Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL)

What is a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation?

If your company needs to be liquidated, and you care about your future business reputation, you are far better to Liquidate your company voluntarily with a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).

{See the implications of letting your company go into ‘Compulsory’ Liquidation.}

A director can propose a CVL if:

  • their company can’t pay its debts – i.e. it is ‘insolvent’
  • the shareholders agree and pass a ‘winding-up resolution’.

If a company does go into CVL, it means it will stop trading and be liquidated – i.e. ‘wound up’.

A CVL acknowledges your duties as a director to your creditors.

How much does a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation cost?

We have 2 different pricing structures depending on your individual situation:

Basic CVLs   Complex CVLs

In some cases the cost of the Liquidation can be met from the value of the assets sold.

We will advise you if this is possible in your case.


Getting the best for all the Stakeholders

It is vital to balance the needs of the company director(s) with the duties owed to all the stakeholders who are involved with the company (including employees and creditors).

As Licensed Insolvency Practitioners we ensure this balance is achieved.


If an advisor tells you that they can protect just the interests of the director(s) and that you don’t need to worry about anyone else – then they are acting outside the law.

Doing it correctly and legally

Clarke Bell act within the law to help you:

  • Deal with the Insolvency
  • Help you move forward

And, crucially, you can do all of this without having to look over your shoulder – because you will know that everything has been done correctly and legally.

What it is not…

A CVL should not be confused with a ‘Compulsory’ Liquidation.

A Compulsory Liquidation is a process by which the Court appoints a government official (the ‘Official Receiver’) to take control of your company because you have failed to pay your debts and are clearly insolvent.

The immediate effects of the court order are:

  • to place the company’s affairs under the control of the Official Receiver
  • freeze all assets, including bank receipts and payments
  • terminate all contracts
  • suspend the powers of the directors.

The Official Receiver will then take steps to take control of all the assets and records of the company and simultaneously conduct an investigation into the causes of the company’s failure and the conduct of directors and influential shareholders.

But even before the Court makes the order, the actions leading to a Compulsory Liquidation can be seriously damaging to the business. Typically, the court makes an order for Compulsory Liquidation following an application by an unpaid creditor. When the creditor issues the application, he or she will also advertise it in the London Gazette, an action which nearly always leads to difficulties with banks and major institutions.

By letting your company go into Compulsory Liquidation, some of the effects could be:

  • your future credit terms from lenders might be adversely affected
  • professionals (e.g. banks & other lenders, accountants and solicitors) may take a dim view on directors who took this course of action, rather than taking control of the situation
  • you might be viewed as someone who has been complacent and reckless with regards to your fiduciary duties.

For your FREE advice call 0161 907 4044


The Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation process

We try to make the process as simple as possible for all parties concerned.

We have worked alongside hundreds of different business owners, to help them rescue businesses and companies that they have built up, sometimes over many years. But sometimes, the company’s debts are simply too large – in those instances, we are able to guide the business into an efficient and cost effective Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation, ensuring that the directors meet all of their legal obligations.

When you contact us, our friendly team will guide you through every step of the process.

We charge £1,995 (including VAT and disbursements) for a ‘Basic’ CVL.

The cost for a ‘Complex’ CVL is determined on a case by case basis.

In most cases there is no need for face-to-face meetings (thanks to changes in the Insolvency Rules & Regulations). So, normally you can ‘attend’ the meeting from the comfort of your own office – or your Accountant’s office.

There can be circumstances in which directors will be called upon to meet with the Liquidator, however, and failure to do so can be deemed an offence and/or grounds for disqualification.


How a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation works

When you contact us, we will listen to your situation and work with you (and, in many cases, with your Accountant) to find the best solution. This can be done over the phone or face-to-face at a mutually convenient location.

This advice is free of charge, with no obligation.

When you appoint us, you will be provided with a Payment Request and Letter of Engagement.

We will ask you to provide us with some detailed information – including a Director’s Questionnaire giving a history of the company and the reasons it is considering insolvency, along with Books & Records, payroll records and formal identification documentation for Anti-Money Laundering purposes.

We will prepare all the documentation and speak with all necessary parties.

The first step in placing the company into Liquidation would be to convene a Board Meeting of Directors. This can be held at your home/office address – with no need for our attendance.

At the Board Meeting, the director(s) will sign the necessary paperwork confirming that the company is insolvent and that steps will be taken to place the company into Liquidation. We will e-mail you all the documentation that you will need to sign. Once the documentation is signed, you will need to return it to us.

At this Board Meeting, you will instruct Clarke Bell to prepare the necessary Notices for the forthcoming Meetings of Members and Creditors. This includes advertising the resolution in The Gazette publication.

The Meetings of Members and Creditors are usually both held on the same day, approximately two weeks after the Board Meeting. It is at these meetings that the company will be formally placed into Liquidation.

Where the Meetings of Members and Creditors are held on-line via web link, you will need to be in front of a computer/laptop/tablet with web cam facility.

The Meetings of Members and Creditors can also be held in our office, if that is more convenient for the parties involved.

The Meetings of Members and Creditors last approximately 45 minutes.

The creditors will be notified about the meeting (at least 7 days before it happens) and it will be advertised in The Gazette.

The Meeting of Creditors gives the company’s creditors an opportunity to ask the company director(s) about the failure of the business. The company’s Statement of Affairs (giving details of the company’s situation and assets) is also presented at the Meeting.

We will assist you with all of this. (It is often the case than no creditors will actually attend the meeting.)

For your FREE advice call 0161 907 4044



One of the duties of an Insolvency Practitioner / Liquidator is to conduct an investigation into the affairs of an insolvent company. (This is known as a “SIP 2 investigation”).

This is not something to be feared – unless you are deliberately trying to hide some misconduct. (If this is the case we will not be able help you).

Included within our investigation is:

  • determining what assets can be realised
  • seeing if any other recoveries can be made
  • conducting a preliminary review of the books, records and minutes for the last 6 months to identify any unusual or exceptional transactions.

(If it is required, a more detailed investigation will be conducted.)

A director’s unintentional actions can be corrected

Occasionally we see a director who has done something they thought was acceptable, but in fact it is not permitted under the Insolvency Regulations. An example is paying one creditor “in preference” to their other creditors.

This action will need to be rectified.

We will advise you how this can be done to ensure that you are complying with all the relevant Regulations.

The benefits you get from our investigation duties

You will have peace of mind knowing that your Liquidation has been dealt with properly and professionally.

Example of CVLs

Manufacturing firm

Our client was a small firm that ran into problems due to the Recession. Its problems were made worse when its bank reduced its overdraft facility and subsequently removed it altogether.

The director decided to address this by taking out a loan against his house to pay off some of the company’s debt. Despite making a substantial payment to their major creditor, this creditor took out a winding-up petition against the company for the remaining balance.

Click here to see why a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation was the best solution.


The owners of a restaurant discussed their cashflow issues with their Accountant and were recommended to discuss the matter with us. Our senior partner met the owners for a (free) consultation where it was clear that the company was insolvent – i.e. it could not pay its bills when they fell due.

Company directors are not allowed to trade a company knowing that it is insolvent – so urgent action was required.

Click here for more details.

Working Men’s Club

Working Men’s Clubs and Social Clubs have been struggling in recent years. One club we helped found the pressure from their creditors was so intense that there was no option apart from the company going into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.

Click here for more details.

For your FREE advice call 0161 907 4044

Business Debt

Business Debt

Thank you for all your help with the liquidation matters. You were a joy to deal with.



Thanks to the help I received from Clarke Bell, I am able to pay off my debts in a reasonable and realistic manner.



Our MVL was handled in a timely manner and I was kept informed of progress throughout.

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