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21st April 2020

COVID-19 Update: Changes to the Companies House strike off procedure

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On 16 April 2020, Companies House announced temporary changes to its strike procedures as part of its measures to protect and support businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak. The new measures eases strike off activity for a temporary period. These measures include changes to the application for voluntary strike off (DS01) and strike off by the registrar.

Application for voluntary strike off

When a company makes a voluntary application for strike off, Companies House will publish a notice in the Gazette in accordance with its usual practice – which tells the public that the company is applying to be struck off the register.

However, Companies House will suspend any further action to strike off and dissolve the company. The aim of this new measure is to protect creditors and other interested parties who may wish to object to the company being struck off.

Strike off by the registrar

Companies that do not file their annual accounts or confirmation statement usually receives two letters from Companies House, after which a notice is published in the Gazette to inform the public that the registrar intends to strike off the company.

Whilst the temporary measures are in place, Companies House will continue to write to companies that have failed to file their annual accounts or confirmation statement, however it will not publish a Gazette notice indicating its intention to strike off the company.

The above changes do not apply to businesses being dissolved under an insolvency procedure, such as administration or liquidation. Companies House have also reported that these temporary measures will be reviewed from 1 May 2020.

For more information, please click here to email David Browne or speak to a member of Hewitsons’ corporate team.