How bankruptcy affects your business


If you are self-employed when you are made bankrupt your business may be closed down and your employees dismissed.

If you are a director in a company, you cannot continue to act in this capacity without permission from the High Court and you will need to resign your position. Find further information on how to tell Companies House about changes to your limited company.

Any business assets will be claimed by the trustee unless they are exempt - see how bankruptcy affects your assets and bank account.

Employees of a bankrupt

Your employees may be able to make a claim to the National Insurance Fund for any of the following payments:

  • outstanding wages
  • holiday pay
  • payment in lieu of notice
  • redundancy payments

Beginning trading again

There is nothing to prevent a bankrupt from being self-employed. 

You can start trading again but there are a number of restrictions you must comply with - see bankruptcy restrictions.

Tax obligations

You must give the trustee all your accounting records. You will also be responsible for submitting any tax and VAT returns.

Registrations and licences

Any registration, licence or permission you hold in connection with your business may be affected by your bankruptcy. You should:

  • notify the person or organisation who issued the registration or authority
  • inform the trustee of any registration or authority you hold

If any of these items have a value it may belong to the trustee.

  • Advice NI Business Debt Service
    0800 083 8018
Developed with:
  • Department for the Economy