Voluntary and compulsory strike offs to resume this Autumn within two months from publication in the Gazette
As discussed in our article last month (accessible here), the temporary measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act relating to wrongful trading, winding up petitions and statutory demands will remain in place until the end of September 2020 (unless they are further extended).
Companies House has also recently provided updates regarding both the voluntary and compulsory striking off processes.
Voluntary strike off
During the coronavirus pandemic, companies have still been able to apply to be struck off the register. Companies House has continued to publish notices in the Gazette to advertise strike off applications. However, a temporary measure was introduced in March to suspend any further action beyond this point. This was to allow creditors and other interested parties more time to object to the proposed strike off action.
On 10 July 2020 Companies House announced that this suspension will be lifted from 10 September 2020. This will impact companies which applied to be voluntarily struck off before the process was suspended. Applications received from 10 July 2020 onwards will proceed in the usual way.
Where voluntary strike off action restarts from 10 September 2020, if there are no objections to dissolution within two months from the publication of the Gazette notice, your company will be struck off.
It is important to bear in mind that anyone who has an objection to a company which is close to being struck off should register it at Companies House. If you have already raised an objection to a strike off application, but it is due to expire, you will need to register your objection again.
Compulsory strike off
Through the normal process, Companies House is able to dissolve a company if it fails to submit an annual confirmation statement form or file accounts on time. Directors may also be subject to sanction
In April 2020, Companies House’s enforcement action in respect of compulsory strike offs, was suspended. This was to provide businesses affected by coronavirus with sufficient time to avoid being struck off the register.
From 10 October 2020 Companies House will resume the compulsory strike off process if there is reasonable cause to believe the company is no longer carrying on a business or in operation.
When compulsory strike off action resumes, if there are no objections to dissolution within two months from the publication of the Gazette notice, your company will be struck off.
If your company is in default and you want it to remain on the register, you must file your outstanding documents or contact Companies House urgently.
For more information on the above, please click on the following links:
If you have any questions about these issues in relation to your own organisation, please contact a member of the team or speak with your usual Fox Williams contact.