Claiming money or property from a dissolved company
When a company is dissolved, all of its assets pass to the Crown and are legally known as ‘bona vacantia’ (ownerless property). Assets include:
- property and land
- intellectual property, eg trademarks, registered designs and patents
Claiming or buying assets
You may be able to claim money back or buy assets from the dissolved company by:
- getting a court order to restore the company – if they owe you money
- buying or claiming some of their assets – if you’re affected by the company closing
- applying for a discretionary grant – if you were a shareholder
You can get legal advice about the best way to claim back your money.
You may be able to apply for a court order to restore a company if:
- you did business with them
- you worked for them
- they owed you money when they were dissolved
- you’re responsible for their employee pension fund
- you have a shared or competing interest in land
- you were a shareholder or director when it was dissolved
You must apply within 6 years of the company being dissolved in cases of personal injury.
You may be able to restore the company without a court order if you were a director or shareholder of a dissolved company.
How to apply
Download and fill in a claim to restore by court order (form N208) to apply for court order restoration in England and Wales.
HM Courts and Tribunals service has guidance notes on filling in form N208 if you need help.
If you’re not sure where to send the form then contact the Royal Courts of Justice.
You’ll also need to include:
- the court fee (cash, postal order or cheque made payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service’)
- a witness statement, containing the supporting information outlined in section 4 of the Treasury Solicitor’s guide to company restoration
Apply to the Court of Session if the initial value of the company’s shares that have been paid for (‘paid-up capital’) is more than £120,000.
Apply to the local sheriff court for other companies.
You’ll then have to serve a ‘petition to restore’ on the Registrar of Companies in Scotland, and any other bodies the court asks you to.
In Northern Ireland
Apply by serving an ‘originating summons’ on the Royal Courts of Justice:
Royal Courts of Justice
You also need to send this to the Registrar of Companies in Northern Ireland, along with a witness statement in support of the application.
The Registrar of Companies
32-38 Linenhall Street
What happens next
If your claim is accepted, the court will issue an order to restore a company – you’ll be sent this, and you must send it on to the Registrar of Companies. Once they have it they will restore the company.
You’ll then need to take further action to try and get your money: