Can a bailiff arrive at the door of your limited company and remove goods? Before answering that, we need to define what a bailiff actually is.

Bailiffs are enforcement agents with authority to collect and sell goods to recover money owed. While the term is commonly used there is actually a clear legal distinction between a bailiff (one appointed by the court) and a debt collector. In fact it is illegal for a debt collector to refer to themselves as a bailiff, because their powers are significantly less than court appointed enforcement officers.

To understand your position, you’ll therefore first need to gain clarity about whether a County Court Bailiff or a Certificated Bailiff, High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO), or debt collector is visiting your business. All three have different rights and powers.

Can a Bailiffs Legally Take Goods from My Business?

  • High Court Enforcement Officers can force entry into a commercial premises, providing the property is completely seperate from a residential dwelling.
  • Bailiifs are only allowed to force entry with specific permission of the court
  • Debt collectors can never force entry into a commercial premises

In any case, the threat of bailiff action or debt collection can be stressful and intimidating. But knowing your legal rights will give you the confidence to tackle the situation with the facts in hand and clarity about what can and can’t be taken.

Bailiffs Can Take the Following Assets from a Limited Company:

  • Cash
  • Machinery
  • Office Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Company Vehicles

What a Bailiff Cannot Take from a Limited Company

High Court Enforcement Officers aren’t allowed to take:

  • anything under hire-purchase or lease
  • anything owned by employees
  • vehicles showing a blue disabled badge
  • any tools essential for the running of the business worth below £1350