How To Deal With Compulsory Strike Off Notice From Companies House

Understanding Compulsory Strike Off at Companies House
Have you ever wondered what happens if a company fails to meet its legal obligations, like filing annual documents or failing to remain active? You might have heard about something called a “Compulsory Strike Off” by Companies House. Whether you’re a business owner, an entrepreneur, or simply curious, understanding this process is crucial. In this article, we’ll delve comprehensively into what compulsory strike off means, its implications, and how you can navigate through it.

Understanding the intricacies of business regulations can be daunting, but getting familiar with a compulsory strike off notice from Companies House is essential for every business owner. Whether you’re ensuring your company remains compliant or navigating the consequences of being struck off, this guide provides you with clear, actionable insights to confidently manage your business’s status with Companies House.

What is a Compulsory Strike Off?

It is a process initiated by Companies House to remove a company from the register if it has not filed its necessary documents. This legal action can have severe consequences, and it’s essential to be aware of what it entails and how it can impact your business.

Why is Compulsory Strike Off Initiated?

There are several reasons why Companies House might initiate a compulsory strike off:

  1. Failure to File Confirmation Statement: If a company fails to submit its Confirmation Statement on time.
  2. Failure to Furnish Accounts: Not providing annual accounts.
  3. Miscellaneous Reasons: Companies House can issue a strike off notice for other non-compliance reasons.

The Process of Compulsory Strike Off

Understanding the steps involved in the compulsory strike off process can help you navigate it better, whether to prevent it or respond appropriately.


The first step is usually a notification. Companies House will send a letter to the company’s registered address, informing the directors that the company is at risk of being struck off. This serves as a warning and a call to action.

Publication in the Gazette

If there’s no response or attempt to remedy the situation, a notice of the intended strike off will be published in the Gazette, the official public record. The publication is meant to inform interested parties, including creditors, employees, and shareholders, giving them an opportunity to object.

Objection Period

There is typically a two-month window from the date of the Gazette notice during which objections can be raised. Anyone with a legitimate interest in the company, such as creditors or shareholders, can file an objection to halt the strike off.

Strike Off

If no objections are raised within the specified period, Companies House will proceed with the strike off. The company will be dissolved and removed from the register, effectively ceasing to exist as a legal entity.

Post-Strike Off

When a company is struck off and dissolved, its assets pass to the Crown under a principle called “Bona Vacantia.” This can include cash in bank accounts, property owned, and any other residual assets.

Step Description
Notification Letter sent to the company’s registered address as a warning.
Gazette Publication Notice published to inform the public and stakeholders.
Objection Period Two-month window for objections to be raised.
Strike Off Company is struck off if no valid objection is received.
Post-Strike Off Assets pass to the Crown; company ceases to exist legally.

Implications of a Compulsory Strike Off

Understanding the potential consequences can underscore the importance of compliance.

Legal Consequences

Once a company is struck off, it no longer exists in the eyes of law. This means you lose all legal protections and rights associated with being a registered company. Any ongoing contracts or obligations become null and void.

Financial Consequences

The financial ripple effect is perhaps the most daunting. All your company’s assets will be claimed by the Crown. Any money in bank accounts, property, or investments the company owns may be lost irretrievably.

Director Consequences

Directors of a struck-off company may be disqualified from acting as a director in other companies. Personal liability for any unresolved debts and legal issues can also extend to directors.

Impact on Credit Score

A company that is struck off will also see a negative impact on the credit scores of its directors and any associated entities. This can make it difficult to secure future financing or enter into new business ventures.

How to Avoid a Compulsory Strike Off

Nobody wants their business forcibly dissolved. Here are some steps you can take to prevent this situation.

Stay Compliant

The most straightforward way to avoid a compulsory strike off is to stay compliant with all statutory requirements. This includes:

  • Filing Annual Returns: Regularly submitting annual Confirmation Statements keeps Companies House updated about your company’s status.
  • Submitting Annual Accounts: Ensure your annual accounts are submitted on time.
  • Keeping Address Updated: Always update your registered address if it changes.

Communication with Companies House

If you receive a notification, act promptly. Open a dialogue with Companies House to address any issues. They are usually willing to work with companies to resolve problems.

Objecting to a Strike Off

If you believe the strike off is unwarranted, you can file an objection. This will require you to provide evidence supporting your claim that the company is still active and compliant.

Objecting to a Compulsory Strike Off

If you find yourself in a situation where your company is facing a compulsory strike off, it’s not entirely hopeless. You simply need to contact companies House in writing or by phone and tell them why you object to the striking of notice. If your objection is accepted, the company will not be struck off, and you’ll have some time to rectify the issues raised. Failing to address these issues can result in a renewed striking off process.

Reinstating a Company

If your company has already been struck off, reinstatement is still possible but can be complex.

Administrative Restoration

One way to reinstate a company is through administrative restoration, where the original directors or shareholders can apply to restore the company within six years of the strike off.

Court Order Restoration

Another option is to seek a court order for restoration. This is typically pursued if there are unresolved liabilities or litigation that necessitates the company’s re-existence.

Method Description
Administrative Restoration Application by original shareholders/directors to restore the company.
Court Order Restoration Legal process seeking a court order to restore the company.

Potential Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Navigating through the threats of a compulsory strike off can be tricky. Here are some potential pitfalls and tips on how to avoid them.

Ignoring Notifications

Ignoring warnings and notifications from Companies House is a sure way to escalate the problem. Always open and respond to official correspondence promptly.

Incomplete Filings

Sometimes, companies submit their returns or accounts but fail to include all necessary information. Ensure your filings are complete and accurate.

Poor Communication

Lack of communication can spell doom. Whether you’re experiencing financial difficulties or have other grounds that make compliance challenging, communicating with Companies House can buy you critical time and possibly avert a strike off.

Ignorance of Legal Requirements

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Make a habit of staying updated on legal requirements and deadlines pertinent to your business.


Understanding compulsory strike off at Companies House is essential for every business owner. The consequences of being struck off are severe, but they can be mitigated with timely action and compliance. Stay informed, stay compliant, and always communicate with Companies House if you face any difficulties. By doing so, you can ensure your company continues to thrive without the looming threat of dissolution.

By grasping the details laid out in this article, you’re better equipped to navigate this aspect of corporate law, maintaining your company’s good standing and safeguarding its future. So, keep those annual returns and accounts filed on time, stay in touch with regulatory bodies, and if trouble does come knocking, now you know how to handle it. Here’s to a smooth, untroubled journey in your business endeavours!

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