Liquidation of Limited Liability Companies in the UAE
The dawn of 2015 showcased significant developments in the United Arab Emirates when Federal Law Number 2 of 2015 (the Companies Law). This statute amended the major portion of the law governing legal entities in the country’s mainland. The Companies Law has also focused on the provisions of liquidation which we will shed light on, but first, we will demonstrate the main reasons of liquidating a company as per the said law. The lawmakers of the country have strived to simplify the process of liquidation of a company with the view to ensure that all the parties have an equitable share in the entity’s assets. It is not strange to deem an organization desolated and initiate the process of liquidation if the purpose of the company has been full filled. If all or most of the company’s funds are utilized or spent and; the remaining funds cannot be used for investment anymore, all partners of the business (or the quorum) agreed that the term of the company has expired or a Court has issued an order to dissolute the company. The Court of Cassation in Commercial Cassation Case Number 381/2008 stated that ‘if any of the dissolution events arises, the steps shall follow the liquidation of the company and distribution of the money among the shareholders which cannot be distributed unless and until the dissolution and liquidation process concludes.'
At the outset, the representative of the company must notify the Department of Economic Development (the DED) and all other related authorities with the reasons for dissolution and liquidation of the business. The authorities accordingly will note the 'dissolution' at the commercial register and further inform the company of any documentation or legal formalities at that stage. The dissolution should be published in two local newspapers in English and Arabic to provide an opportunity to the public to be aware of the decision and protect their personal interests if any. Further, the partners of the company should appoint a liquidator and determine the manner of liquidation notwithstanding that no partner shall be entitled to his shares from the capital of the entity until all debts get settled.
The Process of Liquidating
A liquidator will be the representative of the company to the public and the Court. The liquidator will bear the responsibility to settle all remaining debts of the company and sell its movable and immovable assets in auctions or; in any manner unless is it agreed in the partners’ resolution or Court order to sell such assets in a set way. The process of liquidation of a company includes:-
Assets and Liabilities
The liquidator has to prepare a detailed list setting out all available amounts, budget and current liabilities of the company which must be signed by the manager or board. He should also present to the partners every three months a statement of liquidation and reveal to the partners any information related to the matter. Once the process is concluded, the liquidator must submit his final report of liquidation to be approved by the partners or Court. After obtaining the approval, accordingly the liquidator will – within seven days- notify the partners by publication to receive their entitlements within 21 days. All the shares will be stored with the Cort’s treasury if the partners fail to collect their shares.
Interests of Company
Settlement of Debts
The monies of the business shall be distributed among its partners according to the shares only after clearing all dues and debts. It is to be noted that all due dates of liabilities shall relinquish upon the dissolution of the company. With this, the liquidator shall duly notify the creditors with the commencement of liquidation in two local newspapers published in both English and Arabic. In all circumstances, the publication must include an invitation to the creditors to present their claims in a grace period of not less than 45 days. Once the creditors submit their request and if it’s shown that the available amount cannot cover the entire debts then the liquidator, in this case, shall settle according to the percentage of liabilities without prejudice to the priority creditors. In the event where the creditor(s) are in dispute over the debt then the liquidator will have to put the amount of the debt in the court’s treasury. Otherwise, all debts will get settled with the creditors, and such settlement gets notarized before the notary public.
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