Is it possible to simply stop trading and close the doors?
If a company simply closes the doors there will continue to be demands made by creditors and Companies House will continue to press for returns and will issue penalties against non compliant directors.
It is possible to write to all creditors and outline what has happened and in some circumstances the creditors may be prepared to forgive the debt, although this is not a usual scenario.
If the company has ceased trading for at least three months and has no creditors it can apply to be struck off the Company Register.
Bear in mind that if a company is struck off and still has assets, those assets will go to the Crown bona vacantia, i.e. by way of a gift as they are not claimed by anyone else in that instance.
If directors have a company struck off when there were outstanding creditor claims or contingent claims they take a significant risk that one of the creditors will later apply to have the company restored to the register and the directors may then find themselves personally subject to claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading or misfeasance generally.
The only way to avoid any of the more sinister consequences of getting it wrong is to have the company wound up formally by an insolvency practitioner.
For more help with insolvency procedures, contact us to make an appointment.