Close Menu
UK Liquidators

What is the role of the Official Receiver in a liquidation process?

Low-Cost Liquidation
100% Confidential
Stop HMRC & Creditor Pressure
Partner-led Service

Responsibilities of an Official Receiver during company liquidation

The Official Receiver (OR) plays a key role in compulsory liquidations, where a creditor obtains a winding up order from the court. The OR is notified and takes initial control of the liquidation process.

It’s not always the case that they complete the entire procedure, however. In some instances an independent liquidator is appointed to administer the liquidation process and distribute funds to creditors.

The Official Receiver is a court officer, but also works in support of the Insolvency Service, so what might the OR do during a liquidation process – what is their role?

Provisional liquidator

If a creditor petitions for a company to be wound up, in some instances they may also be concerned that the company’s assets will be deliberately disposed of or sold by the directors.

In this case the Official Receiver can act as provisional liquidator, their role being to protect these assets and safeguard the interests of creditors. If the assets were sold prior to liquidation taking place, the company’s creditors would suffer further losses as a result.

Worried about your Bounce Back Loan?

If you are a limited company director worried about how you are going to repay your Bounce Back Loan, we are here to help. As licensed insolvency practitioners we can talk you through your options when it comes to repaying your outstanding Bounce Back Loan, as well as handling all negotiations with creditors on your behalf. Call our team today on 0800 063 9262 .

Controlling company affairs

When the Official Receiver is appointed as liquidator they take over control of company affairs from the directors. This involves protecting assets as previously mentioned, and also dealing with contracts, the company’s liabilities, and any other administrative requirements of the liquidation.

Essentially, directors lose control of their company as soon as the Official Receiver is appointed. They must comply with the OR’s requests – for information or financial documentation, for example – and must not attempt to obstruct proceedings.

Scrutinising company books and financial affairs

To obtain an idea of why the company has entered insolvency, and also to be able to administer the process, the Official Receiver will scrutinise the company’s books, accounts, and general financial affairs. This includes establishing the number and type of assets owned by the business, its liabilities, obligations under contract, and employee matters.

Realising assets

When assets are realised it means they’re sold at auction by the Official Receiver, who then distributes the proceeds of sale to creditors. This is one of the OR’s major roles in a liquidation process as it brings in money for creditors, although unsecured creditors sometimes receive little in the way of a return.

The Official Receiver also has the power to reverse transactions they deem unlawful prior to insolvency. In some cases they may have caused the insolvency of the company, or at least contributed to the business’ poor financial situation.

Start your online liquidation today

If you have decided liquidation is the right option for your limited company, you can take the first step and begin the process online using our online portal. Starting the process is quick, simple, and can be done at a time that suits you. Your information will be submitted to your local UK Liquidators insolvency practitioner who will be with you every step of the way. Click here to start your company’s liquidation online.

Investigating director conduct

Another key role of the Official Receiver during a liquidation process is investigating director conduct during the period leading up to insolvency. The OR will interview directors and obtain a broad picture of how the company was run, whether there might be cause for concern regarding the conduct of directors, and if further action is needed.

A report is sent to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skills, and a decision made as to whether the directors should be investigated further. The initial report by the OR typically paints a clear picture of how directors have conducted their business, however, and can lead to serious consequences in some cases.

The Official Receiver works in the interests of company creditors, as well as in the interests of the public at large. The investigations they conduct can safeguard individuals and other businesses from unscrupulous directors who sometimes run a number of companies that enter insolvency and cause financial harm to many.

If you would like more information on the Official Receiver’s role in a liquidation process, and how they influence liquidations in general, please contact our team of experts at UK Liquidators for a free same-day consultation. We are liquidation specialists and operate an extensive network of offices throughout the UK.

Jonathan Munnery
Insolvency & Restructuring Expert

If you are considering liquidation for your limited company, taking advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner can help you understand your options.

Is liquidation the right option for you?

Take our 60 second test and find out

Company health risk assessment
Types of liquidation available
Alternatives to liquidation
Understand your next steps
60 Second Liquidation Test
Did you know?
Are you eligible to claim Director Redundancy?
As a Limited Company Director you may be entitled to claim Director Redundancy - Average UK claim is £9,000*.
Pages related to What is the role of the Official Receiver in a liquidation process?
A Creditor Tablet
How can I stop a creditor putting my company into liquidation?
HMRC Stone Sign
Can HMRC liquidate a company?
Businessman With Calculator
Company is facing a winding up petition
Ready to Liquidate?
Express Liquidation Service
Ready to start liquidating today? Complete the form and a member of our team will be in touch.
Please note: By completing this form you are not liquidating your company
Contact the UK Liquidators Team

If you are considering liquidation for your company, taking expert advice at an early stage is crucial. At UK Liquidators, our team of licensed insolvency practitioners are committed to providing limited company directors with the help and advice they need to make an informed decision.

  • Free initial consultation
  • Strictly confidential
  • Fully licensed insolvency practitioners
  • Local office support
  • Named case handler throughout
Logo Tma
Logo Business Recovery
Logo Cse
Logo Iip

Looking for immediate support?

Complete the below to get in touch

100% Free & Confidential Advice

This site uses cookies to monitor site performance and provide a more responsive and personalised experience. You must agree to our use of certain cookies. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please read our PRIVACY POLICY