Introduction to this document

Strike off and dissolution summary

A company that is no longer active can be struck off and dissolved. Our summary explains how.

What to do with a defunct company

There are plenty of situations in which a company ceases trading, but what next? Whether it’s a family-run company whose directors want to retire but there is no one to take over or a company that has served its purpose and is no longer trading, it is best that the company’s affairs are concluded and it is struck off and dissolved. Otherwise the directors remain liable and the company is vulnerable to falling prey to fraudsters.

Companies can be struck off and dissolved on application by the directors, or it can happen automatically if Companies House identifies it as a non-trading company.

If you have a dormant company that you want to keep on the register, make sure that you keep up to date with the very basic filing requirements (confirmation statement and dormant accounts), otherwise it might be struck off automatically.

Any way back?

The striking off process can be stopped before it is concluded. If an application has been made, it can be withdrawn. In either the application or automatic procedure, the striking off can be objected to by responding to the statutory advertisement of the proposal to strike the company off.

Even after it has been dissolved a company may be restored to the register if the criteria are met.


If you think that by dissolving the company, a director can evade liability, think again. Directors can still be held liable for breach of duty in the usual way, even after dissolution and. following a change in the law, a director who has voluntarily dissolved their company can now also be investigated and disqualified.