If your limited company is struggling financially, then the first thing you should do is search for a reputable source of confidential advice.
The good news is that there are a number of professional organisations and resources that provide expert advice for free. They can help you better understand the situation you are in, how you got there and what your next steps should be.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best sources of free limited company insolvency advice and explain how to ensure the advice you receive is reputable and trustworthy.
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Find Free Limited Company Insolvency Advice Online
The internet can be a great way to inform yourself in the early stages of your research. Simply doing an online search for topics such as ‘how to resolve company cash-flow problems’ or ‘is my company insolvent?’, depending on the situation you find yourself in, will bring up plenty of articles you can read to give you more clarity.
However, when looking online, you must be able to determine the accurate and trustworthy information from the rest. Generally speaking, you should look for:
- Information written by licensed insolvency practitioners
- Articles from business debt charities such as Business Debtline
- Resources on the official gov.uk website
Information that you find on the websites of commercial lenders should be taken with a pinch of salt, usually because it will push you in a certain direction without giving equal billing to all of the available options. Similarly, articles on small business blogging sites may not be written by experts or explain all of the avenues that are open to you in the particular situation you find yourself in.
Who can you Speak to for Free Insolvency Advice?
While the internet can be an excellent source of free information, it can only go so far. When it comes to really understanding the options that are available to you, you cannot beat talking to someone in person who works with businesses in your position day in and day out.
Before you pick up the phone, send an email or complete an enquiry form, you must do your due diligence. There are a number of organisations that are qualified to offer financial and insolvency advice. There are other firms that operate as lead generators. They will pass your details onto commercial lenders or unregulated advisers, so it’s important that you can tell them apart.
Licensed insolvency practitioners are strictly regulated and are usually accountants who have received further specialist training in the field of insolvency. They work with businesses that are experiencing financial issues on a day-to-day basis and can explain and implement all of the options that are available to you.
While that kind of specialist advice might not sound cheap, the initial advice from an insolvency practitioner is typically free. They will run through all of the different procedures and avenues to explore to rescue or close down your business in the most beneficial way. Depending on your company’s position, that could include alternative funding options, informal creditor arrangements, formal negotiations with creditors such as HMRC and insolvency procedures such as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL) and pre-pack administration.
There will be a cost if your company enters into a formal insolvency procedure, which a licensed insolvency practitioner will have to set up for you. However, the initial consultation to consider your obligations will usually be free from cost and obligation. If you contact a licensed insolvency practitioner that wants to charge you for an initial consultation, hang up the phone and get in touch with our team on 08000 24 24 51 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call Business Debtline on 0800 197 6026 or begin the process by having a webchat with an adviser. They will ask for the company’s income and expenditure and details of who you owe money to and how much. They can provide you with information about how to deal with creditors and bailiffs, the different types of court action that might be taken against you and the potential options available to you when your business becomes insolvent.
Although Business Debtline cannot implement insolvency procedures itself, it can provide confidential advice, help you work out how much you can pay towards your debts and guide you towards the right solution.
Avoid Companies that Charge for Limited Company Insolvency Advice
During your search for insolvency advice, you’re likely to come across companies that offer to provide an initial consultation for a fee. Although some of these companies may be reputable, it’s important to remember that any money you give them would have been better used to pay off your debts. That’s why we’d always advise you to use a free insolvency advice service in the first instance.
How to Make Sure the Insolvency Advice you Receive is Reputable
Before contacting a licensed insolvency practitioner, you should check that they are licensed and regulated by a recognised professional body. Corporate insolvency is a highly regulated industry, which ensures that professional standards and integrity are upheld.
You can verify that an insolvency practitioner is properly licensed by entering their details on the Insolvency Service website. You should also check their qualifications and awarding body number. Any licensed IP will be more than happy to provide you with the necessary details before they give you advice.
To find licensed insolvency practitioners, you can use the Insolvency Service website to search for IPs in your area. Alternatively, you could ask for a recommendation from an accountant or solicitor you already work with or get in touch with business owners or company directors you know who have enlisted the services of an insolvency practitioner in the past.
Some unscrupulous firms offer insolvency advice but are not properly qualified to do so. Anyone can call themselves an insolvency expert or adviser. Only those who have passed the relevant exams and are regulated by a professional industry body can call themselves a licensed insolvency practitioner. So, it’s always worth taking the simple steps listed above to check that the IP you intend to contact is qualified for the job.
Why is it so Important to Seek Company Insolvency Advice?
If your LTD has debts that it cannot afford to repay or is being threatened with legal action by creditors, the likelihood is that your business is insolvent. When a business becomes insolvent, its directors are legally obliged to act in the best interests of the company’s creditors. Failure to do so could lead to accusations of wrongful trading and potential repercussions such as fines, personal liability for company debts and a ban from operating as a company director for up to 15 years.
The consequences of turning a blind eye to your company’s debt problems can be severe. That’s why it’s so important that you seek the advice of a licensed insolvency practitioner. They will help you establish the financial status of the business beyond doubt, talk you through the position the company is in and provide confidential advice regarding the next steps. Every case is different, which is why it’s so important to seek personal advice that’s tailored to your specific circumstances.
Do You Need Free Limited Company Insolvency Advice?
For a free, no-obligation and confidential discussion with a licensed insolvency practitioner, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.