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What is a Gazette First Notice for Compulsory Strike Off?
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What is a Gazette first notice for compulsory strike off?
A first Gazette notice for the compulsory strike off of a limited company declares a creditors intention to strike your company off the register of companies held at Companies House. Once a company has been struck off, it ceases to exist as a legal entity and all trade must be stopped permanently. A compulsory strike off notice is often served by a disgruntled creditor for unpaid debts, or by Companies House for failure to keep up with statutory filing obligations.
A first Gazette notice of strike off warns that the company in question will imminently be struck off the Companies House register. Compulsory strike off applications are advertised via a Gazette notice in order to inform any outstanding creditors of the company that it will soon be dissolved. Once a company is dissolved using the strike off process, it will cease to exist as a legal entity, meaning any creditors will be unable to chase the company for the money they are owed.
Following the Gazette notice being advertised, outstanding creditors will have three months in which to object to the strike off; if none are received, the company will be dissolved and its name removed from the register.
To learn more about the company strike off process in general, please visit our dedicated Company Strike Off and Dissolution page.
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If your company has been issued with a notice for compulsory strike off, your next move will be determined by what your plans are for the company going forwards. If the company no longer serves a purpose to you and you would be happy with it being closed down then you can simply allow the process to run its course. However, you should be aware that the Gazette notice will make creditors away of the application against you company and they may well object to it if your limited company has outstanding debts or liabilities. Read more on strike off objections below or our dedicated article on what happens next if company strike off has been suspended as a result of an objection from a creditor.
Alternatively, if you want your company to remain active, then you will need to lodge a suspension application to Companies House. Depending on what lead to the compulsory notice being issued in the first place, you may be required to bring your account up to date which may include filing missing accounts or confirmation statements. Alternatively you may need to enter into negotiations with creditors in order to have them rescind the application they have submitted against your company.
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When a company is dissolved, the result is that it ceases to exist as a legal entity and as a result its assets and cash will be deemed ‘bona vacantia’, literally ‘ownerless property’, and possession will automatically transfer to the Crown.
Obviously if you have assets in your company, you will be keen to extract these in order to retain ownership of them. Should this be the case, you will need to submit an objection to the strike off detailing the reasons why. If the objection is upheld then the company will remain active giving you the chance to either continue trading or moving the assets out of the business. If you are considering doing this, you should enlist the help of a professional to assist you.
Depending on the scale of the assets involved, you may wish to consider closing down your business through a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL). By proceeding down this route you may be able to take advantage of Business Asset Disposal Relief which is the most tax-efficient way to extract the money from your company. This must be done under the guidance of a licensed insolvency practitioner.
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If your company has been subject to a Gazette notice for compulsory strike off, or you are concerned about the financial health of your business, you should make it a priority to contact a licensed insolvency practitioner. There are various ways of dealing with your company’s financial woes; however, time is very much of the essence. Addressed early and you can significantly increase the chance of a successful outcome for both you and your company. Contact Real Business Rescue today, for a free no-obligation consultation.
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