Require Immediate Support? Free Director Helpline: 0800 644 6080

Real Business Rescue

Free Director Helpline: 0800 644 6080

What is the priority order of creditors in an administration process?

Updated:

In what order are creditors paid when a company goes into administration?

If a company cannot be rescued after entering administration - it may be placed into liquidation, during which creditors will be paid in a set order, as prescribed by the Insolvency Act 1986. The hierarchy of creditors in administration starts with secured creditors and ends with unsecured creditors.

Who gets paid first when a company is in administration?

When a company becomes insolvent, entering administration offers the chance for rescue without creditor pressure. Although many businesses are turned around after entering company administration, in some cases rescue will not be possible.

This means the eventual outcome would be the liquidation of company assets and permanent closure. The nature of insolvency means that not all creditors can be repaid, however, which is why there is a priority order of creditors for repayment in an administration process.

 

background curve

Take Our Free 60 Second Test

Get an instant understanding of your:

  • Debt and Asset Position
  • Formal Insolvency Options
  • Next steps

Plus much more ...

Start The 60 Second Test
apps on mobile screen

How is repayment carried out in administration?

The Insolvency Act, 1986, lays down the order of priority a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) must follow to pay creditor claims. The company’s assets are sold for the benefit of creditors, but creditors are grouped into specific categories, and each group must be repaid in full before the IP can move on to the next.

This typically means the creditor falling at the bottom of the priority list receive little or no return from an administration process. So what are the creditor categories, and which is paid first?

Corporate Restructuring Options

When a company is in difficulty, sometimes a process of financial and/or operational restructuring is needed. From CVAs through to Administration, there are a range of rescue and recovery options to help you get back on track.
Learn more about restructuring by calling our team -  0800 644 6080

Get a Quote Find Your Nearest Office

Hierarchy of creditors in administration

Secured creditors with a fixed charge

Secured creditors with a fixed charge typically include the bank and other lenders, such as factoring companies. They’re paid using funds from the realisation of the asset(s).

Office-holder’s fees and expenses

The administrator’s/liquidator’s fees rank second in line for payment, and these include the expenses of carrying out the procedure.

Preferred creditors

Preferred creditors include employees of the company. Since 1st December 2020, HMRC are also ranked as secondary preferential creditors. This means they’re paid arrears of taxes that a company collects on their behalf, such as VAT and PAYE, but not those paid directly by a company – corporation tax, for example.

Creditors with a floating charge and the prescribed part

A floating charge covers a class of asset rather than a specific item, and can include stock and work-in-progress. These are assets that typically change during the course of day-to-day business.

The prescribed part is a sum of money set aside at this point from the proceeds of realisation of floating charge assets. It’s designed to provide unsecured creditors with a greater possibility of repayment in some form, and a maximum of £800,000 can be set aside in this way.

Unsecured creditors

Claims made by unsecured creditors lie at the bottom of the hierarchy for payment in an administration process, which means by this stage, their return is typically low. Payment is made from the sale of unsecured assets, and in many cases there is little, if any, money left to distribute. Unsecured creditors can include suppliers, customers, and HMRC for tax arrears owed directly by the company.

Connected unsecured creditors

Unsecured creditors associated with the company in some way – perhaps family members who loaned money to the business, for example – rank below general unsecured creditors.

Need to speak to someone?

If your company is struggling with unmanageable debts, squeezed cash flow, or an uncertain future, you are far from alone. We speak to company directors just like you every single day, and we are here to give you the help and advice you need.
Call our team today on 0800 644 6080

When are creditors repaid?

The office-holder gathers in the company’s assets for realisation, obtains a professional valuation, and invites claims from the company’s creditors. When all monies are received following the sale of assets, the administrator or liquidator can begin to repay creditor claims in the prescribed order.

As creditors must be repaid in full as a group, the knock-on effect to other businesses can be severe. Suppliers and other unsecured creditors in this position typically receive no dividend from the process, and can experience a decline themselves as a result of unpaid debts and the loss of that customer.

If you would like more information on the priority order of creditors in an administration process, Real Business Rescue can provide reliable professional advice. Please contact one of our expert team to arrange a same-day consultation free-of-charge – we operate an extensive network of offices throughout the UK, so you’re never far away from professional assistance.

Share:
reviews io logo

Real Business Rescue are here to help

Still unsure whether liquidation is right for your company? Don't worry, the experts at Real Business Rescue are here to help. Our licensed insolvency practitioners will take the time to understand the problems your company is facing before recommending the best course of action going forward based on your own unique circumstances.

  • UK’s Largest Liquidators
  • 100+ Offices Nationwide
  • 100% Confidential Advice
  • Supported 25,000+ Directors
Meet The Team
Team Of 4

Team of Qualified Experts

Trusted team of experts on hand to assist

Meet The Team
Rbr Accreditations Blue

Looking for immediate support?

Complete the below to get in touch

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY
10,000+ Tests Completed

Free 60 Second Test

For Ltd Company Directors

Get An Instant Understanding Of Your:

  • Debt and Asset Position
  • Director and Liability Review
  • Next Steps

Plus much more ...

Real Business Rescue Recommended
  • UK's leading business funders
  • Free Brokerage Service
  • Full Market Access
  • Over 30 years' experience
  • Strong relationships with HMRC
  • Support from start to finish
  • 10,000 potential buyers
  • 12,000+ Businesses Sold
  • 60+ Years Experience
Next Steps

We provide free confidential advice with absolutely no obligation.
Our expert and non-judgemental team are ready to assist directors and stakeholders today.