In this article, we’ll explain what the ‘First Gazette Notice’ letter means, and the implications for your limited company.
What is a First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike Off?
A First Gazette Notice for compulsory strike off means that Companies House is warning you of their intention to remove your company from their register. This means it will legally cease to exist. Compulsory strike off notices are either served directly by Companies House – perhaps due to non filing of accounts – or by a disgruntled creditor
Why Would a Company get a First Gazette Notice?
Compulsory dissolution is typically initiated by Companies House as the result of failure to file your business accounts, or correctly submit returns. The advertising on the Gazette can be detrimental for your business reputation, however, as this is in the public domain.
Suffice it to say that the business owner needs to take this seriously. If your company is struck off the register it ceases to exist.
How to Stop a First Gazette Notice for Compulsory Strike-off
It may be as simple as filing annual accounts which are missing, or bringing your annual confirmation statement up to date. In this situation, the letter you’ve received should come as a clear warning that you haven’t been keeping on top of filing responsibilities as expected. Simply processing correspondence and completing necessary filings will solve the problem.
Equally, it may be that the company is no longer need by you and you can therefore let the process run its course. You should certainly communicate with your accountant about this, either way.
Can I Object to a Strike Off Action?
Any interested party can submit a formal objection to the impending compulsory Strike Off action. That could mean directors, shareholders or even company creditors who don’t want to see the company dissolved before they’ve been paid.
You can object to the dissolution in the following ways:
Companies House England and Wales
Registrar of Companies for England and Wales
If you’re concerned your documents may not arrive in time, call Companies House to ask for a delay of up to 2 weeks.
Telephone: 0303 1234 500
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 6pm
If Companies House rejects the application, the director must pay the outstanding debts immediately or, if that is not an option, consider an alternative means of closing the company, such as voluntary liquidation.
Can a Struck off Company be Reinstated?
HMRC are vigilant to ensure all taxes are paid before any company can be dissolved. In fact, in the rare cases where a company manages to be struck off with debts outstanding, they are more than capable of reinstating the company in order to ensure they get their full payment.
What Happens to Assets When a Company is Struck Off?
Once a company is dissolved, any company assets pass to the Crown under a law known as ‘bona vacantia’. The law dealing with this is Section 1012 (1) of the Companies Act 2006.
For this reason, the correct procedures for closing a company should be following, which means using a members voluntary liquidation in the case of a solvent limited company with assets, or creditors voluntary liquidation in the case of an insolvent limited company.
Both of these processes must be done with the assistance of a licensed insolvency practitioner.