How to reclaim bona vacantia after a dissolved company is restored to the register.
You can only apply for repayment once the company has been restored to the register of companies.
If you want to know how to restore a company, you can get advice from Companies House
If a dissolved company is restored to the register, then (unless the restoration order provides otherwise) the Bona Vacantia division (BVD) will pay to the restored company:
- all cash which belonged to the dissolved company which BVD collected while the company was dissolved
- the net proceeds of sale of other property and rights which belonged to the dissolved company which BVD sold while the company was dissolved
BVD will normally make any repayment by cheque made payable to the company.
BVD do not provide legal advice. In particular they cannot advise you about restoration. You should look at the guidance produced by Companies House and take your own professional advice if you need to.
BVD cannot repay money that they have never received. For example, if a third party didn’t send BVD money due to the dissolved company then you must take the matter up with the third party.
While a company is dissolved BVD may have disposed of an asset belonging to it – BVD are entitled to do this and on restoration you will be entitled to recover the net proceeds of the sale only.
Apply for a repayment
Complete the attached application form RA15 in all cases and a Payment Authority where appropriate
Bona Vacantia - Cash Balance
Government Legal Department
PO Box 70165
Switchboard 020 7210 4700
Please use this email address for all enquiries relating to the cash assets of dissolved companies.
You must include the following documents and information. BVD will not get this information for you and failure to provide the information will delay dealing with your case.
- a complete application form RA15
- a copy of the court order restoring the company or confirmation of administrative restoration from Companies House (whichever applies)
- a Payment Authority where a repayment is not being made payable to the company’s name
- proof of identity as set out below
BVD will almost always repay the funds by cheque payable to the company’s name and number as registered at Companies House.
Occasionally, BVD may agree to repay funds to an individual or organisation instead of the company, but only if the company provides BVD with authority to do so.
The company must do this by completing a Payment Authority form.
BVD will only accept the Payment Authority if the company does not have an account with a bank or other financial institution and cannot set one up. The Payment Authority should set out clearly why payment cannot be made to the company.
The Payment Authority must be signed by a majority of the officers of the company. “Officers” means directors and the company secretary. So, if the company only has two officers, then both must sign the Payment Authority.
Proof of identity you may need to send
BVD operate anti-money laundering procedures and you may need to provide proof of identity when making your application.
Please follow the instructions below carefully and provide the required documents when you make your application.
Where the amount being repaid is less than £10,000
Generally, BVD do not require proof of identity unless you have completed a Payment Authority requesting payment to a person other than the company in which case you must provide proof of identity and of address for each person who signs the Payment Authority. Please do not send original documents to this office unless specifically asked to do so. Please see the section for individuals on the Proof of identity checklist.
If one of the persons signing the Payment Authority is a company, proof of identity will be required for that company. Please see the section for companies and other legal structures Proof of identity checklist.
You should note that BVD may in certain circumstances require proof of identity from the person who signs the application form RA15 or others even where the amount being repaid is less than £10,000.
Where the amount being repaid is more than £10,000
BVD need to see proof of identity for the restored company. Please see the section for companies and other legal structures in the Proof of identity checklist.
BVD need to see proof of identity and of address for the person who signs the application form RA15.
Finally, if you are completing a Payment Authority requesting payment to a person other than the company, BVD also require proof of identity and address for each person who signs the Payment Authority.
If one of the persons signing the Payment Authority is a company, proof of identity will be required for that company.
Please see the identity checklist for further details.
In all cases you must send the Proof of Identity documents that comply with the following.
If you live in the UK
Please send copies of original documents certified as true copies by a practising solicitor (all must be registered in England & Wales) or by the U.K. Post Office ID Checking Service.
The person certifying the copy documents must sign and date them, and must state their full name, business name and business address, and their status.
If you live outside the UK
Where the applicant lives outside England and Wales, you must send us copies of Proof of Identity documentation certified by a Notary Public registered in their country of residence together with an Apostille certificate for each document. BVD will not advise you on how to do this and you should take your own professional advice if you are unsure what to do. No other certification of documents will be accepted.
BVD reserve the right to require you to get an official translation into English of any document and to also have that translation certified by a Notary Public and apostilled.