Need to close my Limited business, but cannot afford to? Panic.

Hello. I'm looking for advice please The cancer diagnosis has changed everything. I have a Ltd company and I need to close it and focus upon family.

Panic: there is not enough cash in the business to close it. Cash reserves have been spent paying subcontractors to cover my absence for the last three months, and projections suggest it will take another 8 months to build up enough reserves to close it (paying off owed tax, accountancy bills, ongoing running costs) - and this would of course require me to keep on doing the work (which I should not really be doing due to the surgery I have had), effectively working for 8 months for nothing. ("The hidden costs of cancer diagnosis" ?)

Not sure which way to turn for help in this. Radiotherapy due next week. I'm in a total spin, panicking. Has anybody been here before?

  • Hello 

    could you liquidate the company , not ideal but you need to look after number1 now 

  • Sorry to hear you are in this difficult position , would having a chat with your accountant be possible,and discuss options ?

    You don’t need this extra stress . See if you can get this sorted and keep in touch x

  • A very warm welcome to Cancer Chat Jools, although I'm really sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the impact this has had on your business. 

    I've been doing some research and have found some organisations you can get in touch with that will hopefully help make this a lot less stressful for you.

    If you haven't done so already, it would be a good idea to get in touch with Citizen's Advice as they will be able to advise on your situation.

    Secondly, Macmillan have an article on their website, making decisions about your business, which includes a section about closing your business that might be useful at this time. They also have a financial guidance service you can call on 0808 808 00 00, which will give you the opportunity to discuss your situation in more detail with dedicated financial advisers.

    Finally, you may be able to find some more information on the GOV.UK website.

    I really hope this helps and that the start of your radiotherapy goes well next week.

    Kind regards,

    Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator 

  • Nightmare! 
    Talk to your accountant after explaining your situation. 
    Without seeing your accounts, I’d be foolish to offer advice but voluntary bankruptcy is one option, selling the business is another - especially if you have a full order book and just have temporary cash flow pronlems.

    Don’t do anything too hasty!

  • Thanks for the tip, Laraj. You're right, health must come first now. 

  • Thank you for the advice Rumelstiltskin. I think you are right, I need to speak to someone who has experience of this. 

  • Thank you Steph, this is really helpful. I am mindful that my accountant may be happy to help me... for a fee. I get the sense that vultures are circling. The start of radiotherapy next week might be adding to my worries. Can anybody else relate to this feeling of needing to clear the decks before treatment and whatever lies ahead? 

  • Thanks Dave. You are the second person who has told me not to do anything too hasty. You are right, there is indeed a healthy order book stretching into 2024, but I'd be trading water and not generating revenue/cashflow if I'm hiring sub-contractors rather than doing the work myself (which I'm advised I shouldn't really be doing i.e. heavy lifting). All may not be lost... But the health situation has changed my perspective at the moment. Does that make sense?

  • Hi Joils,

    They used to call it “getting your affairs in order” . 
    Whilst waiting for chemo I made sure my will was up to date, that the will, life insurance and other essentials were in place, that my accountant knew to wind my business up if I died and I’d even put together a play list for my wake! All “just in case” - so I’m sure a lot of people on here can relate to your activities. 

    Whatever gets you through. 

    Best wishes

  • Hi Jools,

    I was in a similar position 14 years ago, when I had my first diagnosis - I had a second bout a year later. I had just moved into new premises and had encountered a lot of expense in building, fitting them out, etc. I took on extra staff and doubled my workload to increase the money coming in. When I could, I worked there myself, but eventually had to assume a more managerial role. I had just put it on the market when Covid hit. Naturally, my reserves were depleted by this, although they weren't as low as they were to start with. Fortunately, I was allowed to work throughout Covid, but incurred even more organisation and expense to be able to do so. 

    Last year I finally put the business on the market and it sold straight away.  With the benefit of hindsight, I carried on far too long for my own sake. I had a lot of stress with the business, whilst coping with my diagnoses and treatment. This has taken it's toll on me. Now that I've finally retired at 74, I no longer have the strength, mobility or energy to do all the things I had planned to do. In that time life has taken it's toll on my hubby too. We are no longer able to get insurance to travel abroad - continental holidays featured strongly in our plans - we were too busy to go when I was working and now we've left it too late.

    Have a chat with your accountants and see what they suggest. With a healthy looking order book, it could still be a viable option to sell, but you'll need some advice about the cost incurred of winding things up and how to meet these commitments. Voluntary bankruptcy is another option to consider and is not as drastic as you might think.

    I know that you are just about to start radiotherapy, but don't let that force you into making the wrong decision. I don't know your age, but this will also have a bearing on what you eventually do.

    Whatever decision you come to, I hope that it turns out to be the right one for you.

    Please keep in touch and let us know what you eventually do. As you know, we are always here for you.

    Kind regards,

    Jolamine xx