What is bankruptcy?


Bankruptcy is one way of dealing with debts you cannot pay.

If you are declared bankrupt:

  • the majority of your debts will be cancelled (up to the date of bankruptcy)
  • your assets may be shared among your creditors
  • you will have certain restrictions placed on you
  • your name will be added to a bankruptcy register and published in the newspaper
  • your bankruptcy will usually last 12 months

Anyone can become bankrupt including:

  • individuals trading as sole traders
  • individual members of a partnership

Only individuals can become bankrupt. There are different procedures for limited liability partnerships and companies.

Bankruptcy advice

If you are facing bankruptcy you should seek advice from a reputable source, including:

You should be wary of unsolicited approaches through the post or by telephone.

For more information, see get advice about bankruptcy.

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