Companies House support for businesses hit by COVID-19

Blog SMEs

An interesting move by Companies House to suspend the striking off process for all companies. In the attached publication the focus has been made on supporting businesses affected by Covid-19 and to ensure that companies do not get struck off accidentally.

I suspect that there is more to this than is being disclosed as it even stops the process when a striking off application is submitted ie. a director has consciously attempted to dissolve the company. This may be when a company no longer serves a purpose or has never traded. Alternatively it has been used by directors to make it more difficult for them to be held accountable, avoid payment of debts and to hide disclosure of the affairs of a company. The publication sets out the following:

For companies who make an application for voluntary dissolution, the DS01 (striking off application by a company) will be registered at Companies House and a notice published in the Gazette. However, after this point, any further action to strike off the company will be suspended.

There have been long term issues with the strike off process in that many companies are struck off despite being insolvent and in particular with outstanding debts to H M Revenue & Customs. I would interpret this as a clear step that the Government do not want to let companies slip through the net and be dissolved whilst resources are focused elsewhere.  Read More