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Companies House will pause both the voluntary and compulsory strike-off processes for one month from 21 January until 21 February to support businesses affected by COVID-19, it has been announced.
The extended measure comes in response to delays to the system caused by the third national lockdown.
In a notice to customers, Companies House said reduced resources have led to delays in processing correspondence, documents and forms, which could potentially disadvantage companies during this period.
The regulator said it will continue to publish first Gazette notices for voluntary strike-off applications, but to give business owners more time to update their records, the second Gazette notice will not be published and companies will not be removed from the register during the pause.
Both the first and second Gazette notices for compulsory strike-off applications will not be published, however, and companies will not be compulsorily removed during this period.
Commenting on the changes, Companies House said: “Pausing our strike-off processes will provide companies with more time to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. It’ll also protect creditors and other interested parties who might have had difficulties in receiving notices or registering an objection, or whose objections have not yet been processed.
“We’ll continue to remind customers about their filing responsibilities during this period. Our digital services are available as normal, and we encourage all customers to file online if you’re able to.”
The Companies House strike-off process was also paused during the first and second national lockdown.
What is the Companies House strike-off process?
Registered businesses are removed from the official register of companies after a period of inactivity.
You can choose to close down your own limited company by getting it “struck off” voluntarily, providing it meets a strict set of requirements.
A company can also be forcibly struck off if company documents are outstanding and the regulator has received no response, or if the company has no registered directors.