My Company Struck Off - Bank Account Balance Sent to Companies House My Company Struck Off - Bank Account Balance Sent to Companies House
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  1. #1

    Default My Company Struck Off - Bank Account Balance Sent to Companies House

    Hi, can anyone tell me what the situation is with funds from a closed down company being sent to Companies House?

    I’ve had a limited company that I’ve recently closed down because it was no longer trading. (I was the owner and only shareholder) Back in December I asked my accountant to strike the company off, and he sent a request to Companies House. I left the bank account open, with £5K in it – this was my money which I’d kept in the company bank account to ensure there was always enough funds in the account. I believe my accountant treated it as a loan from me to the company.

    At any rate, I left the bank account open, intending to close it as soon as I heard the striking off process had completed. However, I heard nothing from Companies House – but have just been informed by my bank that because the company has been struck off, they’ve sent the money to – I believe – Companies House, saying they are obliged to by regulations, and that if I want it back, I need to contact a solicitor. This has come at a really bad time as for various reasons I do suddenly need that money quite urgently.

    Apologies if this post is vague, the communication with my bank has largely been by phone - I believe they will be writing to me, but I don’t yet have much more specific details, and when I asked my bank for more information, they basically said ‘look on the companies house website’, which isn’t very helpful.

    I had no idea anything like this could happen, and am quite horrified that my money can apparently suddenly be appropriated by the Government in this way, without warning. But on a more practical level, can someone tell me (a) how I can get the money back, and (b) explain in more detail what is likely to have happened?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Look up Bona vacantia. You will find all that you need to know here.

    What happened is exactly what is supposed to happen. It's a shame that your accountant did not advise you of this when he agreed to make the application for you. There is a lesson here in that as a director and shareholder, it is up to you and you alone to ask specifically what the consequences of an action are before you go ahead and authorise someone to do something on your behalf. Apologies to our resdident accountants but in my exp, especially when you are dealing with your accountant.

    "To restore a struck off or dissolved company to the register at Companies House and continue trading you need to bring all of the struck off or dissolved company's affairs up to date. It is sometimes possible to make an application to release frozen cash or assets (held bona vacantia) and immediately strike the company off again, which is less onerous and often more economically viable, as it avoids a full company restoration. If a company was trading at the time of strike off it may be eligible for an administrative restoration under sections 1024 – 1049 of the Companies Act 2006."


    As you applied for a voluntary striking off, I don't believe that you can go for simple adminstrative restoration.
    Last edited by tractor; 18th July 2012 at 23:07.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tractor View Post
    What happened is exactly what is supposed to happen. It's a shame that your accountant did not advise you of this when he agreed to make the application for you.
    Agreed, this is how the process works.

    Oh dear, what a mess. Not uncommon though. I thought companies house would warn the director that their company assets would become Bona Vacantia though.

    It sounds like royalfirespirit applied for the dissolution without consulting an accountant because any accountant worth tuppence would make it absolutely positively crystal clear to the director that the bank account must be emptied before the company is struck off. If an accountant was paid for advice and they didn't tell you what the process was then I'd go back to them and ask "what now" and get them to sort the whole mess out for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by tractor View Post
    As you applied for a voluntary striking off, I don't believe that you can go for simple adminstrative restoration.
    I think you are right, see administrative Restoration, it says "This process does not apply where a company has been struck off the register at their own request under section 652A of the Companies Act"

    So what are the options now, out of interest? Or can you go through bonavacantia.gov.uk though I think they only give you back £3,000 max? How much does it cost to get a court order to restore the company?

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    You can approach the Treasury Solicitor and reclaim your funds that way, but it's a long process and they can retain part of the money for 'admin fees'. You'll need to get proof from HMRC that all taxes are paid, and get signed declarations from the shareholders. Your accountant may also charge fees for handling the process, although I agree with wanderer that he should have warned you to close the bank before he prepared closure accounts and submitted the DS01.

    As Tractor says, look up Bona Vacantia. http://www.bonavacantia.gov.uk/outpu...acantia-1.aspx

  5. #5

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    All notices of companies to be struck off are published in the London Gazette, to restore a company generally you need a court order and it normally costs between 1-2k to restore a company. I used to see this a lot when I worked at CH
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalfirespirit View Post
    Hi, can anyone tell me what the situation is with funds from a closed down company being sent to Companies House?

    I’ve had a limited company that I’ve recently closed down because it was no longer trading. (I was the owner and only shareholder) Back in December I asked my accountant to strike the company off, and he sent a request to Companies House. I left the bank account open, with £5K in it – this was my money which I’d kept in the company bank account to ensure there was always enough funds in the account. I believe my accountant treated it as a loan from me to the company.

    At any rate, I left the bank account open, intending to close it as soon as I heard the striking off process had completed. However, I heard nothing from Companies House – but have just been informed by my bank that because the company has been struck off, they’ve sent the money to – I believe – Companies House, saying they are obliged to by regulations, and that if I want it back, I need to contact a solicitor. This has come at a really bad time as for various reasons I do suddenly need that money quite urgently.

    Apologies if this post is vague, the communication with my bank has largely been by phone - I believe they will be writing to me, but I don’t yet have much more specific details, and when I asked my bank for more information, they basically said ‘look on the companies house website’, which isn’t very helpful.

    I had no idea anything like this could happen, and am quite horrified that my money can apparently suddenly be appropriated by the Government in this way, without warning. But on a more practical level, can someone tell me (a) how I can get the money back, and (b) explain in more detail what is likely to have happened?

    Thanks
    Its a sneaky way the government obtains free money. You apply for strike off and you are given no timeline or correspondence from either Companies House or HMRC. Then all of a sudden (If you are lucky) you'll get a letter informing you that your business bank account has been frozen and all assets have been transferred to the Treasury Solicitor.

    Now you have to get a solicitor which deals with company re-establishment, it has to go to the High Court (but this is just a formality usually). If the judge agrees (and he should do) to re-open you company, your business bank account will be re-opened for a few days and then you can get the money out after the Treasury Solicitor transfers the money back in. Then you close the business account, wind up the limited company (again) and realise that there are traps and pitfalls everywhere in life and some are deliberate like this one.

    Always regularly inspect the status of your Limited Company on the Companies House Website, if it states something like 'Pending Strike off' and you didn't apply for this ... panic.
    Last edited by sbakoola; 19th July 2012 at 08:09.

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    What is the process the OP should have followed?

    Settle all bills (including accountant), removed all money from account, then applied for winding up?

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    I wouldn't say it's a sneaky way at all it takes a good couple of months to strike off a company it doesn't happen overnight, are we not neglecting the fact that as a Director of a company that the OP should know these things?

    Like I stated earlier a notice to stirke off the company is published in the London Gazette.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmo21 View Post
    Settle all bills (including accountant), removed all money from account, then applied for winding up?
    Yep. There is a three month lag between filing the DS01 (to strike off the company), and it actually being dissolved - so to give yourself plenty of headroom you should be looking to have £0 in your business bank account when the DS01 is filed, or shortly thereafter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by royalfirespirit View Post
    At any rate, I left the bank account open, intending to close it as soon as I heard the striking off process had completed. However, I heard nothing from Companies House – but have just been informed by my bank that because the company has been struck off, they’ve sent the money to – I believe – Companies House, saying they are obliged to by regulations, and that if I want it back, I need to contact a solicitor. This has come at a really bad time as for various reasons I do suddenly need that money quite urgently.
    It depends on your fighting spirit, but the process is certainly something you can undertake yourself without needing to engage a solicitor - just be aware it will take several months to complete. Its a confusing process though - I would suggest you phone TSol on 020 7210 4700 and ask them to talk you through the process. They have all the forms you need, but like I say, its a 'process' - don't miss a step otherwise its back to the starting line again.
    2012 CUK Reader Awards - '...Capital City Accountancy, all of whom were outside the top three yet still won compliments from CUK readers for their services' - well, its not an award, but we'll take it! - Best Accountant (for IT contractors) category
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