Insolvency Client Case Studies

If you are a business experiencing financial difficulty or need to close a solvent company in a tax efficient way, don’t delay! Get help now and take back control. Contact us today for a FREE professional initial consultation* to understand your situation and to discuss the options available to you

Umbrella are Licensed Insolvency Practitioners, based in Wilmslow, Cheshire. We deliver friendly, clear and confidential insolvency services to individuals and businesses.

Whatever scenario your business is facing, we have a range of options to help you solve your financial problems. Whether you are in difficulty or need to close a solvent company, the sooner you act, the sooner we can help you put your company on the right path.

A lot of business clients are surprised by the range of viable options that are open to them.

We don’t charge for an initial consultation, but it may lead to an insolvency solution where pre-appointment costs are reimbursed as part of the fee structure that creditors approve.

Here are some client case studies to help explain the options that could be available to you.

MVL Case study of a contractor caught inside the recent IR35 Legislation

John, an IT contractor, had been trading for the past 5 years via his limited company. He was recently notified by his client, however, that due to being caught inside IR35, the end client was no longer able to pass work to him via his limited company. John was able to continue working with the client, however, on the basis that he was paid each week via an umbrella company.

John no longer had any need for his limited company which had reserves of around £100,000.

If John, a higher rate tax payer, had decided to close down the company himself and draw these funds as dividends then his personal tax bill would have been over £30,000.

John, however, decided to close down the company using a Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) process.

Because John was paid the company reserves from the Liquidator, he will be able to benefit from Entrepreneurs’ Relief which will result in a lower personal tax rate of 10%. This will bring his personal tax bill to below £10,000.   

Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) Case Study

Director was no longer trading his company which had net assets of nearly £300,000
  • The Company was an management consultancy business and had traded for around 3 years.
  • The Director advised that the company was solvent, able to pay all of its debts, and had traded profitably throughout.
  • The company had only two creditors, their accountants and HMRC for Corporation Tax and VAT.
  • The assets of the business consisted of approximately £350,000 cash remaining in the company bank account.
  • The Director wanted to cease trading the business as he had obtained an employed role elsewhere.
  • The Director, who was also the company’s sole shareholder wanted to extract the net funds of £300,000 from the business in the most tax efficient way.
  • The director obtained tax advice from his accountant who discussed with him the following options for the company.

Strike off – The option of writing to Companies House to apply for the company to be struck off was discussed. The company would have to pay the outstanding creditors in full and distribute the remaining funds by way of shareholder dividend, following which the company could apply for strike off. However, this would not have been the most tax efficient manner to distribute the funds for the shareholder who was a higher rate tax payer as the rate of income tax payable (32.5%) would have been greater than if the funds were distributed in a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (10%).

Umbrella explained the MVL option to the director, who after taking further tax advice from his accountant,  felt that this would be the best option for him and the company. This would allow the company to be formally wound up and also ensure that all creditors were paid in full through the liquidation process. The director was advised by his  tax advisors that an MVL would be the most tax efficient way of extracting funds of £300,000 from the company as this would be regarded as a capital distribution from the liquidation rather than being taxed as income. As a result, he as a shareholder would qualify for Entrepreneurs Relief (10%) on the capital distribution of these funds.

Umbrella were duly instructed to administer the MVL process with funds paid out to the shareholder shortly after the liquidation appointment.

Administration Case Study

Company Directors of a Printing Business approached Umbrella to look at the company position following creditor pressure, with debts in excess of £800,000.

After analysing the trading position, it was clear that a CVA wasn’t viable as the company had immediate funding issues and was unable to maintain payments to general trade creditors and key suppliers in addition to the impending threat of enforcement action from the Landlord and HMRC.

Liquidation was not appropriate as this would have resulted in the Company ceasing to trade and thus would have suffered a detrimental impact of its book debt ledger (the Company’s primary asset). This would have likely resulted in considerably reduced realisations for the benefit of creditors.

As the Company had a loyal customer base and there appeared to be an inherent value in the business, Umbrella arranged for independent agents to provide a valuation of the company assets on a going concern basis.

Following advice from Umbrella, the directors agreed that steps ought to be taken to place the Company into Administration as this outcome represented the best outcome for creditors as a whole and would protect the business from enforcement action.

The protection would allow the business to be preserved whilst the possibility of selling the business as a going concern was explored. It was however recognised that a quick sale, without the need for ongoing trading whilst in administration, would be preferable to allow maximum value to be realised from the Company’s debtor ledger and goodwill.

Management expressed an interest in buying the company assets and business as they were confident of making the business a success with smaller premises and a smaller workforce.

The directors were very worried about the recent bad press concerning pre-packaged administrations, however, Umbrella have a wealth of experience in handling such cases and the main route to a successful pre-pack is to get professional advice at an early stage from a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner.

In such cases, Umbrella’s Insolvency Practitioner will meet with the directors personally to ensure it is the best advice and make certain the process is implemented correctly right from the outset.

In this scenario, the company entered Administration and all the assets were sold to management for an agreed price of £40,000. The continuity in trade ensured that the Company’s funder was repaid in full from book debt collections. All other company liabilities including HMRC, the Landlord and trade creditors were dealt with by the Administrator and the former directors succeeded with their new company plans.

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) Case Study

Company Directors of a Consultancy Business approached Umbrella to look at the company position following creditor pressure, with debts in excess of £225,000.

John and Paul, directors of a consultancy business approached Umbrella with debts in excess of £225,000 mainly to HM Revenue and Customs. They had built up their company over a period of 9 years but due to issues in retaining their customers, they were unable to maintain payments to suppliers and in particular the Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE that was due.

The directors were no longer able to support the company from their own funds and there are no funds left to pay the employees who were owed significant sums.  Furthermore, bailiffs were beginning to knock on the door demanding payments.

After an initial consultation with Umbrella, it was clear that the company could not continue to trade in its current form as it was losing money every month that passed.

Restructuring of the company was not a viable option as the business was struggling to keep hold of its paying members and the monthly outgoings could not be squeezed any more.

Therefore, advice was given by Umbrella to cease trading immediately. This reduced the risk of the directors being held personally liable for continuing to trade the business when it was to all intents and purposes insolvent. Umbrella assisted the directors in the unenviable position of having to inform all staff of the redundancies and the doors were closed. Agents were employed to sell the company assets and the directors found alternative employment.

Employees were happy to find out that under the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 they would receive their entitlement for wages, holiday pay, pay in lieu of notice and redundancy up to certain limits. The directors were also able to make a claim. The bailiffs were not able to take any further action and the Liquidator was appointed to deal with all creditor claims and assets of the company.

The directors had given no personal guarantees and as such the debts of the company including HMRC were dealt with by the Liquidator.

Find out more about our insolvency solutions


If the company is experiencing financial difficulty and there is no prospect of continuing to trade then you should consider using a CVL procedure to wind down its affairs


A CVA is an alternative to liquidating your company allowing it to trade out of its financial difficulties over a specified period of time


If your company is experiencing creditor pressure but the underlying business is viable then you should consider using an Administration procedure to deal with the company’s affairs


If you are planning to close down your solvent limited company then depending upon how much cash there is left, using a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) could be the most tax-efficient way and save you thousands of pounds

If you are unsure what situation your business is in, don’t worry! Call our confidential expert advisers on 0800 611 8888

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    Customer Feedback

    • Tony D
      I'd just like to thank both you and Tom for your help with the closure of my company. You have been highly efficient and very professional throughout. Thank you.
      Tony D
    • Alex O
      Umbrella Insolvency guided me as sole Director of my small limited company, and the shareholders, through every step of a Members Voluntary Liquidation in a very efficient manner. The steps required were clearly laid out and proactively managed by their licensed practitioner. From first meeting through to an interim distribution of funds to shareholders took only a few days in our case. Thereafter, Umbrella will be managing all of the downstream actions required to complete the process with HMRC and Companies House, through to the final discharge of the company.
      Alex O
    • Maxine R
      I extend my appreciation of your professional efficiency in handling my company business and herewith say thank you.
      Maxine R
    • MT
      Before I came to Umbrella.UK Insolvency I was in a bad place mentally due to debt because I believed I would be in my current situation for a long time to come. Umbrella Insolvency walked me through my options and helped me pick the best one. I am genuinely amazed at what they managed to do for me and can now afford to live comfortably, and without the constant worry of debt looming over me.
    • Kevin B
      Following a personal recommendation, we appointed Umbrella.UK Insolvency to handle the voluntary liquidation of our business (MVL). Tom and his team were excellent, keeping us well informed throughout and working effectively with the company's accountants to ensure all documentation was produced and filed on time. I have since recommended Umbrella.UK to friends looking for similar services and I have no hesitation in recommending them more widely.
      Kevin B
    • Paul G
      Thank you so much for your help with my IVA. As an ex-company Director my life took a downward spiral when creditors from my liquidated company called upon my personal guarantees. I had been treading water for months, ran up credit card debts and borrowed from family. When a creditor instigated bankruptcy proceedings against me I thought I was going to lose my house. I contacted Umbrella.UK Insolvency who stopped all the phone calls and threatening letters. Umbrella Insolvency explained things in a way I could understand. They negotiated with creditors and my IVA went through, now I can sleep at night again and I kept my home. Thomas Fox was extremely knowledgeable and I truly thank him and his team.
      Paul G
    • Mr TM
      First of all, I would like to say a BIG Thank You for all of your assistance over the past year. I would not be in the positive state of recovery without Umbrella Insolvency. Your care and assistance at the application stage last summer, along with the advice throughout the year, has been great. I would not hesitate to tell anyone in my negative situation where to turn to.
      Mr TM
    • Brendan
      I engaged Umbrella .UK Insolvency to oversee a Members Voluntary Liquidation for the small consultancy business I've been running. The team talked me through the MVL process, steps and requirements. The paperwork involved was well explained and straightforward, with the initial disbursement of funds handled very quickly and professionally under tight deadlines.

    *We don’t charge for an initial consultation, but it may lead to an insolvency solution where our pre-appointment costs are reimbursed as part of the fee structure that creditors approve.