HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesHow long does a winding up order take?

A petition normally takes between 8-10 weeks if not disputed or defended. However, with current government legislation in place due to Covid, the process is now a lot slower and more complex. Our excellent team can help advise.

Normal time periods

From start to finish of a winding up petition, that is from the issue of the winding up order to the court making a formal order to wind up the company, it can take approximately 8-10 weeks. This however assumes that all of the steps proceed smoothly and for example, the winding up order is not disputed or adjourned.

Covid related delays

At the current time of writing, the Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act remains in force – which is impacting on the ability to issue winding up petitions and the length of time they can take to be heard at court. There are now more hurdles for creditors to get over and the current timescales mean that it can take 3-6 months to get to a hearing at court. Our team can advise you on all Covid related restrictions and how they might effect you.

Issuing of the winding up petition

To issue a winding up order, the relevant winding up petition document needs to be completed and this needs to be done very carefully in order to avoid dismissal of the petition happening earlier. This is especially true due to the current changes imposed by the Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act.

  • it is vital to get the drafting correct;
  • defective winding up petitions can lead to early dismissal and wasted costs;
  • However, once the winding up petition is properly drafted then it is filed on-line with the appropriate court fee and the court will issue the winding up order.

Service of the winding up petition

The winding up petition then needs to be personally served on the company. At FWJ we can arrange for the winding up order to be served on the company by use of a process server. That usually happens within 24 hours of the issued winding up petition being received back from court.

The return date – when the parties are due back in court

When the issued winding up petition is received back from court, there will be a date on it indicating when the winding up petition hearing is. That hearing is normally 8-10 weeks after the date the winding up petition was issued, but it is now taking longer due to Covid.

What to do before the court hearing in order to wind up a company

In order to wind up the company at that hearing and obtain a winding up order, the petition must be advertised in the London Gazette.

  • the winding up advert can only be placed 7 business days after service of the winding up order;
  • prior to the winding up hearing, certain documents also need to be filed at court including the documents relating to whether the petition has been supported by other creditors as well as with a document known as a continuing certificate of debt;
  • if the winding up procedure has been properly completed, then at the court hearing, the court will make a winding up order and the company will be formally placed into liquidation.

However, there are many things which might slow the process above down. For example if the winding up order is disputed by the debtor or the parties agree for whatever reason for the winding up petition to be adjourned for a further date in the future, then the process can take longer. However on average the winding up petition process takes approximately 8-10 weeks.


Francis Wilks & Jones is the county’s leading firm of winding up petition solicitors. We are experts in what we do. Our knowledge of the winding up petitions is second to none and our results fantastic. Whatever your winding up petition enquiry, we can assist.

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