My son was advised by his accountant to close his limited company and start a partnership instead. He did this but he was not told that he needed to clear the company bank account - he left this open as he was expecting to receive several payments into the account from customers. He then found that the bank had closed the account and the funds (several thousand pounds) had been transferred to the government. He's now been told that he will have to go to court to recover the money. What should he do?
Legally speaking, if you do close a limited company, the funds belong to the government ("bona vacantia"). There's some guidance on this at Companies House and there is indeed a substantial amount of administration work to get it undone.
You should deal with any loose ends, such as closing the company’s bank account, the transfer of any domain names - before you apply. [...]
From the date of dissolution, any assets of a dissolved company will belong to the Crown. The company’s bank account will be frozen and any credit balance in the account will pass to the Crown. [...]
4. What happens to the assets of a dissolved company?
From the date of dissolution, any assets of a dissolved company will be 'bona vacantia'. Bona vacantia literally means “vacant goods” and is the technical name for property that passes to the Crown because it does not have a legal owner. The company’s bank account will be frozen and any credit balance in the account will be passed to the Crown. [...]
Chapter 3 - Restoration by Court Order
The registrar can only restore a company if he receives a court order, unless a company is administratively restored to the register (see chapter 4). Anyone who intends to make an application to the court to restore a company is advised to obtain independent legal advice. [...]
Chapter 4 - Administrative Restoration
1. What is Administrative Restoration?
Under certain conditions, where a company was dissolved because it appeared to be no longer carrying on business or in operation, a former director or member may apply to the registrar to have the company restored. [...]