Business debt can come about very easily. A few slow months and all of a sudden the debt is a long way beyond the reach of the company owner. If you have company debts that are out of control then give us a call. At Bankruptcy Experts Townsville we are business debt specialists. For a completely free consultation phone 1300 795 575.
If my business is in trouble should I get in touch with a liquidator?
Usually when a business owner finds him or herself in an unworkable financial position they are advised by either their bookkeeper, their solicitor or even their friends to contact a liquidator and place the company into liquidation. Be very careful about this, as the belief is that because you are paying the liquidator they will look after your best interests and help you to get back on your feet. BUT THIS IS CERTAINLY NOT THE CASE!
Liquidators are not on your side …
Although liquidators, administrators and receivers are usually nice people, their obligation, once they are appointed, is to your creditors (people you owe money to) and to the courts. They are to collect as much money as possible from the liquidated business to pay off these creditors. That’s it. If for one second you feel they will look after your best interests, you are sadly misguided.
Once you have signed those papers to appoint the liquidator to your company, that is it! You no longer have any say over the company. The liquidator will do whatever they feel is in the best interests of the creditors and, guess what, in many cases you have just paid for the death of your own business.
One Business Owner’s Story …
I knew I was in strife when the bank wouldn’t lend me any more against the farm. This home has been in the family for years and the thought of losing it was too much. I called my financial advisor and my bookkeeper, and they both advised me to get a liquidator. They said that’s the only way out. I knew I had significant debt, but it just seemed like I had no alternatives. My accountant said that because I am paying for the liquidator and that it was going to be a voluntary liquidation that I would be looked after. WRONG!
I found some liquidators. They seemed professional and capable and they said they would help me as much as they could to work through my money issues. I had no idea what was about to happen. They seemed to comprehend my predicament; I had some cash coming in and a sale of some equipment going through.
The minute I signed the paperwork the liquidator asked for the keys and that was it. Everything was taken out of my hands, the sale of the equipment was totally taken over, the money I had coming in was gone, they took over every single thing; it was all gone. The next day my savings account were frozen and what I thought was going to be a beneficial situation turned out to be my worst nightmare. I lost everything!
What is the best strategy if my business is in difficulty?
There is a trick to handling this situation: PREPARATION. There is quite a lot you can do to ready yourself before you surrender the control of your business to a liquidator. In fact, most of the stress and anxiety can be dealt with in a way that will work for you, not against you. This sounds easy but in fact there is an enormous amount of regulation and many rules in place surrounding this process, so always get some advice about this. If you are unsure what you should do and just need some guidance, simply give us a call on 1300 795 575. Bankruptcy Experts Townsville specialises in pre-liquidation strategies.
What if someone else is winding up my company?
If someone is winding up your company like the ATO or a creditor, they will have a liquidator appointed by the courts. You do have some options here, and there is lots you must know and do to protect yourself. The key here is to get some advice, and involve us as soon as you can in this process. It is that simple. Normally you will receive a notice in the mail or a court order, and if you have one of these give us a call because the longer you ignore this the fewer options you have. Call us at 1300 795 575.
Can I continue to run a business if I have been the director of a company that has been liquidated?
Yes, you can continue to run a business. No, you can not still be the director of the company. This is one of the most typical questions we are asked. Of course there are regulations that need to be adhered to, and you need to ensure you structure things the right way moving forward. Liquidation does not need to be the end of your business life, as so many people think it is. We can help you do this and reconstruct a new life after liquidation. There are choices, but in most cases people simply don’t know what they are. At Bankruptcy Experts Townsville we can explain your options and help you achieve your objectives.
What do I need to do?
Be prepared. Liquidators don’t work for you no matter how much you pay them. Your creditors don’t work for you no matter how much of their bill you pay them. Your friends love you but usually have no thought what they are recommending to you. They’ve most likely heard that if you want to begin again you need to get rid of the company through a liquidator, and it is an easy assumption to make that if you pay a liquidator they will work for you. Understand, THIS IS NOT THE CASE! WE WORK FOR YOU– no one else does. You are our client and we are only interested in getting the result you want. For a free consultation call 1300 795 575.
What do we do?
At Bankruptcy Experts Townsville we help you work through your choices. We then help you take the suitable action. Then we work toward getting the best possible outcome for you and protecting whatever we can. We communicate the right way with your creditors and the liquidator, if called for.
What if I have an ATO Debt?
If you have an ATO debt, don’t disregard your mail! The ATO will often issue companies Wind-Up Notices or Statutory Demands, or even a Director’s Penalty Notice on you or your company. If this is the case, you must act fast! Sometimes communication is all that’s required, sometimes winding up the company is the answer and sometimes negotiation is required. No matter what is required, we will help you work through a plan, and we support you the whole way.
What If I have received a notice from the Tax Office ?
If you have received one of these notices YOU MUST NOT LET THEM LAPSE. Contact us as soon as you get them and we can help you work through the procedures readily available to secure the best and most favorable outcome for you. Once we have done an assessment of the business and the circumstance we recommend an action plan, then it is your choice whether you go ahead from there. Phone Bankruptcy Experts Townsville for a free consultation today at 1300 795 575.
ATO – DIRECTOR’S PENALTY NOTICE
Directors Be Warned
What is critically important is that every business owner understands these changes and the serious nature of them and how they will impact you and your business. If you have a tax debt then you may be issued with a Director Penalty Notice by the ATO.
What does it mean if I have a Director’s Penalty Notice?
The aim of a Director Penalty Notice is to make directors liable for their company’s unpaid tax debt. As a director, you will no longer be able to avoid personal liability for a PAYG ATO debt, which comes with a Director Penalty Notice, if the following applies:.
Your debt is older than three months and or your debt was not reported to the ATO within 3 months of the due date.
As a director, you may also be liable for your company’s unpaid superannuation liability when you get a penalty.
Directors, and associates of directors, may now also be liable for a new personal income tax liability. This will make directors and their associates possibly liable for a company’s unpaid PAYG withholding liability.
Do I have any choices?
Yes. If your company has an ATO debt or you have received a Director Penalty Notice, it is critical that you ask for expert advice, as we have numerous options you may need to think about. Simply call us on 1300 795 575.
What if I ignore the notice?
There may be considerable consequences for not complying with the ATO’s notice; this can include losing personal assets like cars, property or shares, and personal bankruptcy for the company’s debts. In other words, the Australian Tax Office will personally bankrupt you.
What is a Statutory Demand?
A Statutory Demand is a demand made under 459E of the Corporations Act. This document is not issued by the Court. A Statutory Demand requires that the Debtor Company pay a specified sum of money within 21 days from the date of the delivery of the demand on the Debtor Company.
If the debt is contested or if there are exceptions in the document, the company should immediately get independent legal advice and apply to the Court to set the demand aside on the basis that the debt, then the subject of the Statutory Demand is actually contested. This application MUST be made within 21 days.
What if the Statutory Demand expires unsatisfied?
Section 95(A) of the Corporations Act provides that a company is solvent if it is able to pay its debts as and when they fall due. Accordingly, the test as to whether or not a company is insolvent is that it is not able to pay its debts as and when they are due.
Under Section 459C of the Act, the company is presumed to be insolvent if a company has failed to comply with a Statutory Demand. Then, the delivery to a Debtor Company and non-compliance with the Statutory Demand will provide “proof,” which is sufficient for a creditor to apply to the Court for the appointment of a liquidator to the company.
Can the Statutory Demand just turn up in the post?
Yes, it might be delivered face to face or simply appear in the mail as registered mail.
WINDING UP NOTICE
What is a Wind-Up Notice?
A wind-up notice typically follows a Statutory Demand. If a business is unable to pay its debts then the Court has the power to wind it up and appoint a liquidator whose responsibility it is to turn the assets into cash and disburse the cash in the order set out in the Corporations Act. In short, this notice is basically a letter informing you that on a certain date a liquidator will be appointed by the courts to take over your company if you don’t pay the debt.
Who can send me a Wind-Up Notice?
The creditor who obtains the appointment of the liquidator and the liquidator take priority in relation to their expenses as do specific employee entitlements. The rest is distributed equally between unsecured creditors.
Will I be personally obligated for my businesses debt?
No. The liquidation of a company does not automatically imply the director will be made bankrupt; however, the process of winding up a company is similar to the process of having a person declared bankrupt. Having said that, the ATO can issue a Director’s Penalty Notice any time, so it’s best to act quickly. For a free consultation contact us on 1300 795 575.
What happens if I can not pay the debt within the 21 Days?
A liquidator will be appointed and you will no longer be the director of your company. The court will appoint a liquidator who then assumes full control of your business. All of the clients, cheque accounts, assets, cash, money that’s owed to the company and your buildings are no longer yours. Put simply, it’s over. The company you have built over the years is no longer yours. All the assets will be sold, your office, shop or factory will be taken over by the liquidator (they will even change the locks) and your services are no longer called for. Every facet of your business will now be under the administration of the liquidator.
Do I have any options prior to the liquidators seizing my business?
Yes. We offer a free initial consultation to guide you work through this problem. Our team of professionals can spare you tremendous distress. You must act rapidly! Calling us the day before the liquidator shows up is fruitless. Contact Bankruptcy Experts Townsville today on 1300 795 575.
Do I have any options once the liquidators have arrived?
No. The company is no longer in your control.