Please note: The information contained in this article is correct as of 08/03/2021. Due to the ongoing nature of the coronavirus pandemic and government guidance, this information is subject to change and, while we will make every effort to keep our articles up to date, it is always advisable to speak with a solicitor for specific advice.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government has twice paused the strike off processes for companies in order to ensure that “companies and creditors would not be adversely affected by processing delays at Companies House.”

As of the 8th March, both processes have now resumed, following the latest pause implemented on in January 2021.

Companies House has stressed that they are still working with limited office-based staff due to the government’s stay at home restrictions so delays are likely.

Voluntary Strike Off

Voluntarily striking off a company removes the administrative annual filing burdens of a company when a company is no longer trading. Voluntary strike off may be necessary where the business has ceased to trade due to being transferred to a new company or as a result of some form of restructure.

You can apply to have your company struck off the Companies Register if it meets all of the following requirements:

  • Your company hasn’t traded or sold off any stock in the past 3 months

  • Your company isn’t threatened with liquidation

  • Your company has no Company Voluntary Agreements (CVAs) or other agreements with creditors

  • Your company hasn’t changed names in the last 3 months

Before applying to have your company struck off the register, there are steps you must take to legally shut down your company. Details on these steps can be found on the government website and a corporate law solicitor can also advise you on this.

Compulsory Strike Off

Companies House can begin the compulsory strike off of a company if they have reasonable grounds to believe the company is no longer trading. This often occurs when a company fails to file annual accounts and/or a confirmation statement.

If Companies House intends to apply to have a company struck off, they will send at least two formal letters to the company informing them of their intentions to remove the company from the Companies House Register if they do not file the missing documents.

If your company has ceased trading, compulsory strike off may be seen as an efficient way to have it struck off; however, if it is not your intention to have your company struck off, you will need to act quickly.

Whether you are applying for voluntary strike off or defending compulsory strike off action, Farleys’ corporate law team can help. We have the experience to advise you on your next steps to ensure you have fulfilled your legal duties. Speak to our experts today on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.