On 16 April 2020, Companies House announced temporary changes that “will help businesses avoid being struck off the Companies House register as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”
These temporary changes apply to both the application for voluntary strike off (DS01) and strike off by the registrar.
Changes to the application for voluntary strike off
Companies House will still publish a notice in the Gazette when a company applies for voluntary strike off. This tells the public that the company is applying to be struck off the register.
However, as of 16 April 2020, Companies House will suspend any further action to strike off and dissolve the company to protect creditors and other interested parties who may wish to object to the company being struck off.
Changes to strike off by the registrar
If companies do not file their annual accounts or confirmation statements, Companies House will still send them the usual two letters. However, it will not publish a Gazette notice indicating its intention to strike off the company.
At the end of March, Companies House also announced that businesses would be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts. This measure is still in place. Companies will still need to apply for an extension to be granted, but for those citing issues around COVID-19 they will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.
Martin Swain, Director of Strategy, Policy and Communications at Companies House said:
“We know that many businesses are finding it difficult to keep up with their filing requirements at the moment.
We’re committed to helping them meet their legal responsibilities while keeping the register as up to date as possible.
We will continue to contact customers to remind them of their responsibilities, and we encourage all companies to file their statutory documents as soon as they’re able to do so.”
Do these changes apply to every business?
These changes do not apply to companies being dissolved under an insolvency procedure, such as administration or a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).
If you’re looking for help closing your insolvent company, contact us at Clarke Bell for free, initial advice on your best course of action.