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What happens to directors

When a liquidator is appointed, if you're a company director, you:

  • no longer have control of the company or anything it owns
  • cannot act for or on behalf of the company

You must:

  • give the liquidator any information about the company they ask for
  • hand over the company's assets, records and paperwork
  • allow the liquidator to interview you, if they ask

The Insolvency Service will investigate your conduct as a director. If they decide that your conduct was unfit, they can prosecute you in court.

The court could then issue an order to ban you from being a director for up to 15 years.

To avoid going to court, you can give the Insolvency Service a 'disqualification undertaking'. This means that you voluntarily disqualify (ban) yourself from being a director for an agreed period of time.

Re-using company names

If you're a company director in a compulsory or creditors' voluntary liquidation, the law bans you for 5 years from forming, managing or promoting any business with the same or similar name to your liquidated company. This includes the company’s registered name and any trading names (if it had any).

The only exceptions to this are where:

  • a licensed insolvency practitioner sells the business giving the legally required notice
  • you get the court's permission to use the name
  • you're involved with another company (or other type of business) that's been using the same name as the liquidated company for at least a year

Read guidance on re-using company names on GOV.UK

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