May 4, 2022

Eric Kelly

What is liquidation? Guide to business liquidation

The process of liquidating a business is usually referred to when the company has failed and needs to be shut down. The closure of an institution, such as a bank, or a retail store can be written off as “liquidation.” A liquidation also applies to debtors in bankruptcy cases who must surrender any assets they have in order to meet their obligations. Because liquidation is usually the last step in an organization’s bankruptcy, it is one of the most difficult aspects of a company’s transition. It is necessary to follow a meticulous process that involves managing different parties and making complex decisions. Liquidation also requires an understanding of laws regarding government functions, taxes, and private companies.

Liquidation is the process that a company undergoes when it finds itself unable to pay its creditors. If this process reaches a certain point, the company will be dissolved and no longer exist as some entity other than its interests – the assets of the company will be liquidated for all to benefit from its proceeds. These assets can include tangible and intangible assets such as trademarks, machinery, furniture and equipment, or any other property or asset that is held by a company in order to make it successful.

3 Types of Liquidation:

1. Compulsory liquidation: This happens when a company is unable to pay its debts. In this situation, the company is issued a ‘Warning Notice’ from the court asking it to wind down operations and submit its accounts for verification. It then starts ‘a formal winding-up process’. If a company does not comply with the court’s notice, it will be declared bankrupt and liquidated by order of the court.

2. Members’ voluntary liquidation: This type of liquidation is usually a measure to dissolve a company because of the shareholders’ wish for a change in control. The shareholders, who have in majority agreed to transfer all the assets and liabilities of the company to another company, are then asked to appoint an insolvency practitioner as liquidator.

3. Creditors’ voluntary liquidation: This is used when a company finds itself unable to pay its debts in full. In this situation, the company becomes insolvent and the majority of its creditors agree to transfer the company’s assets in return for partial payment. The shareholders are also asked to give up their shares, while the company’s assets are transferred to another company, usually a closely-held one.

What Happens After a Company Liquidates?

After a company liquidates, the assets of the company are sold and distributed to creditors. The process of liquidating companies takes a long time, depending on how much work the company has left to do. However, it is usually faster than liquidation due to bankruptcy. In any case, it requires accurate records and thorough estimates in order to achieve the highest returns for creditors. Liquidation adds to the soundness of a company and helps ensure that assets are collected in a way that maximizes the financial benefits to creditors. A company can also be liquidated for other reasons. For instance, it can be held for ransom payment.

A company can also find itself in liquidation due to fraud, abuse and misappropriation of assets. It may also be considered in the case of a company that is engaged in an enterprise, which involves the abuse of trust and confidence. If a company has been found guilty of fraud, it can also be declared as ‘fraudulent’ and ask to be liquidated by order of court. Liquidation services is a legal process that pools assets from a business and uses them to pay off creditors of their business.

Your rights if your employer is insolvent:

The National Insurance Act provides you with certain rights if your employer is insolvent. If an employer has become insolvent, you are not obliged to pay any monies to them. You are also protected by the act if your wages have been attached and not paid. This might happen in a liquidation process when the assets of a company are sold off and used to pay its creditors. However, you are not entitled to a redundancy package if the insolvency of your employer is due to reasons outside their control such as a natural disaster or illness. You are also not entitled to redundancy if the insolvency is because of misconduct.

If you are owed wages by an insolvent employer, you can ask HMRC to put a stop to this through a voluntary arrangement which will allow your employer to pay you in full over a period of time. This is known as a ‘Withholding Order’. It is important that the amount you are owed is correctly worked out.

Transfer of an insolvent business:

Transfer of an insolvent business is a complicated process and it should be clearly explained what happens when your company goes into liquidation. There are many factors involved in the transfer of an insolvent business such as the current part-owners, the creditors, the solicitors’ fees, the contracts and other assets. The liquidator has to inform each party so that they are aware of what is happening and know how to proceed. Throughout the process, all transactions have to be recorded making sure none of the parties are affected in any way by the transfer.

The liquidator has to value all the company’s assets in order to establish what value they have at present and put a valuation date in place. All unsecured creditors must receive payment in full before payments can be made out to secured creditors and any other preferential creditors who may have priority over others.


Liquidation is the last course of action a company will take to resolve financial problems caused by insolvency. It is a process that clears up all outstanding debts and enhances the value of company assets and even their reputation in the industry. By liquidating a company, you also ensure that it does not affect existing supply chain and sales opportunities. The length of time taken for liquidation depends largely on the number of creditors affected and whether there are any disputes about assets or payments.