As a company enters liquidation, directors must repay their outstanding loans to the company to settle its debts. This article delves into the complexities of directors’ loans in the face of insolvency.

We’ll delve into the legal intricacies, tax implications, and practical aspects, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate this process responsibly. By the end, you’ll have a thorough understanding of your obligations and options regarding directors’ loans during liquidation.

What Happens to a Directors’ Loan During Liquidation

What is the status of my overdrawn director’s loan account during company liquidation?

When your company enters liquidation, your outstanding director’s loan account (DLA) becomes a company asset that must be repaid. As a director, you are personally responsible for settling the balance.

The liquidator’s primary duty is to maximize the company’s assets to pay off creditors. Consequently, they will pursue you to repay the overdrawn DLA.

Legally, you are obligated to repay the overdrawn DLA. If you fail to do so, the liquidator can take legal action against you, potentially resulting in a court judgment. Ignoring this obligation could have severe personal financial consequences, including damaged credit or even personal bankruptcy.

It is crucial to note that you cannot write off the loan or offset it against future dividends once the company is in liquidation. Your responsibility to settle the overdrawn DLA takes precedence, as the goal is to repay the company’s creditors to the fullest extent possible.

If you have an overdrawn DLA, it is essential to seek professional guidance from an insolvency practitioner or other qualified professional. They can assist you in understanding your options and developing a plan to repay the debt.


What does it mean when a director’s loan account (DLA) is overdrawn?

 A Director’s Loan Account (DLA) is a running tally of financial transactions between a company and its director that excludes salary, dividends, and expense reimbursements. It essentially tracks the director’s outstanding borrowings from the company.

An overdrawn DLA arises when the director’s withdrawals exceed their contributions. This can occur due to various factors, such as the director utilizing company funds for personal expenses or the company facing financial difficulties.


Will an overdrawn director’s loan be repaid or written off during company liquidation?

Typically, a director’s overdrawn loan account (DLA) must be repaid during company liquidation. The liquidator’s primary responsibility is to maximize asset recovery for the benefit of the company’s creditors, and the DLA falls under that category.

In rare instances, the liquidator may opt against pursuing the debt if the associated recovery costs outweigh the potential recoverable amount. This decision hinges on the specific circumstances of the liquidation process.

Several factors influence the liquidator’s decision to pursue the debt, including:

  • The overdrawn DLA’s magnitude.

  • The likelihood of successfully recovering the debt.

  • The cost involved in pursuing the debt.

  • The potential impact on the company’s creditors.

If the liquidator decides to pursue the debt, they may initiate legal action against the director to reclaim the funds. Additionally, the director may face personal liability for any debts that the company is unable to repay.


What are the potential repercussions of maintaining an overdrawn DLA?

aintaining an overdrawn Director’s Loan Account (DLA) can pose significant financial and legal risks, particularly in the event of company liquidation.

Tax Implications

Prior to liquidation, an overdrawn DLA may incur tax liabilities for both the company and the director. For instance, the company may be subject to Section 455 tax, which is levied on overdrawn DLAs that remain unpaid within nine months of the company’s financial year-end. This tax, currently at 32.5% of the overdrawn amount, must be paid to HMRC.

Legal Implications

Upon commencement of liquidation proceedings, the director becomes legally obligated to repay the overdrawn amount. Failure to comply can result in severe consequences, including:

  • Legal action by the liquidator to reclaim the debt

  • Wrongful trading charges, potentially leading to disqualification from directorship in future companies

Additional Implications

Beyond tax and legal repercussions, maintaining an overdrawn DLA can also:

  • Tarnish the company’s reputation and hinder investment opportunities

  • Strain relationships with shareholders and fellow directors

  • Impose personal financial burdens on the director


Unable to Repay Director’s Loan?

Seeking professional advice is crucial if you cannot repay an overdrawn director’s loan account (DLA) during liquidation. Qualified accountants or lawyers can guide you through your options and obligations under the current regulations and assist in formulating a debt repayment plan.

Key Points to Remember:

The liquidator is legally obligated to recover the debt on behalf of the company’s creditors. This may involve legal action, such as obtaining a court judgment.

Failure to repay the debt can severely impact your personal finances and credit rating, potentially leading to personal bankruptcy and disqualification from future directorships.

Negotiating a repayment plan with the liquidator may be possible in some cases, but it is at their discretion and only considered in the creditors’ best interests.

Refinancing personal assets to repay the DLA is an option, but it carries risks and should be carefully evaluated.

Senior Partner at Vanguard Insolvency Practitioners | Website | + posts

I am an insolvency professional with a distinguished career specialising in commercial insolvency, adeptly navigating Creditors Voluntary Liquidation, Company Voluntary Arrangements, and Company Administrations. With a comprehensive understanding of insolvency laws and an unwavering commitment to ethical practices.