March 27th, 2017 / Insight posted in The Sunday Times Business Doctor

Business Doctor: My company has been struck off

EF writes: I have just discovered that my company was struck off the Companies House register nearly 12 months ago because it did not file accounts on time. I have continued to trade and my company bank account has operated as normal. What can I do to correct this?

Once a company is struck off, any assets remaining no longer have a legal owner and become the possession of the crown under the bona vacantia rules, writes Jon Dawson, partner at Kingston Smith LLP. Any funds in the bank and other assets owned at the strike-off date do not belong to the company.

You can apply for the company to be put back on the register through an administrative restoration any time within six years of the strike-off.

This can be submitted only by a former director or shareholder and will make the company appear as if it continued to exist and validate any trade in the intervening months.

You first need to obtain a bona vacantia waiver letter from the crown representative (the Treasury solicitor) confirming no objection to the restoration.

Then ask Companies House for the company to be formally restored. You need to file an RT01 restoration form together with a copy of the waiver letter and any statutory documents that would have been due if the company had continued to exist—the accounts, annual return, or the confirmation statement. Also, you must pay any late filing penalties up to the restoration date.

Alternatively, you could form a new company, although you would have to surrender any assets from the original company to the crown representative. Any trading you have done in the company name since strike-off could be contested by customers and suppliers, with the directors having personal liability for any contracts.