Company Restoration Turns Clock Back

When a company ceases to exist and is struck off the register of companies at Companies House, any assets it owns become the property of the Crown.

The Crown has the ability to disclaim the property if it chooses.

Recently, the High Court had to consider what the position would be if a company was restored to the register – a procedure that exists to 'reactivate' struck-off companies – when the assets included a freehold estate, which had passed into public ownership when the company was dissolved.

The Court considered that the net effect would be that the title to the freehold estate would once again pass to the company, setting the position back to exactly how it was before the dissolution.

It is always best to undertake a careful review of the assets of a company before the striking off occurs. There may be potentially valuable assets (e.g. intellectual property rights) not properly valued in the balance sheet.

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