How to issue a statutory demand and winding up petition
What is a statutory demand?A statutory demand is a formal demand for payment and, if a client doesnt pay, it can be used as evidence that they’re insolvent. If a client is insolvent, the next step is to wind them up (if they’re a company) or make them bankrupt (if they’re an individual or sole trader.) If a client is running a profitable business, they won’t allow this to happen over an invoice and will usually pay up in under 21 days. The great thing is, businesses can start this process quickly and easily with only one form and, unlike the courts, there are no fees to pay. The downside is that the issuing of a statutory demand can only be made in certain, specific circumstances, which Ill explain below. Issuing a statutory demand can also be seen as an aggressive move, so a relationship with a client is likely to be damaged as a result. However, if a company gets to the stage where it needs to take this action, a client will have already seriously compromised the relationship, so this shouldnt put anyone off.
How to issue a statutory demandSo, what’s the procedure for issuing a statutory demand? The first stage in this process is to check whether a debt qualifies, because a company cannot issue a statutory demand in all circumstances. To qualify, the debt must be over 750 if a limited company owes money, and over 5, 000 if an individual owes money. In both cases, the debt must be undisputed. If a business is owed less than these amounts, or the debt is disputed for any reason, then a statutory demand shouldnt be issued. Instead, the aggrieved party should pursue a claim through the courts. __________________________________________________________________________________
How to win a court case without a lawyer You don’t need a rock solid case to win in court case to win, your case only needs to be slightly better than average. __________________________________________________________________________________ If a debt does qualify, the next stage is to complete a statutory demand form.
Statutory demand formsThere are four different statutory demand forms to choose from. If the debtor (the client) is a limited company, an SD1 form is most likely needed. If they’re an individual, it’s an SD2 form. The forms are available for free online, but please note that there are other versions of the forms for use in specific circumstances, so check that you have the right one. The form should be self-explanatory to complete as it has guidance notes on it. Businesses will need to complete details of the debtor, the creditor (the company, whoever is owed the money) and details of the debt. When it’s complete, the form will need to be served to the client. The Insolvency Rules say that when you’re serving a statutory demand on an individual, you must:
do all that is reasonable to bring the statutory demand to the debtor’s attention and, if practicable in the particular circumstances, serve the demand personally.In reality, this means that ideally it should be served personally but, if this isnt possible, email it, post it or deliver it to their home address. If the statutory demand is being served to a limited company, it is ideally left at the company’s registered office. If this is not possible, it should be sent by registered post to the registered office. Being able to prove the statutory demand was properly served on a client is essential if the issuer wants to rely on it as proof that a client is insolvent. So, if a business is in any doubt about how to serve it properly it may be worth hiring a process server (a professional whose job it is to serve legal documents) to serve it on behalf.