How to complain about a company
Note – the following information relates to the investigation of companies that are actively trading, or which have ceased trading without entering into insolvency proceedings, using powers of investigation under the Companies Acts. For information on investigations into companies which have entered into formal insolvency proceedings see our pages on
How to complain about a company?
Before making a complaint about a company, please make sure you have read the sections about 'When can The Insolvency Service Investigate' and 'When The Service cannot Investigate'. Having read this, if you feel you wish to continue with your complaint or provide information to us there are various ways to do so:
If you wish to complain about a live company or limited liability partnership then please complete our online Complaint Form.
Alternatively, you can complain by email or post. Please provide the same basic information as requested on our complaint form, otherwise we will only have to ask for it later. This could delay consideration of your complaint.
For more information about how we deal with complaints please refer to "What the hotline covers and how we use it".
Can I complain anonymously?
There is no real benefit in doing so. We will treat any information you provide in strictest confidence. In particular, if we do investigate, we do not tell the company who has made the complaint or what we are looking at. If we decide not to investigate, we do not tell the company that a complaint has been received.
Also, if you complain anonymously, we will not be able to obtain further information from you or discuss your concerns, and this could reduce the prospect of an investigation being commenced (by us or any other body).
What will happen to my complaint?
On receipt of a complaint:
- The information is assessed and a decision is taken as to whether the complaint is capable of being addressed by our powers, and also whether or not it is in the public interest to proceed. This may involve obtaining additional information however we do not approach the companies at this stage.
- Where we decide that there is sufficient good reason to investigate, and that investigation is in the wider public interest, we will appoint investigators under the authority of the Secretary of State.
- We may decide there is no basis for investigation (see section on "When can’t The Service investigate").
- We may decide not to investigate ourselves, but to pass the information to another public or regulatory body, which may be in a better position to investigate or act on your concerns.
- We issue press releases when action has been successfully completed.
Where investigators are appointed they will then call, often unannounced, at the companies premises to talk to the companies officers. They will ask questions of those who appear to be in charge and require sight of document which they feel will be useful in the enquiry, taking copies of anything they consider important. The investigator also has the facility to obtain electronic copies of information held on computers.
Investigators can demand detailed information not only from a company’s directors but also from other company employees and third parties who may be in the possession of relevant documents and information.
For further information see "How do you investigate corporate abuse?"
Insolvency Service Publications "Company Investigations - What we do (DOC, 2.2 Mb) "