Director disqualification

Company directors who don’t meet their directors’ responsibilities and duties can be disqualified (banned) for up to 15 years.

This means you can’t start, market or run a company or be a director of any UK-registered company or an overseas company with UK interests. Breaching the disqualification terms could also result in a fine or imprisonment.

If you have been reported or are being investigated for being an “unfit” director, our team of commercial lawyers are there to help. You can get advice and support by phoning 0203 816 9303 or completing the online enquiry form.

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What is considered unfit conduct for company directors?

The type of activities the law calls “unfit conduct” for company directors includes:

  • Continuing to trade when a company can’t pay debts
  • Failing to keep proper accounting records
  • Not providing accounts and returns to Companies House
  • Not paying Corporation Tax
  • Using company funds for personal use

Automatic disqualification happens if you’re declared bankrupt, given a Debt Relief Order or subject to bankruptcy or debt relief restrictions. And you can be prosecuted for conducting business on the instruction of a disqualified person.

How can a company director be disqualified?

Action taken against directors accused of not meeting their responsibilities and duties can be started by:

  • The Insolvency Service – if your company (or you) is involved in insolvency proceedings
  • Companies House
  • The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • The courts
  • A company insolvency practitioner

In each case, you should seek legal advice from experts as soon as possible.

What else happens after a company director is disqualified?

  • Your details are published online in the Companies House database of disqualified directors
  • Your disqualification and the reasons why are published on The Insolvency Service’s register
  • You are disallowed from holding other positions of responsibility such as:
    • Being on the board of a charity, school or police authority
    • Being a pension trustee
    • Being a registered social landlord
    • Sitting on a health board or social care organisation
    • Being a solicitor, barrister or accountant

Call 0203 816 9303 to speak to our experts across the UK for expert advice on company director disqualification.

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