What happens when a company goes into liquidation in Australia?

What happens when a company goes into liquidation in Australia?

It is not surprising that company owners are reconsidering their departure options given the present status of the global economy in the wake of the epidemic.

To prevent any bad implications in the future, several business owners have carefully considered the possibility of shutting their doors. However, the negative effects of a faltering economy have proven inescapable for other company owners.

If your business is buried in debt, bankruptcy is probably just around the corner, and liquidation is your only option.

But what happens when a business declares bankruptcy? When a business fails, what happens to its debts and assets? What is involved in this process?

All of these enquiries will be addressed in this blog article so that you know more about what it means for a firm to enter liquidation.

What Does Company Liquidation of a Bankrupt Company Entail?

A firm is ultimately declared insolvent when its obligations outweigh its assets and it has debts that it cannot pay but that are nevertheless due and payable. In other words, the business owes creditors money that they are unable to pay. Unfortunately, bankrupt businesses are not permitted to do business under Australian insolvency regulations.

In reality, a director’s responsibility is to actively prevent the firm from operating and accruing debt while it is bankrupt.

The only route to settle your debts and dissolve your business is via insolvent liquidation since you are unable to continue operations and are not eligible to file for voluntary deregistration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

what transpires when a business declares bankruptcy

The Process of Liquidation

An impartial, external administrator or liquidator is chosen as part of the insolvent liquidation procedure to wind up the business and make sure the creditors are adequately reimbursed. The procedure entails:

evaluating the company’s financial situation, evaluating director claims, establishing claims against a debtor company (i.e., collecting all funds owed to the insolvent company from other companies), informing creditors, realising company assets to satisfy debt, and paying creditors in the order of priority.

Then, when the liquidation is complete, submit an application for the company’s deregistration.

After voluntary administration or according to a court order, liquidation may take place.

Voluntary Management

A company’s directors have the option to voluntarily appoint an independent administrator to look into the company’s affairs, find solutions to its financial problems, and make recommendations to the creditors when they have cause to believe that insolvency is imminent or where the company is already insolvent.

This procedure, which takes place before liquidation, is referred to as voluntary administration.

Insolvent corporations’ creditors have the option of entering into a deed of arrangement with the company, which entails restructuring the business to see if it can continue operating and provide a better return for the creditors.

Alternately, the creditors may decide to liquidate the business (creditors voluntary liquidation). The same liquidation procedure is followed if the majority of creditors approve moving forwards with the liquidation.

Unwilling Liquidation

A creditor or shareholder may file legal action to liquidate an insolvent firm if it fails to take steps to address its financial problems. If the court determines that there are sufficient reasons to liquidate the business, it will issue an order and appoint a liquidator to start the process.

What Effects Would the Company Experience If It Went Into Liquidation?

The firm won’t be a trading entity after the liquidation procedure is over. However, the business may continue to operate while the liquidation procedure is in progress if the liquidator grants authorisation.

The liquidator must fulfil various tax duties in addition to those owed by the owners, creditors, and workers (see explanation below). duties each firm has to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

What Does Liquidation Mean for Shareholders and Unsecured Creditors?

Whether a corporation enters liquidation willingly or involuntarily, once the process has started, unsecured creditors cannot file a lawsuit to recoup their debt.

The goal of liquidation is to equitably pay the company’s outstanding debt by selling off the remaining assets. In a perfect world, all of the unsecured creditors’ debts would be paid; however, this is not always the case.

It’s not always feasible to pay off all the obligations, even though the liquidator must make the most of the firm assets to divide among the creditors. This is so that the liquidator may make payments in accordance with the list of priorities below:

  • expense of liquidation
  • Superannuation and unpaid salaries
  • Unpaid benefits owed to employees, such as layoff payments
  • Unsecured lenders
  • Shareholders
  • If there aren’t enough funds to pay off the debt completely after the expenses of liquidation are covered and the company’s workers have been adequately rewarded, creditors will be paid out in proportion to their share of the debt.

It is doubtful that stockholders would get the entire dividend distribution after liquidation since they come in last on the list of priorities.