Resurrecting a dissolved company

Published by James Hopkirk on 22 April 2024

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When considering resurrecting a dissolved company, such as the potential return of Woolworths to the UK, several complex issues arise, particularly around intellectual property (IP).

Restructuring Partner, James Hopkirk, offers a detailed examination of these challenges in his article for AAT Magazine. For more comprehensive insights, please visit the full article on AAT Magazine’s website, or read the summary below.

Legal aspects of resurrecting a dissolved company

The process of resurrecting a dissolved company hinges significantly on the legal and contractual conditions at the time of dissolution. If the disposition of IP was clearly addressed during the dissolution, the revival process tends to be smoother. However, ambiguities can lead to disputes and legal complexities, as detailed by Karen Feltham, MAAT, from Aligned Accountancy.

Handling Intellectual Property

IP, by its nature as an intangible asset, presents unique challenges. It’s crucial to ensure all IP was appropriately documented and legally transferred or retained during the dissolution. Bai Cham, a partner at Begbies Traynor, highlights the importance of cataloguing all company IPs upon formation and addressing them thoroughly before dissolution. This approach simplifies the identification and management of IPs should the company be revived.

Practical steps and considerations

According to James Hopkirk, while resurrecting an old company is generally straightforward, managing IP can be complex. Essential steps include checking the availability of the company name at Companies House, understanding restrictions related to re-using similar trading names, and dealing with any IP that may have been sold or transferred.


Resurrecting a dissolved business involves navigating through legal documentation, handling intangible assets effectively, and considering potential tax implications if the company was previously wound down on a solvent basis. Accountants play a crucial role in ensuring that all aspects, especially IP, are thoroughly managed to prevent future complications.

For those involved in or considering the resurrection of a company, understanding these complexities is vital. For professional guidance on resurrecting a company, please get in touch.

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