Complain against an undischarged bankrupt or disqualified company director
Complaints about disqualified directors, undischarged bankrupts and persons subject to bankruptcy restrictions are dealt with by the Insolvency Service, a branch within the Department for the Economy (DfE) which is responsible for insolvency issues in Northern Ireland.
The Insolvency Service allows people to report disqualified directors, undischarged bankrupts and persons subject to bankruptcy restrictions, if they are not complying with the restrictions imposed on them. See what disqualified directors and undischarged bankrupts cannot do.
This guide explains the enforcement action that can be taken against these parties. It also provides information on how to complain about them.
What disqualified directors and undischarged bankrupts cannot do
Disqualified directors are not allowed to act as a company director or be involved in the promotion, management or formation of a limited company without High Court permission. The ban applies to all registered and unregistered companies formed in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The ban also applies to foreign companies that are registered in the UK.
Undischarged bankrupts and persons subject to bankruptcy restrictions as a result of a bankruptcy restrictions order (BRO) or bankruptcy restrictions undertaking (BRU) are not allowed to:
- engage - whether directly or indirectly - in any business under a name other than that in which they were made bankrupt without disclosing that name to all persons with whom they enter into any business transaction
- act as director of a company - or directly or indirectly take part in or be concerned in the promotion, formation or management of a company - without High Court permission
- obtain credit of £500 or more - without disclosing that they are subject to bankruptcy restrictions
Check if a director has been disqualified or if an individual is bankrupt
Disqualified Directors Register
Before reporting any breach of disqualification to The Insolvency Service, you should check the Disqualified Directors Register to ensure the director has been disqualified.
The Disqualified Directors Register is kept by Companies House on behalf of the Secretary of State and lists all directors that are currently prohibited from involving themselves with a company.
Individual Voluntary Arrangement, Bankruptcy Restrictions Order/Undertaking and Debt Relief Order and Debt Relief Restrictions Order/Undertaking Register
Before reporting any breach of bankruptcy or bankruptcy restrictions to The Insolvency Service, you should check the DRO, BRO and IVA Register to ensure the person is not subject to any such proceedings.
The Bankruptcy and Chancery Office at the High Court in Belfast maintains the bankruptcy register for Northern Ireland. Search the bankruptcy register online with the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service (Registration required).
Reporting disqualified directors, undischarged bankrupts and persons subject to bankruptcy restrictions
If you suspect that an individual is acting in breach of a disqualification order, a disqualification undertaking or a bankruptcy order, you should contact the Insolvency Service.
Complaining about disqualified directors or undischarged bankrupts
If you report any evidence of a breach by a disqualified director, an undischarged bankrupt or a person subject to bankruptcy restrictions to the Insolvency Service, you should provide the following information if you know it:
- the name of the person you are complaining about
- details of any company that the person is involved with
- details of any credit the person has obtained
- details of any failure by the person to disclose their bankruptcy name
- your own name and details
- your company's details, if you are complaining on behalf of one
- how you found out this information
- others who can confirm this information
You can pass on this information over the telephone by calling the Insolvency Service on Tel 028 9054 8531.
Make a complaint to the Insolvency Service online with the Department for the Economy (DfE).
If you submit your complaint by post, you should send it to the following address:
The Insolvency Service
You can also send the form to the Insolvency Service by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Process after reporting a bankrupt or a director
When you have submitted your complaint, the Insolvency Service will acknowledge your complaint and conduct enquiries into the allegations.
If these enquiries indicate that an offence may have been committed, a report will be submitted to the PSNI. You should note that you may be asked to give a formal written statement confirming the information you previously provided to the Insolvency Service.
If you wish to submit an anonymous complaint, the Insolvency Service may be able to pass the matter to the relevant prosecuting authority. However, you should note that they may not be able to proceed in the absence of suitable evidence and/or an appropriate witness.