From 10 October 2020 Companies House will resume compulsory strike off action against companies they believe are no longer carrying on business or in operation.
The compulsory strike off process (which has been suspended since April in response to coronavirus) starts with two warning letters from Companies House; if no response is received to the letters, a notice will be published in the Gazette with a view to striking the company's name off the register of companies. Two months from the date of the notice in the Gazette, unless there are objections to the dissolution which are accepted by Companies House, the company will be struck off the register and dissolved.
Companies House may begin this process if:
- deadlines for company filings (in particular confirmation statements and accounts) are not met
- letters sent by Companies House are returned undelivered
- the company has no directors
As a temporary measure Companies House has automatically extended a number of filing deadlines which fall after 27 June 2020. These include accounts filing deadlines (which for private companies have been extended from nine to 12 months from the end of the accounting reference period) and confirmation statement filing deadlines (which have been extended from 14 to 42 days from the end of the review period). The relevant deadlines are extended automatically and can be checked using the Companies House Service. There is no need for companies to apply for an extension.
Companies House also confirmed resumption of the voluntary strike off process on 10 September 2020. Implementing a phased approach, those companies that applied to be struck off before July 2020 will be struck off the register first, over a four-week period. The Companies House process will then resume as normal in respect of any companies that applied to be struck off from July 2020 onwards.