What is a liquidation?

When a firm, company, or corporate entity is closed, wound up, and struck off the Companies House register, it undergoes liquidation. A company in financial difficulty that can no longer pay its debts may be dissolved by business liquidation under insolvency legislation. It can also be used to shut down a firm and sell its assets for profit voluntarily.

Creditors’ and members’ voluntary liquidation are the most common forms of corporate dissolution, whereas compulsory liquidation is the rarest. The following describes the three types of liquidation: creditors’ voluntary liquidation, members’ voluntary liquidation, and compelled liquidation. If you’re looking to dissolve a firm, Irwin Insolvency has extensive experience working with UK company bankruptcies and will advise you on all necessary procedures.

Voluntary Liquidation by Creditors (CVL)

CVLs are calculated by the fact that a company can’t pay off debts as they come due. A creditor’s voluntary liquidation is referred to as a “voluntary winding-up” and is begun by the directors and shareholders of a company to wind down operations as smoothly as feasible.

What Does It Involve for a Creditor to Liquidate Voluntarily?

When the directors and shareholders of a firm determine that its only option is to liquidate the business, it becomes subject to the creditor’s voluntary liquidation. The company must be bankrupt; it can no longer pay its debts, and frequently, the board has attempted other techniques to preserve the firm – for example, turnaround plans or corporate reorganization – before taking this final step to shut down operations completely.

The CVL procedure is entirely optional and is made easier with the help of both creditors and directors. Creditors must be notified of the company’s planned liquidation, and they have the option to contact the directors and prevent it if they feel it is necessary. A liquidator employed by a corporation generally performs the duties of a CVL, which he or she must be a qualified insolvency professional and hired to sell all corporate assets.

When it comes to business liquidation in the United Kingdom, the insolvency practitioner will continue to interact with creditors, such as a bank, to address any concerns and take appropriate action to sell assets. The liquidator will also gather any outstanding debts, address all employee claims, and provide reports required by government agencies during this time. This procedure is carried out until the firm has been fully liquidated.

How Are Companies Affected by Liquidation? What Are Some of the Effects On Businesses?

When the creditors’ voluntary liquidation is completed, a firm will have ceased to exist. The liquidator must investigate any actions taken by the board during the company’s insolvency.

If they are found to have neglected their responsibilities when trading irresponsibly, they may be convicted of unlawful business activity. There are no jobs in the absence of a firm, so all employee contracts will come to an end. It is feasible that the liquidator seizes control of the company and keep workers from the time frame.

The final stage of the liquidation procedure is to remove the company name from the Companies House register after the firm’s assets have been sold off and operations have been shut down.

Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) of a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG)

A members’ voluntary liquidation (MVL) is a solvent liquidation in which all shareholders receive the same amount. This method is frequently utilized when investors want to sell their shares or shut down the company. To participate in a members’ voluntary liquidation, a firm must not be insolvent (insolvent).

What Are the Details of Members’ Voluntary Liquidation?

After a vote to liquidate MF Global by the company’s directors and shareholders, the firm is placed into bankruptcy. The business will still be viable after this process has been completed; they must ensure that all stakeholders agree to it before proceeding.

After the terms of the liquidation are established, a qualified insolvency lawyer is assigned to manage the company’s liquidation. Before liquidation, the insolvency professional must notify any remaining creditors of the decision to shut down the firm, and outstanding obligations must be paid off.

The CVL and MVL processes are quite similar. The insolvency professional begins the process of shutting down a company, informing staff about the liquidation option while looking for purchasers to purchase business assets.

The member’s decision to liquidate will be made by the board of directors.

The liquidation of the firm is the final consequence of an MVL. This implies that all assets will be sold off, and the company will be deleted from the Companies House register, effectively ceasing to exist.

When it comes to choosing an MVA, the key date is when you take action. At that point, because the firm is still solvent, all outstanding creditors will be reimbursed through asset sales. The shareholders will want to see a profit after liquidating the firm, so any remaining earnings from the sales are shared equally among them.

Liquidation by Law is Required

A winding-up by the court is sometimes referred to as a “compulsory liquidation.” This court-led technique is the ultimate measure against a company that fails to fulfil fundamental creditors’ obligations. The court compelled the liquidation, typically after a creditor’s petition, the firm, or a stockholder.

What Is Compulsory Liquidation and What Does It Involve?

A creditor must file a lawsuit with the court, asking the court to force the firm into compulsory liquidation. This method may be utilized by creditors as banks or lenders to recoup overdue funds owed to them. The lender must show that the business has been unable to make repayments and that dissolution is the only solution.

If they are successful, a liquidator will be hired to value, market, and sell the firm’s assets. The only thing a business owner or director can do now seeks guidance from an insolvency expert to avoid the potential negative consequences of the liquidation.

The Outcome of a Liquidation by Compulsion

The consequence of compulsory liquidation is the company’s total dissolution and the automatic dismissal of all workers. The authority of a liquidated firm’s directors cease, and they are no longer personally accountable for any debts, although the Insolvency Service may look into them after the liquidation has been completed.

Is liquidation the best option for my company?

A CVL is a business that files for bankruptcy when all other alternatives have been exhausted. In the case of a CVL, liquidation is always the last option of a firm seeking to recover from bankruptcy. This generally takes place only after the firm has attempted to escape insolvency and become solvent again through alternative turnaround methods.

This is generally the case with forced liquidation, as creditors will only begin the process after attempting to collect payments by other means. This decision is entirely up to the directors in the instance of an MVL. We recommend consulting a professional insolvency counsellor for additional information before beginning any UK bankruptcy procedure.

What are the alternatives to liquidation in the UK?

Although there are many alternatives to liquidation in the United Kingdom, your business may take advantage of them before beginning the liquidation procedure. These include:

  • Voluntary arrangements are a good option for businesses.
  • Administrative receivership
  • Restructuring of business entities

What happens to the company’s directors after it has been liquidated?

Directors should not be held personally responsible in the case of limited companies. Any bills that can’t be paid off during the company liquidation procedure should not be placed on the board to pay.

The directors, on the other hand, are not necessarily forbidden by law from making fraudulent claims. If they’re discovered to have committed fraud, they may be held personally liable for any remaining liabilities.

Is it still possible for HMRC to seek taxes from a liquidated firm?

When a firm is liquidated, the HMRC is frequently the largest creditor and owing to recent modifications in the legislation, they are now considered preferred creditors for certain taxes like National Insurance or income tax. Even after a company has been officially liquidated, HMRC may conduct investigations and look back 20 years into its accounting records if any evidence of misconduct or fraud is discovered. Company directors might be held liable if any violation of law or fraud is found during an HMRC investigation.

Get help with liquidation

Irwin Insolvency has extensive experience in assisting firms throughout the United Kingdom with bankruptcies. We realize how tough it is to go through liquidation. As a result, our qualified team of senior bankruptcy and liquidation experts can assist you to manage commercial liquidations as easily as possible.