If you have been working with a company you believe might have fallen on hard times financially and have an invoice that has yet to be paid there are some steps you can take to ascertain what their situation is. This article will explain those in detail.
If you’re trying to see if your own company is insolvent, there are different steps to take. You should use our free insolvency test here to gauge the severity of your situation.
5 Ways to Research Whether a Company is Insolvent
Do a Search via Companies House
Companies house offers an online search facility here where you can check the trading status of a company. The search will show you whether the company has ceased trading, is insolvent or dissolved. If it’s already dissolved you will see it listed as ‘struck off’ but if things haven’t reached that stage, Companies House is unlikely to give you concrete information on whether the company is insolvent.
There is no official Companies House insolvency register, for that you should use the government’s own portal mentioned in the next paragraph.
Check if the Company is in Provisional Liquidation?
The most accurate resource on provisional liquidations is the government’s on page here. This page will show you an updated list of companies who have received a Winding up Petition (a final warning letter to settle debt before enforced liquidation), or who are in provisional liquidation (this is where the government appoints its own liquidator, provisionally, as a way to safeguard company assets etc).
Check the London Gazette Insolvency Notices
If you think a business might be struggling and fear the worst, it is possible to find out what’s going on. The first place to check whether the business has gone into administration or liquidation is the London Gazette.
This is a free service that allows you to search and browse a register of corporate insolvency procedures and changes to registered office addresses and ownership. Just entering the company registration number or trading name will show you whether any notices have been posted about a particular company.
For Sole Traders, Search the Individual Insolvency Register
If your debtor is an individual, operating as a sole trader, you’ll need to use vthe government’s insolvency register here.
Search for people with Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Restrictions
Again, this is not relevant for companies but, but the government’s updated list of bankruptcy restrictions is one potential area to check. This page details individuals who have broken the terms of a bankruptcy or Debt Relief Order.