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Scotland Liquidators Bathgate

At Scotland Liquidators, our licensed insolvency practitioners operate across Bathgate and the surrounding area, advising limited company directors and business owners on their options when it comes to matters of both solvent and insolvent company closure. This starts with a free, confidential meeting during which your insolvency practitioner will take the time to get to the heart of your current situation before helping you to understand the options open to you and your company.

If your company is struggling under the weight of unmanageable debt which seems to be escalating, you may be putting your company at risk of being forced into compulsory liquidation following the presentation of a creditor’s winding up petition. If liquidation is inevitable, many directors opt to voluntarily initiate these proceedings rather than wait for the courts to get involved and force this decision upon them.

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Creditor’s Voluntary Liquidation in Bathgate

Voluntary liquidation is done through a formal process known as a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL). As part of the process, the appointed insolvency practitioner will liquidate all assets belonging to the insolvent company and will use the proceeds of this to repay outstanding creditors as far as possible. Following this, the company will then be officially closed with its name being removed from the register held at Companies House; it will then cease to exist as a legal entity.

Liquidation is also a viable option for solvent businesses which have reached the end of their useful life. Solvent liquidation is done through a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) which allows for tax-efficient distributions to be made to directors and shareholders. This is because distributions made via an MVL are treated as capital gains rather than income and are taxed accordingly. The effective rate of tax levied on distributions can be reduced even further by taking advantage of Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR), which will reduce the rate down to just 10%.

To discuss your company liquidation and closure options available in more detail, contact our team in Bathgate for immediate help and advice and to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with a licensed insolvency practitioner.

Closing a Scottish limited company with HMRC debts

If your limited company is no longer financially viable and you have tax debts you cannot pay, closing it down can be an effective way to escape the financial pressure so you can move on to something new.

As soon as you become aware your company is insolvent, you should cease trading and seek professional advice from an Insolvency Practitioner. Your legal duties as a director now switch from promoting the success of the company to acting in the best interests of your creditors (parties you owe money to). By ceasing trading, it prevents the company from building up further debts it cannot pay that you could be made personally liable for.

Once you have ceased trading, you can voluntarily enter the company into a formal insolvency procedure called a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL). You must appoint an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) to act as the liquidator. They will take control of the company, invite claims from your creditors and sell off the company’s assets to raise money to repay HMRC and any other creditors.

The liquidator will repay your creditors in a strict order. As long as you have acted according to the insolvency rules, any debts the company cannot pay in full, including the company’s tax debts, will be written off. You’ll only have personal liability issues if you have signed a personal guarantee to secure company borrowing.

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Why you need to act quickly with HMRC debts

Owing money to HMRC is not unusual. Most businesses in financial distress will have some form of tax debt. As the most common creditor in the UK, HMRC has strong powers of debt enforcement and will act quickly to recover its money and prevent you from accruing further tax liabilities you cannot pay.

It might be possible to negotiate a Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC, which will give you more time to pay what you owe. However, if your business is no longer financially viable, it’s in everyone’s best interests to close it down.

If you do not enter the company into liquidation voluntarily, HMRC can issue a Winding Up Petition to force the business into Compulsory Liquidation. As part of the process, the liquidator will investigate the reasons for the insolvency and the directors’ actions. That increases the likelihood that you will receive a penalty, such as being made personally liable for company debts or being handed a directorship ban.

Can I dissolve a company with tax debts in Scotland?

You might have heard of Company Dissolution or Strike Off as a way of closing your company. However, only solvent businesses can use this process. To dissolve your company, you would have to contact HMRC to settle your tax debts and repay all your other creditors in full. Only then could you apply to Companies House to strike your business off the official register.

If you try to dissolve a company without paying your tax debts, HMRC will formally object to your application. You could also face serious reprisals from the Insolvency Service, as it will be noted that you tried to use the strike-off process to avoid paying your debts.

Take our 60 Second Test to understand your options

There are three main ways to close a company in Scotland. Taking our 60 Second Test will help our advisers identify the correct route forward for you and your company.

While all three closure options have their advantages and disadvantages, the right one for you will depend on a number of factors including the current financial position of the company and your plans for the future.

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Why close a company with HMRC debts via a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation?

If you want to close your limited company and have tax debts you cannot pay, you have two options. You can:

  • put the company into liquidation voluntarily via a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL); or
  • wait for HMRC or another creditor to force you into Compulsory Liquidation.

There are several benefits associated with taking control of the situation by initiating a CVL:

  • You can decide when you enter liquidation and appoint your choice of liquidator.
  • The liquidator will still scrutinise your conduct, but there’s less risk that director misconduct allegations will be made against you.
  • If you have worked as an employee of the company for a minimum of 16 hours a week for at least two years, you could be eligible for company director redundancy pay.

If you’re unsure of your next steps or want to know more about how to close a limited company with HMRC debts, please contact the team at Scotland Liquidators. We offer free same-day consultations and provide expert guidance and support throughout the process.

Supporting 25,000+ Limited Company Directors

I knew I needed to close my company but I wasn’t sure how to go about this with large debts that I was unable to repay. Scotland Liquidators clearly explained my options and held my hand throughout the entire process.

Catherine Muller | Director

I would highly recommend Scotland Liquidators to anyone considering closing their business. From the first phone call I knew where I stood and what my options were. I cannot thank them enough.

Jonathan Booth | Director

Scotland Liquidators helped me close my company last year after I made the tough decision to stop trading. My advisor was patient, knowledgeable, and supportive from start to finish. Many thanks.

Colin Franklin | Former CEO

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Contact the Scotland Liquidators Team

There are several options when it comes to closing a limited company and it is vitally important you choose the one which is right for you, your company, and your creditors. Whether you are struggling with rising costs, falling trade, or impatient creditors, we are here to help.

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