Exploring Alternatives to Company Liquidation 1

When a company faces significant financial difficulties, its directors may be required to consider whether the business can continue to trade. If it is not viable, the directors can decide to liquidate the company, freeing themselves from debts and other liabilities. However, liquidation may not be the best option for the company, its creditors, or its stakeholders. Fortunately, there are alternative solutions that can be explored before making a final decision. This article examines some of these alternatives and their benefits.

Voluntary Arrangements

A Voluntary Arrangement (VA) is an agreement between a company and its creditors to pay off all or part of its debts over a fixed period without going into liquidation. This option is often used as an alternative to liquidation, as it helps to avoid the need to sell off the company’s assets or close down altogether. The company is required to make regular payments to an Insolvency Practitioner (IP), who then distributes the funds to each creditor according to the agreed terms.

The benefits of a VA are significant. For one, the company can continue to trade while it is repaying its debts, avoiding the stigma of liquidation. Secondly, directors retain control of the company, and the structure of the business remains untouched. Creditors may also be more willing to agree to a VA than to accept a lower payment if the company were to be liquidated.


If a company is in severe financial difficulties, but directors wish to retain control of the business, they may choose to enter into Administration. This process grants a temporary reprieve from creditor action and allows the business to trade under the supervision of an administrator, who is appointed to achieve the best outcome for creditors. During this time, the administrator will conduct a review of the company’s affairs and develop a rescue plan.

Administration has several positive aspects. For one, it protects the company from legal action while formulating a rescue plan, which can be essential in cases where creditors could otherwise seek winding-up petitions or enforce arrears. Additionally, the appointed administrator can provide guidance to the company’s directors in making crucial financial decisions, helping them to save the company.

Company Voluntary Liquidation

If all other options are exhausted, a Company Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) may be the best course of action available. This process involves the liquidation of a company but is initiated voluntarily by its directors and shareholders. Once appointed, the liquidator takes control of the company, making arrangements to sell off its assets and use the proceeds to pay off its debts. The remainder of any funds that are available after all creditors have been paid is returned to the company’s shareholders.

The primary benefits of a CVL are that it allows the directors to manage the process themselves and potentially reduce the impact of the liquidation on stakeholders. It also avoids the need to go through a lengthy court process, which can be costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, a CVL is often a more dignified way of closing the company than going through a compulsory winding-up process, as directors can control the timescale of the process and provide open communication to creditors.


Directors of companies facing financial difficulty should take care to explore all possible options before deciding to liquidate their business. Some alternatives, such as Voluntary Arrangements or Administration, can help to protect the interests of stakeholders, retain control of the company, and ultimately save the business from collapse. However, if all else fails, a Company Voluntary Liquidation may be the best course of action available. Enhance your study with this thoughtfully chosen external material. There, you’ll find valuable insights and new perspectives on the subject. Discover this valuable research, enhance your learning experience!

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Exploring Alternatives to Company Liquidation 2