Wind up a limited company that owes you money

Steps to serve a winding-up petition


When you have completed your winding-up petition you must present it to the Court. You do this by sending these documents:

  • the original winding-up petition
  • three copies of the petition - or four if the company has been dissolved
  • the original affidavit
  • receipt of deposit for £1165 paid to the Department for the Economy (DfE)
  • a Court fee of £195

You will also be responsible for the costs involved in advertising the petition in the Belfast Gazette, using a process server for the service of a statutory demand and the petition and any costs for instructing a solicitor.

Download the DfE guidance on how to wind up a company that owes you money (PDF, 44KB).

If the Court is satisfied with your petition and the other documents, it will seal the petition and all copies, and send copies back to you. These will be marked or endorsed with the date and time they were filed, as well as the date and venue of the Court hearing.

Serving the petition on the debtor company

After the High Court has returned the sealed copies of the petition containing the date and time it was filed and the date and venue of the hearing, you must serve it on the company that owes you money. The petition must be served at the company's registered address - as shown on the public Register held by Companies House - either by you or by a process server company.

To find out more about process servers, see statutory demands.

You can serve a petition at the debtor company's registered office by handing it to:

  • someone who acknowledges themselves as a director, officer or employee of the company
  • a person authorised to accept service on the company's behalf
  • a person who - in the server's opinion - is a director, officer or other employee of the company

If you or your agent cannot find a suitable person at the registered offices, the petition can be served by:

  • placing it in a letter box
  • placing it on a table, desk, chair, the floor or a radiator
  • placing it on a receptionist's desk

After serving the petition

Immediately after service of the petition, the petitioner must file an affidavit at Court, verifying the service of the petition (Form 4.04/4.05).

The certificate of service must be sufficient to identify the petition served and must specify:

  • the name and registered number of the company
  • the address of the registered office of the company
  • the name of the petitioner
  • the Court in which the petition was filed and the Court reference number
  • the date of the petition
  • whether the copy served was a sealed copy
  • the date on which service was effected
  • the manner in which service was effected

If you cannot serve the petition by any of the methods listed above, you will need to apply to the High Court for permission to use another route, eg posting it to a director's last-known address. If you do this, you must attach a sealed copy of the order for substituted service to the certificate of service.

Where the company has been dissolved, you must serve the extra copy of the petition to the Crown Solicitor for Northern Ireland. This will enable you to apply for it to be restored to the Register.

  • Insolvency Service NI Enquiry Line
    028 9054 8531
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