When can't The Service investigate
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
The Service cannot normally investigate:
- unincorporated partnerships or sole traders (although they can be required to assist with information as part of an investigation into a limited company);
- companies which do not carry on business in either England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland;
- companies which have been dissolved. (The Registrar of Companies will be able to tell you if a company has been dissolved);
It is important to note that we cannot assist you in the ways described below. However, if you have any information to suggest that the company may be involved in a pattern of misconduct (for example, you are aware of others in the same position) we may be able to put a stop to it if you provide us with details.
- We cannot help you resolve any differences you have with a company, such as a dispute over the quality of goods or services provided.
- We cannot help you to recover any money that you are owed as enquiries are not an alternative to any legal remedies that may be available to you).
- We cannot intervene in any dispute between a company and its shareholders. In particular, the fact that some shareholders are unhappy with decisions made by the directors is not a basis for an enquiry. (It is the job of the directors to manage the company and for the shareholders to vote on the appointment of the directors and any resolutions required to be passed by shareholders. Remedies may be available to shareholders under the Companies Acts or through the courts if they are unhappy with the decisions made by the directors or any failure to act).
- We cannot intervene in any dispute between the company’s directors.
(It is the job of the directors to manage the company and resolve any disputes between them, taking appropriate legal action where necessary).
- We cannot give you any advice or guidance on what course of action you could or should take if you are in dispute with a company.
- We cannot comment on whether or not a company is reputable, or provide you with references (credit, or otherwise) for a particular company.
Please note that our investigations are confidential. We can neither confirm nor deny that an investigation is taking place, and by law we can not provide you with any details of what we find. We will however take action or make the information available to other regulators and enforcement agencies if we have any concerns.
If the issue you are concerned about is something we do not or cannot do you may find that another organisation is better placed to deal with those concerns or your problem. See the list of other such organisations provided.