So I recently had this problem where a company I was dealing with (and who had taken my money) stopped providing me with the service and seemed to disappear. They were not answering any of their phones and no-one could get hold of them. Chances are that they had gone belly up but how do I find out if they had gone bust?
My first search led me to check the UK Companies House register. They were indeed listed on here as a limited company (you can check here) but they were still registered as an active company. My next search advised me to phone Trading Standards so I googled for a phone number for the local branch of where the company was based. It came up with a general number for Citizens advice but apparently Trading Standards farm out their calls to them. They said that I would have to phone Companies House. So I called them and they said they had not been notified of the company going into administration and that they would only be notified or take action if the company failed to file any returns or else had lodged with the Insolvency service.
So next stop was to phone the Insolvency Service. I asked them again, what would happen if a company has gone bust but hasn’t notified anyone? They didn’t really have an answer. All anyone kept saying was that they would take action once the company notified them. Somehow I don’t think the first thing on the director’s list was to call the Insolvency Service… Anyway, they mentioned the Official Receiver as being the person who would investigate, so I googled them. They are pretty much part of the Insolvency service but what I did find there was a form to report people who are acting incorrectly. This answered my question really about companies who do not notify anyone that they have stopped trading. Other people can report them and hopefully the Official Receiver will investigate. You just need to fill out a form with all the details. You will need to get the Company Registration number from the Companies House website as well as the address, phone etc.
So if you think that a company has gone bust and you can’t find out any information about whether or not they have gone into administration then you can report them yourself. The place to report them is here and you can do it online or by post.
And don’t forget that if you paid by credit card then you may be entitled to get your money back from your credit card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.