Wind up a limited company that owes you money

Completing a winding-up petition


To apply for a compulsory winding-up order against a company, you must pay a deposit to the Department for the Economy (DfE) and you must complete a winding-up petition form 4.02 along with an affidavit (form 4.03) verifying matters giving rise to the petition.

Download winding-up petition form 4.02 (PDF, 100K).

Download affidavit form 4.03 (PDF, 80K).

Access DfE guidance on how to wind up a company that owes you money.

Companies House

You will need details of the company to complete the petition. You can search for company information using the WebCHeck service at Companies House. See find company information using Companies House services.

You can also get company details by calling the Companies House Contact Centre on Tel 0303 1234 500. You may, however, have to pay for some of the information you require.

Grounds for your winding-up petition

The petition will ask you to give your grounds for applying for a winding-up order, as well as other relevant information:

  • where you have written a letter to the company to ask for your money, you should say what the debt was owed for, the amount you asked for in the letter and the date of the letter
  • if you sent an invoice that was not paid, you should say what the debt was for, the amount you requested, and the date of the invoice
  • if you are giving details of a certificate of unenforceability, you should include the date of the judgment, the High Court information and the case number
  • if you sent a statutory demand for your money, you should give details of the amount you demanded, the date it was served on the registered office, and proof that at least three weeks have passed since it was served

Your grounds for petitioning should always include a statement that the company has not paid the debt, or an agreed proportion of it. You should also say if the company has been struck off, and give the date.

European Community Regulation on insolvency proceedings

In your winding-up petition, you must say whether or not the European Community (EC) Regulation on insolvency proceedings 2000 applies. There are three types of proceedings: 'main', 'secondary' and 'territorial':

  • Main proceedings - can be opened only in a European Union member state where the debtor company has its 'centre of main interests'.
  • Secondary proceedings - can be opened in a member state where the debtor company has an establishment. Secondary proceedings apply only to assets located in that state.
  • Territorial proceedings - can be opened before main proceedings, but only by creditors of a company's establishment in the same country. These proceedings can also be used where main proceedings cannot be opened because the company has its main interests in a country with laws which disallow it.

Companies House provide information on cross-border insolvency proceedings.

If the company is registered in Northern Ireland and mainly carries out business in Northern Ireland, the EC Regulation will apply and the proceedings will be main proceedings. In other circumstances you should seek more legal advice.

  • Companies House Contact Centre
    0303 1234 500
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