Understand the meaning and implications of receiving a First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike-Off and what actions you can take.

What Is a First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike-Off?

A First Gazette Notice for compulsory strike-off is a formal notice from Companies House advising that your company or LLP[1]Trusted Source – GOV.UK – The Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Companies Act 2006) Regulations 2009 will be struck off the official company register[2]Trusted Source – GOV.UK – Strike off, dissolution and restoration.

It’s typically issued for non-compliance with statutory filing obligations or other grounds for suspicion that the company isn’t trading, as per Section 1000 of the Companies Act 2006

Anything published in one of the three official UK Gazettes—The London Gazette, The Edinburgh Gazette, or The Belfast Gazette—is on the public record.

What-is-a-First-Gazette-Notice_

Why Companies House Issues Compulsory First Gazette Notices

Companies House issues a First Gazette Notice largely because a company fails to file annual returns or financial statements on time. This action serves as a protective measure to maintain the integrity of the public record and ensure that only active companies remain registered.

Timeline from First Gazette Notice to Company Dissolution

After the First Gazette Notice is published, the company has three months to respond or rectify the issues that led to the notice. If no response is received or the issues are not resolved within this period, a final notice is issued, and the company is struck off the register shortly thereafter.

The entire process, from the issuance of the First Gazette Notice to the final dissolution, can take just over three months unless legally challenged or suspended due to objections from creditors or other stakeholders.

Consequently, this isn’t something you want to ignore.

How to Respond to a First Gazette Notice

Upon receiving a First Gazette Notice, company directors should act promptly to address the issues cited by Companies House.

The initial step should involve reviewing the reasons for the strike-off notice and then gathering all necessary documentation. Finally, submit any overdue filings to Companies House as promptly as possible.

Options for Objecting to a Strike-Off

If a First Gazette Notice for compulsory strike-off has been issued due to administrative oversights, such as failure to file the required documents, company directors have the right to object to the strike-off.

To do this, directors must promptly contact Companies House with evidence that all compliance issues have been rectified. This could include proof of recently filed documents or updated records.

In cases where the strike-off process is initiated by creditors due to unpaid debts, the approach is slightly different.

Here, directors still have the option to object to the strike-off notice, but they must prove to Companies House that all outstanding debts are settled or that a satisfactory arrangement has been made with the creditors to manage these debts.

Additionally, if the company intends to continue trading, directors must submit a robust plan to Companies House outlining how the business will meet its future compliance obligations.

This plan should detail operational adjustments and financial strategies that ensure ongoing viability and compliance.

What are the Consequences of Ignoring a First Gazette Notice?

Ignoring a First Gazette Notice can lead to the company’s dissolution, which means it ceases to exist as a legal entity.

This results in all assets becoming ownerless property (bona vacantia) that may revert to the Crown. Additionally, creditors will lose the ability to claim debts, and the company’s directors could potentially face legal repercussions for failing to act.

Can I Just Accept the Strike Off?

If your company has no outstanding debts, liabilities, or assets, and you no longer wish to continue trading, accepting the strike off may seem like an easy solution. By not taking action after receiving the First Gazette Notice, you are effectively consenting to the company’s dissolution.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that all loose ends are tied up before allowing the strike off to proceed. This includes settling any outstanding tax obligations, closing bank accounts, and ensuring that no legal proceedings are pending against the company.

If you have any doubts or concerns about the potential consequences of accepting the strike off, it’s best to seek professional advice from an insolvency practitioner such as ourselves. We can help you assess your specific situation and determine the best course of action.

Expert Advice is at Hand

If your strike off issues are related to a company you feel is in financial difficulty, please call one of our expert company debt advisors to learn more about your options. We specialise in practical, no-jargon advice for directors in difficult circumstances.

Our experts have helped thousands of directors find the best path forward. Get the support you need – chat with us live during working hours or call 0800 074 6757 today.

FAQs on First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike-Off

A First Gazette Notice is typically triggered by non-compliance with statutory obligations, such as the failure to submit annual accounts or returns. It may also be issued if Companies House believes the company is not operational.

The quickest way to stop the notice from escalating is to comply with the aspect of non-compliance that has caused it. This may mean something as simple as bringing statutory accounts up to date

The notice is published in the official Gazette, a government journal that serves as the public record. The edition—London, Edinburgh, or Belfast—depends on the location of your company’s registered office.

Yes, if you believe the notice has been issued in error or if you have legitimate reasons for the non-compliance, you can file an objection with Companies House.

References

The primary sources for this article are listed below, including the relevant laws and Acts which provide their legal basis.

You can learn more about our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy here.

  1. Trusted Source – GOV.UK – The Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Companies Act 2006) Regulations 2009
  2. Trusted Source – GOV.UK – Strike off, dissolution and restoration