Can ASIC deregister my company?

If your company is no longer trading or has overdue fees or penalties owing to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ASIC can deregister your company.

This can have serious consequences if your assets are held in your company, so it is important to take steps to prevent your company from being deregistered.

How does ASIC deregister a company?

ASIC will ordinarily take the following steps when deregistering a company:

  1. First, ASIC will send a letter to the company’s directors or liquidators to advise of the pending deregistration;
  2. ASIC will then update the company’s status on ASIC’s register to indicate that the company is being deregistered;
  3. ASIC will post a notice on ASIC’s Published Notices website, advising that the company will be deregistered in 2 months; and
  4. After 2 months have elapsed, ASIC will deregister the company and send a notice to the directors or liquidators to confirm deregistration.

What happens when ASIC deregisters my company?

Once a company has been deregistered:

  1. It no longer exists as a legal entity and can no longer do anything in its own right;
  2. Any property the company owned (other than trust property) vests in ASIC;
  3. Any property held by the company on trust vests in the Commonwealth (represented by ASIC);
  4. Any Court proceedings in which the company is a party cannot be continued (in so far as they relate to the deregistered company); and
  5. Court proceedings cannot be commenced against the company.

Further, any money in a deregistered company’s bank account will vest with ASIC and any account registered in the name of a deregistered company will be immediately frozen.

After a period of time, if the company remains deregistered, the account is usually closed, and the funds sent to ASIC’s Unclaimed Monies Unit.

The law regarding what happens to the property of a deregistered company can be complex, and you should seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer if your company is deregistered.

How can I stop ASIC deregistering my company?

Depending on the reason that your company is being deregistered, you may be able to stop the deregistration by:

  1. Paying your company’s annual review fee and any other outstanding fees;
  2. Lodging any required company documents with ASIC; or
  3. Writing to ASIC and advising that the company is still trading.

If you have been notified that ASIC intends on deregistering your company, it is important to act quickly to identify the reason why, and what you can do to stop the deregistration.

Conclusion

Dealing with ASIC and attempting to stop your company from being deregistered can be an overwhelming task, which is why we recommend you seek legal advice.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us.

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