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Problems with a limited company which has stopped trading – what are your options?

If there’s a problem with something you bought or ordered from a limited company that’s stopped trading, you may find it difficult to get things put right. For example, you might have bought something which is faulty, paid for goods which haven't been delivered or work that hasn't been carried out.

You can try negotiating with the receiver, administrator or liquidator if there is one but they may not be able to help you – especially if there’s no money or other assets left. However, you may have other options for sorting out your problem. This page tells you what options you might have for sorting your problem out when a limited company stops trading.

Top tips

If you’ve got store credit or gift vouchers you should spend these while the trader is still trading. If you don't do this you'll have to try claiming their value back from the administrators and may not get anything.

What’s a limited company?

A company is a limited company if it has ltd or plc after its name and has been registered at Company’s House.

If a company isn’t a limited company, it may be a sole trader or a partnership and you may have different options for sorting out your problem.

Dealing with the receiver, administrator or liquidator

You can usually find details of the receiver, administrator or liquidator, if there is one, on the company’s website. However, you should be aware that they will probably have other priorities and may not be able to help you.

If you paid using credit or a debit card

If you bought the goods or services using a credit or debit card or a credit agreement, you may be able to claim your money back from the credit or card provider. You might be able to do this if:

  • you’ve ordered and paid for goods that the trader can’t supply
  • you’ve paid a deposit on goods that you haven’t received
  • you’ve already got the goods but they’re faulty and the trader won’t sort the problem out
  • you’ve paid for work that hasn’t been finished or hasn’t been carried out properly.

If the goods came with a guarantee or warranty

If you’ve bought goods that turned out to be faulty and they came with a guarantee or warranty, it might be easiest to make a claim under the guarantee or warranty. Check your paperwork to see if you can claim and how to go about it.

If your deposit was protected

If you paid a deposit for the goods that haven’t been delivered or services that haven’t been carried out, you may be able to get your money back. However, this is unlikely unless the trader had specific arrangements in place to protect your deposit. Check your paperwork to see if this applies and if so, how to claim.

If the company is a member of a trade association

If you’ve paid for work that hasn’t been carried out or finished, check whether the company is a member of a trade association. They may have a deposit protection scheme or other arrangements that will allow you to get the work done by another member.

If the company has been sold

If the company has been sold, contact the new owner. They're not responsible for sorting out your complaint but they may agree to help you as a goodwill gesture.

Next steps

Citizens Advice

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