been highlighted on the form. The acknowledgement is also sent to the company at its registered office address. This is to enable it to object if the application is bogus.
The Registrar of Companies then publishes a notice of the proposed striking off in the Gazette. This allows interested parties the opportunity to object. The London Gazette is used for companies incorporated in England and Wales. The Edinburgh Gazette for companies incorporated in Scotland and the Belfast Gazette for companies incorporated in Northern Ireland.
If there are no objections the registrar will strike the company off the register not less than 3 months after the date of the notice. A further notice stating the company has been struck off will then be published in the relevant Gazette.
What happens if anyone objects to a Strike Off application?
Any interested party can object to the Registrar at Companies House. The objection has to be in writing and sent with any supporting evidence such as copies of outstanding invoices.
There are a number of reasons why an interested party could object to a Strike Off. The main one is normally that some form of action is being taken, or is pending, to recover money owed by the company. For example a winding-up petition or action in a small claims court.
After a company has been struck off the register any interested party can apply to revive the business. They have the right to do this for up to 20 years. Such an application might happen if a creditor believes they were not correctly or adequately notified. Alternatively it may have come to light that the company was trading during the three months period prior to making the application.