You can complain to The Insolvency Service, Companies House or the Serious Fraud Office if you suspect a limited company or its directors of fraud or serious misconduct.
Complain to The Insolvency Service
You can make a complaint if you have reasonable grounds to suspect a currently active company of:
- causing significant harm to customers, suppliers, etc
- breaking the law, eg fraud
- serious misconduct, eg company assets have not been used properly
- having a significant irregularity in its affairs
You can also complain in writing.
Investigations and Enforcement Services
3rd Floor Cannon House
18 Priory Queensway
What happens next
If The Insolvency Service decides that your complaint is serious enough, they will either:
- carry out a confidential investigation
- pass your complaint on to another public body
If they find anything wrong and have enough evidence, they may ask a court to do either or both of the following:
- close the company down
- disqualify the company’s directors
If they find an offence may have been committed, they’ll send a report to the appropriate authority who will decide whether to carry out a criminal investigation.
What can’t be investigated
The Insolvency Service won’t usually investigate complaints if:
- there’s no public interest, eg an internal company dispute
- an investigation by somebody else is already underway
- the main issue is that the company isn’t paying its debts
Complaining about insolvent companies
If the company you want to complain about has gone into administration, receivership or liquidation (it’s being ‘wound up’), contact the official receiver or insolvency practitioner responsible for their case.
Check the Companies House register if you don’t know the name of the official receiver or insolvency practitioner.
Complain to Companies House
Companies House deals with complaints about companies that fail to file their annual accounts or confirmation statements (previously annual returns), or file fraudulent documents.
If you suspect a company of breaking the law on the filing of documents, email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serious and complex fraud
If your complaint relates to a serious and complex fraud, check the Serious Fraud Office’s criteria for taking on cases to see if you should report it to them.