Insolvency happens when a company or individual is unable to pay their debts on the due dates, or has insufficient assets to cover their debts.
It is the responsibility of the directors to know when a company has become insolvent, and they can be held legally responsible for continuing to trade if this is the case.
There are a number of procedures available to insolvent companies. Administration, company voluntary arrangements (CVA) and administrative receivership are solutions that offer the potential for rescue.
It’s often preferable for a company to continue trading via one of these processes in order to preserve value and retain customers.
However, if rescue is not possible the company may be placed into liquidation. This involves the company’s assets being turned into cash and distributed among its creditors, and usually results in the termination of the company’s business activities.
Depending on the procedure, the insolvency process can be initiated by banks and lending institutions, the company’s creditors, the courts or by the directors or shareholders of the company itself.
The aim of any insolvency procedure is to extract the greatest value for the benefit of the company’s creditors. The company’s circumstances and the availability of its assets will determine which method is used to achieve that aim.
How does insolvency work?
Firstly, the company’s directors must recognise that it is insolvent. There are two tests which can help determine whether this is the case:
Control of the company’s assets will then be passed to a licensed insolvency practitioner, and an appropriate procedure initiated. As the company’s assets become available they will be distributed in a strict order of priority.
Organisations or individuals with fixed charge security over the company’s assets will be paid first.
The next group of creditors to be paid will be preferential creditors. This payout usually consists primarily of employees’ wages and holiday pay.
Creditors holding floating charge securities will be next in line to receive funds, followed by unsecured creditors.
If there are any funds remaining, the last group of creditors to be paid will be the shareholders themselves.
When a company is in financial difficulty, it’s advisable for the company to seek advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner.
Insolvency practitioners have the knowledge, qualifications and experience to offer the best advice in this situation.
Only licensed insolvency practitioners are authorised to take insolvency appointments in the UK and we travel throughout the country from our London office.
They are uniquely qualified to provide help to insolvent companies, and will seek to make recommendations that result in the best possible outcome for the company and its creditors.
The primary objective of formal insolvency procedures is to maximise returns for the company’s creditors.
In most cases, the best result is achieved by keeping the company’s business in operation by means of a rescue procedure.
The sooner a company seeks help from an insolvency practitioner, the greater the likelihood that the company or its business will be rescued.
Looking for a top London insolvency practitioner? If your company is insolvent, or you think it may become insolvent, Hudson Weir can help.
Our skilled team will assess your situation and advise you on which option is best for you.
The prospect of insolvency can be overwhelming, but we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Call our London office on 020 7099 6086 orRequest a Call
Hudson Weir are an established firm of Insolvency Practitioners who specialise in business recovery and corporate financial solutions. Hudson Weir provides industry leading, nationwide services for its clients with the intention of easing financial pressures and providing recovery strategies for struggling businesses.More about us