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Close (dissolve) Your Limited Company Online Today We'll complete all of the necessary documentation to dissolve your company and then send the documents to you to be signed by the company directors. Once returned, we shall file the documents on your behalf.

  • Fully managed company strike off service
  • Preparation of dissolution forms and documents
  • Companies House filing fee included
  • Authorised Formation Agent

Close Your Limited Company Online Today

Online Filings offers entrepreneurs professional expert advice and assistance to dissolve (close) a company and provide:

1. Find your company in Companies House register
Find the company for which you want to complete the annual Confirmation Statement and choose a package that's right for you.

2. Fill out our short simplified application in less than 5 min
We have simplified the dissolution process by creating a streamlined dissolution form. Our online digital assistant provides useful tips for a step by step support.

3. Your Confirmation Statement completed in 3 hrs
Once you have updated your information on our simplified form, Companies House will take on average 3 hours to process your application. We will send you a confirmation once this is done by email.

From our new blog

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How Do I Strike Off a Company? The Full Guide

If your business has reached the end of its life, you’ll need to decide the best way to close your company. How you close your business is dependent on your circumstances; namely, if you have debts and if you can pay them. This will influence how simple or complex the process of closing your company can be.

How do I close a limited company?

There are two main options:

  1. Dissolution: If you are solvent (i.e. you don’t owe any money to creditors or HMRC), you can dissolve your company by striking it off the Companies House Register.
  2. Liquidation: If you are insolvent (i.e. you cannot pay your debts), you will need to liquidate your company to pay your creditors or HMRC, and then you can legally close your business. You can also do this voluntarily if you are solvent.

Let’s look a bit closer at each option and see what it entails.

What is dissolution?

dissolution in dictionary

When an owner wants to close their company, they must go through the process of dissolving it.

Dissolution (n.)

Also known as ‘striking off, this is the legal term for removing your company from Companies House register. Once you dissolve a company, it ceases to exist and you no longer need to submit confirmation statements or annual accounts.

When can I apply to strike off a company?

You can apply to close a limited company if it’s no longer needed. For example, if the directors wish to retire without a successor, the idea behind the company turned out not to be feasible, if you’re currently dormant or no longer trading.

You cannot apply if:

  • the majority of your directors don’t agree with the decision
  • your company has traded
  • your company has changed its name in the last 3 months
  • has become insolvent (or cannot pay its debts) and is threatened with compulsory liquidation

Some specific circumstances may prohibit you from applying so if you’re in doubt, contact our business specialists for help. If you know you’re ready to apply, get started using the button below.CLOSE YOUR COMPANY

Checklist: 5 things to do before you close a limited company

entrepreneur with checklist

Before you apply to strike off a company, you must legally close it down by:

  1. Announcing your plans to all relevant parties including your shareholders, directors, creditors, employees, and managers of any employee pension fund, and HMRC
  2. Making sure employees are treated according to redundancy rules and paid their final wages or salary
  3. Share business assets amongst shareholders before the company is struck off, otherwise they’ll go to the Crown
  4. Emptying your accounts and sending the final statutory accounts and Company Tax Return to HMRC
  5. Paying Capital Gains Tax (if you take assets out of the company before striking off)

Any remaining credit balance or business assets in the company will become the property of the Crown, and you’ll need to restore your company to reclaim your assets and funds

How to strike off a company from Companies House Register

You’ll need to apply with a DS01 form and have it signed by the majority of your company’s directors. Then, you can submit using your Companies House account and authorisation code.

Within the next 7 days, send a copy to all affected parties including members, shareholders, creditors, employees, managers or trustees of employee pension funds, and directors who didn’t sign the application form.

Looking to avoid the hassle? Use the OnlineFilings fully electronic dissolution platform. Benefit from personalised support throughout the process and even choose to use our office address as your registered office when you dissolve. Click below to get started.CLOSE YOUR COMPANYThe next steps depend on if your company has traded or not. If your company never traded, send your application and simply inform HMRC that your company never traded, then it will shortly be struck off the Companies House register.

If your company has traded, send your final statutory accounts and Company Tax Return to HMRC stating that these are your final trading accounts and your company will be dissolved shortly after.

If your company becomes ineligible to strike off (for example, because you’ve accrued debts), or you change your name, you’ll need to withdraw your application by submitting the DS02 form.

Not following these rules could result in a fine or possible prosecution.

What happens after I strike off a company?

entrepreneur on companies house gazette

After you’ve applied, Companies House will publish it in your local Gazette, which will be the London Gazette for English and Welsh companies, the Edinburgh Gazette for Scottish companies, and the Belfast Gazette for Northern Irish companies.

If there are no objections in the following 2 months, your company will be struck off and a second notice will be published in Gazette, signifying that the company legally no longer exists (or has been ‘dissolved’). If you owe any late filing penalties to Companies House, usually the dissolution will be accepted and your company will be allowed to close without paying the fine.

After you’ve filed for company dissolution, the company will not exist but its information will be kept on the public register for 20 years and can still be requested from Companies House or the National Archives.

The company’s name can be reused by someone else with a new unique company number and you’ll need to keep all of your business documents (ie. bank statements, invoices, receipts) for 7 years following the date of dissolution.

This is the usual process for solvent companies, but if you’re insolvent (or have debts), you may need to settle your debts by liquidating the company first.

What is liquidation?

liquidation and insolvency files

You will need to go through a liquidation process if your company is insolvent, which is essentially when a company wants to close but cannot pay its debts.

Liquidating (v.)

Also known as ‘winding up’ a company, liquidation involves using an insolvent company’s assets to pay off their creditors, and paying shareholders if there’s anything left over.

If this is the case, the interest of creditors legally comes before directors or shareholders and you’ll need to arrange a creditor’s voluntary liquidation of your company.

Creditor’s Voluntary Liquidation (n.)

A type of liquidation where insolvent companies pass a special resolution to stop trading, appoint a liquidator to wind up their company, and pay their creditors.

If you don’t pay your creditors, you may be subject to a compulsory liquidation enforced by law.

Compulsory Liquidation (n.)

A type of liquidation where an insolvent company’s creditor issues them with a statutory demand and the court orders their company to be wound up.

In the case of poor conduct, you could be disqualified as a company director for up to 15 years, so it’s much better to liquidate voluntarily and work with your creditors.

Can I liquidate my company if I’m solvent?

Yes. This is often the choice of owners who can pay their debts, but specific circumstances dictate that it’s better to liquidate than dissolve the company. This is called a member's voluntary liquidation.

Members Voluntary Liquidation (n.)

A type of liquidation where a solvent company chooses to wind up because they don’t meet the dissolution conditions, want to retire, want to step down from their family business without a successor, or simply do not want to run the business anymore.

You’ll need to make a ‘declaration of solvency’ to prove you can pay your debts, including the company & director’s information, how long the company will take to pay its debts and a statement of the company’s assets and liabilities.

In many cases, dissolution is the ideal choice for solvent companies looking to close. You can get this done quickly and easily using the OnlineFilings dissolution service. We will populate and file all documents on your behalf, and all you need to do is sign. Click below to get started.CLOSE YOUR COMPANY

The best way to dissolve your company

In summary, here are the options to close your company:

dissolution liquidation flowchart

If you’re solvent and ready to dissolve your company, the OnlineFilings dissolution service completes and files all the necessary documentation on your behalf, freeing you up to focus on things that are more important.

Ready to get started?

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Frequently Asked Questions

When can a company apply to be struck off the register

Closing or dissolving a company is the process of removing or “striking off” a company from the register at Companies House. In situations where a company has become surplus to requirements (i.e. it has fulfilled the purpose it initially set out to achieve) and is no longer trading.

The company can strike off the register if for example:
- the directors wish to retire and there is no one to take over the running of the company
- the company is a subsidiary whose name is no longer needed
- the company was originally set up to exploit an idea that turned out not to be feasible
- the company has served its purpose, is no longer active and is unlikely to be required in the future

In which case can't a company apply to be struck off the register

Section 1004 and section 1005 of the Companies Act 2006 set out the circumstances in which the company may not apply to be struck off.

For example, the company may not make an application for voluntary strike off if, at any time in the last 3 months, it has:
- traded or otherwise carried on business
- changed its name
- engaged in any other activity except one which is necessary for the purpose of:
i) concluding the affairs of the company, such as settling trading or business debts
ii) complying with any statutory requirement
iii) dispose of assets used to carry the business

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.


Who to tell about the strike off application

The directors who make the application must, within 7 days of sending the application to the registrar, send a copy to:
- creditors, including all existing and likely creditors such as banks, suppliers, former employees if the company owes them money, HMRC and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), employees, managers or trustees of any employee pension fund, any directors who have not signed the form.

What if the company is insolvent (can no longer pay its debt)

In order to apply for voluntary striking off the company must be solvent: the directors can be held to be personally accountable if the company is struck off without settling all its debts.

A company cannot apply to be struck off if it is the subject, or proposed subject, of:
- any insolvency proceedings such as liquidation, including where a petition has been presented but has not yet been dealt with
- a section 895 scheme (that is a compromise or arrangement between a company and its creditors or members)

You will commit an offence if you breach these restrictions. Dissolution is not a process for trying to evade creditors. If it is found you have failed to notify a creditor of your application to dissolve the company, you could be prosecuted and, in certain circumstances, barred from holding future directorships for a period of 15 years.

What Companies House does with the strike off application

Companies House will examine the form and, if it is acceptable, will:

- register the information and put it on the company’s public record
- send a notification to the company at its registered office address to enable it to object if the application is bogus
- publish notice of the proposed striking off in the Gazette to allow interested parties the opportunity to object
- place a copy of the Gazette notice on the company’s public record

If there is no reason to delay, the registrar will strike the company off the register not less than 2 months after the date of the notice. The company will be dissolved on publication of another notice in the relevant Gazette.

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