What Is Insolvency?
07th June 2017

You are insolvent if you cannot pay debts when they become due (either now or, because of some contingent liability of the business, in the future) or if your assets are worth less than your total liabilities. The first is sometimes called ‘cash flow insolvency’ and the second ‘balance sheet insolvency’.

Having a profitable business is not, in itself, a guarantee that you will not be insolvent. cash flow problems — for example, if customers fail to pay money they owe you, or if you over-invest in equipment — that mean you cannot pay your debts as they fall due could mean you are insolvent, even though the business is healthy otherwise.

The consequences of failing to take the proper steps once your business becomes insolvent can be dire and could affect you personally whether you are a sole trader or a director of a company. It is essential that proper advice is taken from a professional specialising in insolvency, at as early a stage as possible, to ensure that you minimise your personal exposure. Blindly trading on in the hope that you will be able to turn the business round may prove very costly to you personally if it does not work and you actually make the position worse.

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