Insolvency for directors
- Is my company in financial difficulty?
- What do I do if my company is in financial difficulty?
- What if my company is insolvent?
- What are my duties as a director?
- What are the consequences of insolvent trading?
- How does an external administration affect me as a director?
- What is my role in assisting an external administrator?
- Bankruptcy and personal insolvency agreements
- Quick links
- Information sheets and guides
Is my company in financial difficulty?
Signs that may indicate your company is in financial difficulty include ongoing losses, poor cashflow, unpaid creditors outside usual trading terms and problems obtaining finance. If you receive a director penalty notice from the Commissioner of Taxation for your company’s unpaid and unreported Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding or Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) amounts, you should immediately seek professional advice. Failure to take appropriate steps within 21 days may result in the Commissioner taking recovery action against you personally for an amount equivalent to the unpaid tax.
Read more about:
- how to tell if your company is in financial difficulty
- your personal liability for unpaid company tax
What do I do if my company is in financial difficulty?
If you suspect your company is in financial difficulty, get proper accounting and legal advice as early as possible, as this increases the likelihood of the company surviving. Read more about what to do if your company is in financial difficulty
What if my company is insolvent?
If your company is insolvent, do not allow it to incur further debt. Unless it is possible to promptly restructure, refinance or obtain equity funding to recapitalise the company, generally, your options are to appoint a voluntary administrator or a liquidator. The three most common insolvency procedures are voluntary administration, liquidation and receivership. Read more about what happens if your company is insolvent
What are my duties as a director?
If your company is insolvent, or there is a real risk of insolvency, your duties as a director are expanded to include the interests of creditors (including employees and other stakeholders). As well as general directors’ duties, you also have a duty to prevent your company trading if it is insolvent. Read more about directors' duties
What are the consequences of insolvent trading?
Insolvent trading can have serious consequences for directors. There are various penalties associated with insolvent trading, including civil penalties, compensation proceedings and criminal charges. Read more about the consequences of insolvent trading
How does an external administration affect me as a director?
There are a number of consequences for directors of a company that goes into external administration. These vary depending on the type of external administration. Read more how an external administration affects you as a director
What is my role in assisting an external administrator?
As a company officer, you must assist any external administrator (e.g. liquidator, receiver, administrator) who has been appointed to your company. You must provide reports as to affairs (commonly known as RATAs), records, information and other assistance. Read more about your role in assisting an external administrator
Bankruptcy and personal insolvency agreements
What happens to you as a director, alternate director or secretary if you are bankrupt or subject to a Part X agreement? Read more about bankrupcty and personal insolvency agreements
- A liquidator must be registered with ASIC. You can check if a liquidator is registered by:
- For further information about insolvency, go to Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA)
- For information about personal insolvency and bankruptcy, go to Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA)
- For general resources and information about directors, go to Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD)
- Insolvency: a guide for directors (INFO 42)
- Insolvency: a glossary of terms (INFO 41)
- Regulatory Guide: Directors' statement as to solvency (RG 22)
- Regulatory Guide Duty to prevent insolvent trading: Guide to directors (RG 217)
- Consultation Paper: Directors' duty to prevent insolvent trading (CP 124)