There are a limited range of circumstances when a company can request to be removed from the register (known as being struck off). For example, a voluntary strike-off can be requested by a dormant or non-trading company.
A limited company can be closed down by using this striking-off process, but only if it:
- hasn't traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months. For example, a company in business to sell apples could not continue selling apples during that 3 month period but it could sell the truck it once used to deliver the apples or the warehouse where they were stored.
- hasn't changed names in the last 3 months
- isn't threatened with liquidation
- has no agreements with creditors, e.g. a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
If the company does not meet these conditions, then the company will need to be liquidated (also known as a 'winding up').
Before applying for a strike off, the company must be legally closed down. This involves:
- announcing plans to interested parties and HMRC
- making sure employees are treated according to the rules
- dealing with business assets and accounts.