Close Menu
UK Liquidators

How to close a solvent company

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

What limited company closure method should you choose?

If you’re ready to retire or move on to other projects and are sure you won’t need a limited company again, it makes sense to close it down. That reduces the administration burden associated with making it dormant. If the limited company is solvent (can pay all its debts), there are two company closure routes: Voluntary Dissolution and a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation. Here we’ll guide you through each procedure so you know what to expect. 

Voluntary Dissolution - inexpensive and informal

The cheapest way to close a solvent company is via Voluntary Dissolution or Strike Off. In this process, you can apply to strike the business off the official register at Companies House and it will cease to exist.   

Voluntary Dissolution is an effective way to close a company that’s relatively straightforward and has a low value of retained profits. If the company has assets and retained profits worth more than £35,000 after it has paid all its liabilities, Members’ Voluntary Liquidation is likely to be a more tax-efficient closure method.    

To be eligible for Voluntary Dissolution, your company must not:

  • have traded, sold stock or changed its name in the last three months;
  • be threatened with liquidation by a creditor; 
  • have any outstanding creditor agreements (such as a Company Voluntary Arrangement).

How do I close my company via Voluntary Dissolution?

Strike Off is a process you can complete yourself by filling in and submitting form DS01 online or by posting the form to Companies House along with a £10 filing fee. Before you apply, there are several steps you must take to prepare the business for the dissolution process.

  • Inform all interested parties (creditors, staff, shareholders and HMRC) of your intention to dissolve the company.
  • Pay your employees their final wages and treat them according to redundancy procedures.
  • Sell or transfer company assets and use the proceeds to repay any outstanding creditors. You can then pay the remaining funds to the shareholders. 
  • Inform HMRC that you no longer employ staff, use PAYE or make National Insurance contributions. 
  • Send final statutory accounts and a company tax return to HMRC and pay all Corporation Tax and any other outstanding tax due. 

Once you’ve done that, you can then submit your striking off application. It will be published in the Gazette, and as long as no one objects, the company will be removed from the register after two months and will cease to exist.   

Members’ Voluntary Liquidation - formal and tax-efficient

A Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) might be a more appropriate way to close your limited company if it has significant retained profits or high-value assets to distribute to the shareholders. 

The key difference between an MVL and Strike Off is that the profits distributed to the shareholders via an MVL are subject to Capital Gains Tax. That can lead to a lower tax bill, particularly if you are eligible for Business Asset Disposal Relief. 

As it’s a formal procedure, you must appoint a licensed insolvency practitioner to administer the MVL. You’ll also have to pay their fee. Overall, that makes a company with retained profits of around £35,000 or more a good candidate for a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation.   

How do I close my company via Members’ Voluntary Liquidation?

The first step is to contact a licensed insolvency practitioner. If they agree that a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation represents the best way forward, you will need to pass a special resolution. That requires 75% of the company’s shareholders (by the value of their shares) to agree to the liquidation. All directors must also sign a Declaration of Solvency, which confirms that the company can repay all its debts. 

Acting as the liquidator, the insolvency practitioner will assess and sell the company’s assets. They’ll also invite claims from the company’s creditors and ensure all the liabilities are paid. They’ll then distribute the remaining funds among the shareholders before removing the company from the Companies House register. From that point, the company will cease to exist.  

From beginning to end, a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation typically takes from six months to a year depending on the complexity of the case. 

Voluntary Dissolution vs. Members’ Voluntary Liquidation: Which should I choose?

There are a couple of factors to consider when finding the most suitable way to close your solvent company. 

The financial cost

At just £10, closing your company via Voluntary Dissolution is significantly cheaper than an MVL. Therefore, if your company has few assets or retained profits, dissolution is likely to be the best option. 

If your assets and retained profits are worth £35,000 or more, the tax savings from an MVL will typically make it more cost-effective than Strike Off, even when you factor in the liquidator’s fee.    

The risks

There are some risks associated with the Voluntary Dissolution process, which arise from the fact that you manage the process yourself. You must settle all the outstanding liabilities and distribute the funds lawfully. You must also inform all relevant parties and treat all employees properly.

The fact that a liquidator handles the Members’ Voluntary Liquidation process reduces the risks significantly and should ensure your legal obligations are met. There are some personal risks, for example, if you intentionally or accidentally hide a debt from the liquidator during the MVL process then you could face repercussions. However, generally speaking, the risks associated with an MVL are less.  

I want to close my solvent company

If you’re ready to close a solvent company, contacting our team of insolvency practitioners will ensure you choose the right closure method and avoid potentially costly mistakes. Contact our team for a free, same-day consultation or alternatively arrange a meeting at one of our nationwide 100+ local offices.

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
Pages related to What limited company closure method should you choose?
Shareholders Meeting
Can a 50-50 shareholder put a company into liquidation?
Director Back Work
Can I be a director again after my business folds?
Liquidator Investigating The Company
Can I be investigated if my company goes into liquidation?
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*.
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