Received a winding up petition?

Your options after receiving a winding up petition

If you have received a Winding up Petition (WUP), or even a Statutory Demand (which will usually lead to a WUP if not paid in the 21 days), the time to act is right now, if you do not act now, you risk your company being put in to Compulsory Liquidation, where directors loose control of the company and the Official Receiver takes over to liquidate the company. A WUP is as serious as it gets for a company, because you will no longer be in control or have any say in what happens to the company once liquidation begins.

If you act now, by contacting a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner (such as Purnells) they may be able to stop the WUP from being granted and liquidation commencing, and perhaps move you over to a more favourable Company Voluntary Arrangement (saving the company), Creditors Voluntary Liquidation or Administration.

What is a Winding up Petition?

It is a court document, filed by a creditor, signalling that your company is insolvent and unable to pay it's debts (at least £750 must be owed), which will forcefully put the company in to liquidation. After a Winding up Petition has been filed with the court, and a standard 7 days have elapsed where you have the opportunity to either settle the debt or potentially appoint an Insolvency Practitioner to oversee an alternative procedure (fast action is critical!), your company will be automatically placed in to Compulsory Liquidation, as managed by the Official Receiver (an operative of the government's Insolvency Service). Once a company has been planed in to Compulsory Liquidation, the directors are no longer in control of the company.

The Procedure

In order for a Winding up Petition to be granted, first a Statutory Demand (SD) must be issued to you, which gives you a standard 21 days to settle your debt before a WUP can be issued (think of a SD as a final notice).

Once the 21 days on the Statutory Demand have elapsed, the creditor can follow it up with a Winding up Petition to the court, which signals that the creditor has tried all other avenues of collecting their debt, considers the company to be insolvent and request that the court start liquidation proceedings to potentially recover at least some of their debt after the company's assets have been sold.

After the court accepts the WUP, the company has 7 days to either settle the debt or appoint an Insolvency Practitioner to commence a CVA/Administration. If no action is taken, a Winding up Order is granted, giving the Official Receiver control of the company, who will liquidate it (via Compulsory Liquidation) and remunerate creditors via sale of any company assets then strike the company from the register.

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