You can apply to the court to ‘wind up’ a company if it can’t pay its debts of more than £750.
Your application to the court is known as a ‘winding up petition’. If successful, the company will be put into liquidation.
You may not get all or any of the money you’re owed – a debt specialist (eg a solicitor) can help you work out the best way to recover a debt and send your petition.
Before you petition the court
You must be able to:
prove the company owes more than £750 (to one or more creditors) prove the company can’t repay what they owe
You can use a statutory demand to do this. This is a formal request for the debt to be paid. You can petition the court if the company:
doesn’t respond to the statutory demand within 21 days breaks a written promise to pay the debt.
Forms and fees
To petition the court, you need to arrange to send the right forms to the court that can deal with your petition and pay the court fees.
You need form 4.2 and a statement of truth. You must fill in 3 copies and sign each one.
The statement of truth is a legal document which says that everything you’ve written in the petition is true. You can buy one from a legal stationers.
You need certain details about the company (eg the registered office address), you can get these from Companies House.
The fees are:
£220 – court fees £1,165 – petition deposit (for managing the ‘winding up’)
You might be able get the fees back if the company can afford to repay them.
You can pay using cash, postal orders or a building society, bank or solicitor’s cheque made payable to Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service.
Where to send the petition
If the company has a ‘paid up share capital’ of more than £120,000 (this will be shown in the company information) send the petition to the High Court.
The High Court
7 Rolls Buildings
For other companies, use the court finder to find a court dealing with insolvency. You must use a court nearest to the company’s registered office.
The court hearing
If the court accepts your petition, they’ll arrange a date for a hearing.
You need to serve the winding up petition by:
delivering it to the company’s registered office sending it by registered post paying a process serving company to do it
To prove that the petition was served, send a ‘certificate of personal service’ to the court where you submitted the petition.
What happens next
At least 7 working days before the hearing, place an advert in the London Gazette saying the petition has been served.
At least 5 working days before the hearing, send a copy of the advertisement and a certificate of compliance to the court.
At the hearing
You must bring a list of everyone who will be attending the hearing.
If the petition is successful, the company will be wound up and put into liquidation.
The liquidator will decide if and how any available funds are distributed to creditors.
How to issue a winding up petition – forms and fees to wind up a company to recover any money you’re owed