Top 10 FAQs for directors : Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation ("CVL")

1. When should I put my company into CVL?

When it is insolvent and reached the end of the road but always take advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner first as another insolvency process might be more appropriate.

2. As a director am I personally liable for the company's debts?

 Normally no.  That is unless you have given a creditor a personal guarantee, trade wrongfully or act in breach of your duties as a director.  Taking and acting on early professional advice should limit the risk.

3. Can I become a director of another company if my company is liquidated?

Yes.  The main grounds that stop people acting as directors is if they are personally bankrupt or disqualified by the Insolvency Service for serious misconduct.

4. Can I start another company with a similar name?

Yes but be very careful.  Section 216 of the Insolvency Act 1986 sets out the law on this and you have to fit within one of the three exceptions.  Be warned those exceptions are not as simple as they look so always take advice first.

5. Can I buy my company's business and assets from a liquidator?

Yes and in order to help employees of insolvent companies the Insolvency Service runs a scheme to pay creditors unpaid wages, holidays not taken, pay in lieu of notice and redundancy up to a limit (currently £544) per week). The appointed insolvency practitioners will help you make these claims online.

6. If I buy back my company's business and assets will employee liabilities transfer to the new company?

No, unless you specifically agree otherwise with the liquidator.  In contrast to the automatic transfer of liabilities in an administration.

7. How can I look after my employees?

Employee claims are paid from the Redundancy Fund operated by the Government up to a statutory cap (currently £489) per week (2017).  An employee paid more than the statutory cap with 10 years service is likely to get over £10,000.

8. Can I pay off my local suppliers before my company is liquidated?

No. All creditors have to be treated equally.

9. What is wrongful trading?

Wrongful trading is continuing to trade after the point where the Board should have realised the company could not avoid insolvent liquidation.  From that point the directors can be made personally liable for any increase in creditors.  If you take and follow professional advice this should not arise.

10. Can I be disqualified from acting as a director?

Only if you have not acted properly.  Acting on professional advice is usually a complete ‘get out of jail card’.  The most common grounds on which directors are disqualified:

  • Trading to the detriment of HMRC
  • Not treating creditors equally
  • Recklessing incurring credit

Get in touch with our expert team of business rescue specialists for more information on 0800 331 7417

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