Selling or closing a business

Preparing a plan to close down your business


Whatever the reasons for closing your business, to make the process as easy as possible, you should put together a formal written plan.

To do this, it may be useful to refer back to your original business plan to help make sure you cover necessary areas. You may even have specified procedures in your formation documents to follow when winding up the business. See write a business plan: step-by-step.

Closing a business plan - what to include

Your plan should ideally list everything you need to do under headings, such as:

  • tax requirements
  • rentals and leases
  • closing accounts with suppliers and customers.

Set a specific date or timescale for each task.

Seek professional advice

If your business is small, you will almost certainly need to call on outside specialist professional advisers such as your solicitor, accountant, and financial adviser. If there are assets to dispose of, you may need to use an estate agent, valuer, surveyor or auctioneer.

See choose a solicitor for your business and how to choose an accountant for your business.

Pay the right amount of tax

To make sure you pay the right amount of tax, you will need to collect any money you are owed, and pay all your outstanding bills. This includes your regular operating costs up until the point your business closes, including utility and telephone bills and any payroll obligations.

If you find that disputes arise with creditors or debtors, outside parties can bring an objective viewpoint and help you to reach an amicable settlement. Read how to ensure customers pay you on time.