The UK Rules
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Debt and Bankruptcy

Business Debt and Bankruptcy Guide

All businesses can suffer cashflow problems at times, despite proper planning and management. Thus, the risk of facing business debt and bankruptcy is as realistic as being successful.

DEALING WITH CREDITORS: There are many different types of business debt. Owing money will mean choosing the best option for dealing with a company debt.

It helps when you understand more about the legal role and enforcement powers of creditors. They have several different methods of getting money back from their debtors.

Information in this section lists the most common types of debts. The help guide covers topics including business debt and bankruptcy issues.

Does a person or an organisation owe you money? Check the topics below which cover court claims for getting your money back. There is also further guidance on business insolvency and company liquidation.

Business Insolvency

The best option to choose during business insolvency varies. The company and its creditors will need to consider them all. Even so, the assets of the business (if any) and the business status will dictate the proper path to take.

Insolvent Trading

Trading 'insolvently' often leads to closing down a business altogether. As a rule, you become insolvent if either:

Note: It may be an offence for a director of a limited company to continue trading when the company is insolvent.

Personal Bankruptcy

If a sole trader goes bankrupt they are no longer liable for any personal or business debts. But, going bankrupt means your personal and business assets could get sold off. Suffering personal bankruptcy also makes it very difficult to continue in self-employment.

Debt Management for Small Businesses

Claiming Money or Property from a Dissolved CompanyClaiming Money or Property

BONA VACANTIA: There are several ways of recovering assets from a company in dissolution. Find out how to claim money or property from a dissolved company.

POSSESSION CLAIM: There is a specific process for taking court action to repossess a property or to evict a tenant. Use the possession claim online if a tenant or mortgage holder refuses to pay.


Complain about a Claims Management CompanyClaims Management Company

HOW TO COMPLAIN: There are several ways to complain about a claims management company. It will depend on whether you contact the claims company or make a complaint to the Claims Management Regulator.


Late Commercial Payments: Interest Debt RecoveryCommercial Payments

LATE COMMERCIAL PAYMENTS: Receiving late commercial payments interrupts company management. Check how much a business can charge in interest and debt recovery for a late payment.


Company Liquidation GuideCompany Liquidation

CANCEL A WINDING UP ORDER: Serving a winding up petition symbolizes serious legal action initiated by a creditor. Find out how to stop a winding up petition and avoid a chain of events that follow.

CHECK LIQUIDATION: You can check if a company is in financial trouble on the GOV.UK site. The online tool lets you find out if a company is being liquidated or in provisional liquidation. You can also search details of companies with frozen assets or insolvency proceedings.

COMPANY INFORMATION: Use the government site to get information about a company. The details include its directors, registered address, and previous company names. You can also check the accounts, reports, annual returns, and whether it got dissolved.

CO-OPERATION: A director has several overriding responsibilities if a company gets liquidated. One of the most important is cooperating with the official receiver (OR).

DISQUALIFIED DIRECTORS: There is an automatic ban from working as the director of a company after going bankrupt. Thus, you can report a disqualified director for breaching the restrictions of a ban.

RESTORE A DISSOLVED COMPANY: Information in the page explains the process of administrative restoration or 'company restoration'. Check how to restore a dissolved company to the Company Register.


County Court Judgment Process for Unpaid DebtCounty Court Judgment

CCJ ADVICE: The page explains the complete process of county court judgments for debt collection. Find out what to do if you get a CCJ and how to get it set aside or change the amount you pay.


How to Make a Court Claim for MoneyCourt Claims

SMALL CLAIMS COURT: Find out how to take someone to small claims court in the United Kingdom. It explains the process of legal action to make a court claim for money owed to you.

MAKE A MONEY CLAIM: Money Claim Online is a secure internet based service for claimants and defendants. MCOL is a convenient way to make a money claim online or respond to one via the internet.


Insolvency Service Contact Information GuideInsolvency Services

CONTACT INSOLVENCY SERVICE: Get guidance on bankruptcy petitions and misconduct of trading. Extra details cover company insolvency in England and Wales.

Insolvency Service Contact Number
Telephone: 0300 678 0015 (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm)
Click here to learn about phone call charges.

Scotland and Northern Ireland
The Accountant in Bankruptcy handles bankruptcy and insolvency in Scotland. Contact the Northern Ireland Insolvency Service in Northern Ireland.

INSOLVENCY PRACTITIONER: Search the government website to find a licensed insolvency practitioner near you. You can complain about an insolvency practitioner for unprofessional case handling or unethical conduct.


How to Report a Loan Shark Anonymously in the United KingdomLoan Sharks

REPORT A LOAN SHARK: Information in the page explains most of the issues of dealing with loan sharks. The best advice is to avoid them and learn how to report an illegal loan shark if you spot one.


Dealing with Business Debt: Bankruptcy and Insolvency Management in the United Kingdom