The UK Rules
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Compulsory Liquidation

Compulsory Liquidation: Apply to the Court

Check how a director can apply 'directly' to the court for a compulsory liquidation order. Winding up a company means it gets liquidated (wound up) and then stops trading.

COMPULSORY WINDING UP: This type of company liquidation is also called 'compulsory liquidation'. Before you can wind up a company the court will need to see:

Note: To close a company by compulsory liquidation it must carry out the majority of its business in England, Scotland, or Wales. But, the actual base for the business can be anywhere.

How to Apply Directly to the Court

The first step in the process is downloading the form Comp 1 'winding-up petition'. Fill in the document and then send it to the court along with:

The 'paid-up share capital' amount determines where you should send the petition. A search on the Companies House register shows company paid-up share capitals.

Paid-up Share Capital £120,000 (or more)

You can submit the petition online if the company paid-up share capital is £120,000 or higher. Using HM Courts & Tribunals E-Filing Service means it gets sent to the High Court.

Paid-up Share Capital Less than £120,000

Compulsory Liquidation: Apply Directly to the CourtIf the capital is under £120,000 you will need to search for your nearest court that deals with bankruptcy.

When you find it, you can submit the form petition online if it happens to be any of these:

Note: The petition will need submitting by postal methods if it was not one of these courts.

Fee for Compulsory Liquidation

There are several costs to pay when you apply directly to the court to liquidate a company:

The court will respond to you after you apply. They will send you a date for the hearing - providing they accept your petition. There are several steps to take before the court hearing takes place, including:

Attending the Court Hearing

If you choose to attend the court hearing there is no need for you to give any evidence. But, if you choose not to attend, then your solicitor must go instead.

The court will assign an official receiver if they grant a winding-up order. The main responsibility of the liquidator will be liquidating the company. The court will also send a copy of the winding-up order to the registered office of the company.

Note: The role and responsibilities of a director change after the compulsory winding up of a company.

Also in this section...

Liquidate a Company: The key aspects to consider when liquidating your limited company.
Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation: CVL involves creditors because the company cannot pay its debts.
Directors after Liquidation: Find out what happens to directors when a liquidator gets appointed.
Members' Voluntary Liquidation: MVL is the members' agreement to liquidate a solvent company.
What Does a Liquidator Do? A liquidator is the official receiver who conducts the liquidation process.


Compulsory Liquidation: Apply Directly to the Court to Liquidate an Insolvent Company