Phoenix companies and the role of the Insolvency Service

This guide explains the role of the insolvency service in investigating phoenixism



Phoenixing, or phoenixism, are terms used to describe the practice of carrying on the same business or trade successively through a series of companies where each becomes insolvent (can’t pay their debts) in turn. Each time this happens, the insolvent company’s business, but not its debts, is transferred to a new, similar ‘phoenix’ company.

The insolvent company then ceases to trade and might enter into formal insolvency proceedings (liquidation, administration or administrative receivership) or be dissolved.

Published 7 October 2015
Last updated 24 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Improved information on re-using a company name
  2. First published.