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If my company is liquidated, am I personally liable for product guarantees and warranties?

Incorporation as a limited company generally provides protection from director's facing personal liability for product guarantees and warranties. Setting up a business using this legal structure makes the company a separate legal entity, with director/shareholder liability being limited.

On liquidation, any customer wishing to use a current guarantee or warranty for one of your products effectively becomes an unsecured creditor, and must take their place in the creditor hierarchy.

Because unsecured creditors are placed at the bottom of the order for repayment during a liquidation process, it is unlikely that monies will be available to repay them. This does not affect your liability as a director, however, even if the product you sold became damaged or developed a fault.

Do creditors have specific recourse to recover the warranty payment?

People with reason to seek recompense for a faulty or damaged purchase need to produce a valid product guarantee or warranty. The liquidator will then register them as a creditor, and the amount they are owed is verified.

Unsecured creditors can keep in touch with the liquidator in case surplus monies do become available, but in most cases it is the secured and preferential creditors who receive the highest returns in liquidation cases.

There may be other ways in which your creditor could recover their money, one of which is to make a claim via their credit card provider if this was the original method of payment. Alternatively, there may be a manufacturer’s guarantee in place which could also solve the problem.

Begbies Traynor can provide further guidance on your liability as a director during liquidation. We provide independent, unbiased advice, and with 37 offices around the country, can offer a same day meeting in complete confidence.

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Insolvency Practitioners Association Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales R3: Association of Business Recovery Professionals ICAEW Business Advice Service Turnaround Management Association ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) ICAS | The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

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