In this article, we look at the processes involved in closing down your limited company for good – to have it struck off the Companies House register and dissolved.
If you have decided to cease using your company, rather than making it dormant for a period of time, you need to follow the following steps to complete the process.
Assuming the company is able to meet any outstanding debts, once you’ve decided to close the company, you should not run any further transactions through the company aside from those related to closing the company.
Steps to take in order to close down your company
1. If your company has any creditors or other shareholders, you will need to warn them in advance as in case any of them object to the company being struck off.
2. You will need to settle any outstanding debts you may have.
4. A final payroll will be run for you and any other staff you employ, who will all be issued with P45s. The company will also be required to inform HMRC that the payroll will expire via Real Time Information (RTI) – which has replaced the old P35 employer annual return form.
5. Final accounts should be prepared and submitted to Companies House. This step might take place a few months after trading has ceased, to allow for any final reconciliation and expenses to be reconciled.
6. The company must pay its final Corporation Tax bill. You have 9 months to do this, however, the company cannot be shut down until all tax liabilities have been settled.
7. Any money left in the company, after all expenses and tax liabilities have been settled, should be distributed to shareholders.
8. Once you have taken care of these administrative tasks, you can apply to Companies House to have the company struck off and dissolved. You will need to submit Form DS01 (Application for striking off), and pay a £10 fee.
9. Within 7 days of submitting Form DS01, you must inform all of your shareholders, any creditors, employees, and directors who did not sign the form.
10. Assuming you have completed the form correctly, the registrar will publish a notice of its intention to dissolve the company in the relevant Gazette (London, Edinburgh or Belfast).
11. If no interested parties object, then the company will be dissolved three months after the notice was published in the Gazette. A further notice will then be published, confirming the dissolution of the company.
You should also refer to this Companies House guide (on Company Strike Off and Dissolution) to striking off a company for further information. For obvious reasons, an accountant should guide you through the entire striking off process, to ensure you have followed the correct procedures.