Whether you are looking for an Insolvency Practitioner to close your business or to turn it around and restore profitability, your choice of Insolvency Practitioner will determine how well you meet your desired outcomes. Therefore, choosing an Insolvency Practitioner is a big decision for any company.
An Insolvency Practitioner is appointed to find the best solution for your business, meaning it is important to do your research to find the right one for your company and case.
For help with making the all-important decision, Clarke Bell has put together this guide on finding the best Insolvency Practitioner for the job. We will look at the role of an Insolvency Practitioner and the key factors to look out for when appointing one to work with.
What is an Insolvency Practitioner’s Role?
In the UK, when a company undergoes liquidation, an Insolvency Practitioner must legally be appointed to oversee and carry out the process.
The Insolvency Practitioner must be fully licensed and authorised under the Insolvency Act 1986 to work with company and personal insolvency.
The aim of an Insolvency Practitioner is to offer their expert insolvency advice in order to find the best way forward for your company under the circumstances.
When must an Insolvency Practitioner be appointed?
An Insolvency Practitioner must be appointed when:
- Company directors and shareholders have decided to close their insolvent, unsustainable business through a Creditors’ Voluntary Agreement
- Company directors and shareholders have decided to close their solvent business in a tax-efficient manner through a Members’ Voluntary Agreement
- A company in financial distress is looking for business rescue
Who can I use as an Insolvency Practitioner?
As we have already touched on, you are legally required to appoint a licensed Insolvency Practitioner to liquidate your company. You cannot do this yourself and those that are not licensed do not have the authority to liquidate a company.
Therefore, when looking at which Insolvency Practitioner to utilise, your first priority should always be to check that they are fully qualified and licensed to practice.
The sad fact is that, as in any industry, there are a handful of firms out there who offer insolvency advice when they are not licensed to do so. That’s why it’s important to check this first and foremost in order to save your time and money.
The firm or Insolvency Practitioners’ website should clearly highlight that they are licensed to practice, and you can also look out for qualifications from the following recognised bodies:
- Insolvency of Practitioners Association
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
What else should I look out for when choosing an Insolvency Practitioner?
As well as ensuring the Insolvency Practitioner is licensed, there are other things you should look out for when appointing the best person for your case.
Are they experienced?
As we have already mentioned, the Insolvency Practitioner you choose to work with will heavily impact how well you meet your desired outcomes. Analysing your case in detail, they will advise you on the best route forward for your company under the circumstances.
That’s why it’s so important to work with a licensed Insolvency Practitioner that has a wealth of experience of working with similar cases to yours in your field or sector. This will mean they can offer expert insolvency advice geared towards your particular case.
It will also mean they will be more likely to be able to identify the causes of your difficulties and advise on the best route forward for you.
Do they have a solid reputation?
It’s always a sensible idea to work with an Insolvency Practitioner that you can trust to deliver results.
That’s why working with an Insolvency Practitioner with a solid reputation is always a good idea. Thankfully it’s never been easier to do your research. Carry out a Google search of your chosen Insolvency Practitioner to see reviews of experiences with that person or firm. This should give you a good idea of how well the firm can be trusted, although it is always sensible to take online reviews with a pinch of salt.
Another indicator of reputation is how long the firm has been trading. After all, a firm that has been going for years and has a solid track record of happy customers is clearly doing something right.
Are they strong communicators?
Another important element when choosing the right Insolvency Practitioner to work with is how well they can communicate.
After all, it is the job of the Insolvency Practitioner to be able to clearly communicate with the company director and stakeholders to inform them of the best route forward under the circumstances.
Insolvency cases can often be complex, so you need to appoint an Insolvency Practitioner that can communicate in a jargon-free manner so you know you’re getting on the right track.
A good way of testing the communication skills of an Insolvency Practitioner is to set up a free, initial meeting to see if their communication skills meet your expectations. For example, here at Clarke Bell, we offer free, initial meetings so you can see if we’re the best fit for you.
How much do they charge in fees?
Inevitably, money is an important factor in the decision-making process. Nobody wants to work with an Insolvency Practitioner that charges sky-high fees, but likewise, the lowest fee can sometimes mean poor service so it isn’t always the best option
For this reason, it’s important to do your research. Shop around and retrieve quotes from several different companies, to ensure you get a fair deal.
As we have already mentioned, here at Clark Bell we offer an initial, no-obligation consultation free of charge. This is a great way to get to know the Insolvency Practitioner further to see what service level you will get in return for the fee.
Frequently Asked Questions on How To Find an Insolvency Practitioner:
What are the benefits of a local insolvency practitioner?
When searching for an insolvency practitioner, a factor often left unconsidered is where they are based. While it can be tempting to narrow your search down only to a specific price range or level of quality, this can overlook a very important factor – local rules and practices. An insolvency practitioner local to an insolvent company will likely have a far greater understanding of the local business situation than one based elsewhere, which can be incredibly beneficial in procedures where a buyer must be lined up, such as company administration. The insolvency practitioner’s knowledge of the local financial climate can help find a suitable buyer, or otherwise navigate the commercial landscape.
In addition to this, a local insolvency practitioner is much easier to communicate with than one based elsewhere. Although video calls are used much more frequently as of late, and are much more sophisticated than they used to be, nothing is as effective as an in-person meeting. Such meetings are much more practical, making it easier to share information with and rely on your insolvency practitioner. However, if an insolvency practitioner is not local, it can be much more difficult to arrange in-person meetings, and most will likely have to be online.
How to find a local insolvency practitioner
Thankfully, finding a local insolvency practitioner is quite easy. You have two main options available; doing a simple internet search for local insolvency practitioners yourself, making sure to specify your town or city, or visiting a site that collates information on insolvency practitioners. Oftentimes, such sites will include the areas that insolvency practitioners are based in, and also allow you to search their database for insolvency practitioners in your area.
If neither of these methods brings about a good solution for you, check with your local Chamber of Commerce. If you specify what you need from an insolvency practitioner, they might be able to put you in touch with one that meets your requirements.
How much does a licensed insolvency practitioner cost?
The exact cost of hiring an insolvency practitioner depends on the procedure being used, and the insolvency practitioner themselves. Naturally, some will charge a higher price for their services than others, making shopping around for a good deal a must.
At Clarke Bell, we make it a point to provide a quality service at an affordable price. Our two most commonly used services, Members’ Voluntary Liquidation, and Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation, are priced at £995 plus VAT and disbursements, and £1995 plus VAT, respectively. We also offer a free, no-obligation consultation where you can ask as many questions as you like and get to know us and our service.
See how Clarke Bell’s Insolvency Practitioners can help
Choosing the right Insolvency Practitioner to work with is an important decision. So, if you are looking for a Practitioner with a strong reputation and proven track record of experience, our team of experts are here to help.
To see what we can do for you, simply get in touch to discuss your options today.