The procedure for creating an LLC is simple, and our guide will walk you through the steps you must take to know about setting up. Once you’ve registered your company at Companies House, people often ignore the fact that having a company has legal obligations and responsibilities. There is also information to be filed every year, regardless of whether the business is not in operation or isn’t trading.

Certain people may start a limited-company with an intention to trade in the future or simply for the sake of protecting the name of their business. Although there are great intentions for running the business but things may not always go according to plan, and you may end up with an unregistered company that you don’t would like to or plan to stop using.

In the case of others, there could be the time that your company isn’t economically viable or there’s nobody to assume the company or transfer the business to in the event that you decide to retire. Making a plan to assist you wind down your business will help the process smooth.


How can you get your company removed from Companies House’s register? 

The legal word for this procedure refers to dissolution, or strike off. In this way the business ceases to exist and you won’t need to send us any other details, such as your annual accounts and confirmation statements.

To allow a voluntary dissolution to be effective the process, the company must satisfy specific requirements. It is possible to request to dissolve your business, but only if it

  • Has not changed or traded names in the past 3 months.
  • It is not at risk of being liquidated
  • There are no contracts with creditors, for example an CVA or a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA)

If your business does not comply with these requirements then you’ll need to dissolve your company instead.

Before you apply, make sure that you have

Prior to submitting a request for strike off there are certain obligations to shut down your business correctly.

It is essential to make announcements to any interested parties as well as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Employees (if they are) should be treated in accordance with corporate rules, business assets removed, and accounts depleted. If you don’t comply, all assets belonging to a company that is dissolving are the belonging to the Crown as it does not have an official owner.

The bank account of the company will be frozen as of the date of the dissolution. Any balance of credit in the account , as well as any other assets will go to the Crown The company will have to rebuild the company in order in order to recover any assets.

How do I apply

You could apply to strike your business online by using an account with your Companies House account and authorisation code. The form DS01 may also be completed in paper form – it generally takes longer to complete.

In the case of companies with more than one director at least half directors must be signed by the application prior to it being able to be filed. The application has to be delivered within seven days to everyone that could be affected. It includes directors, members (shareholders) as well as creditors, directors, and employees who have not signed the application.

If your company has not traded, the procedure is easy. After you’ve filed for strike-off it is your responsibility to notify HMRC that your business has not traded and it will soon be taken off in the Companies House register.

If your business has been trading but does not meet the requirements that you have to submit your final annual statutory account as well as an annual Corporate Tax Return (CTR) to HMRC informing them that these are your final trading accounts and that the business is scheduled to dissolve soon.

You do not have to file final accounts with Companies House.

When we receive your application, we will confirm that it has been completed correctly and publish it in the Gazette. There are 3 Gazettes:

  • the London Gazette – for companies incorporated in England and Wales
  • the Edinburgh Gazette – for companies incorporated in Scotland
  • the Belfast Gazette – for companies incorporated in Northern Ireland

If there are no objections to strike off, the company will be struck off the register once the 2 months mentioned in the notice has passed. A second notice will be published in the Gazette, which means the company will not legally exist anymore (it will have been ‘dissolved’). If you owe late filing penalties to Companies House, we will usually accept the dissolution and allow the company to close without paying the fine.

Withdrawing your application for strike off

You must withdraw your application if your company is no longer eligible to be struck off, for example if it is trading or becomes insolvent. You can also withdraw your application if you change your mind and want to keep your company.

You should do this immediately using the Companies House online service or by sending a paper form DS02.

After your company is dissolved

Although the company will not exist, information for dissolved companies is kept for 20 years after they are dissolved. This dissolved information can still be requested from Companies House or the National Archives. Also, it’s worth noting that the company name can be reused by someone else with a new unique company number.

As with any legal process it’s best to seek professional advice before you make any decisions.

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