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Closure

When winding up a project or service, you may need to:
• Notify key stakeholders (funders, suppliers, operational partners)
• Manage staff redundancy
• Plan future of client records
• Terminate leases and service contracts
• Finalise project accounts and monitoring returns

The issue of client records is often forgotten. Your funder may have a view on this. If the service is being transferred to another provider, then the solution is probably to transfer client records, but you need to consider the data protection issues. You may need to write to all clients seeking their consent.

If the service is not being transferred, you first thought may be to destroy client records. However, this would mean that you have no records to refer to in the event of a negligence claim being brought against you. (Adult negligence claims are subject to a three-year time limit, but children may claim at any time up to their 21st birthday.) Consider safe storage of records.

When winding up an entire organisation, you will also need to:
• Settle debts and distribute assets in accordance with the dissolution clause in your governing document
• Administer a formal dissolution process

Assuming you are solvent, these final processes are relatively straightforward. If you are not, you will need to appoint an Insolvency Practitioner.

In the case of a company, you would need to go through a formal process, either :
Voluntary striking off, or
Members’ voluntary liquidation

In the case of a charity, you would also need to inform the Charity Commission.

The equivalent for an Industrial and Provident Society would be an instrument of dissolution.

For more detailed guidance see:
Guidance on voluntary liquidation (Companies House) 
Guidance of striking off (Companies House)
Close a charity (Charity Commission)  
Instrument of dissolution - form and notes (FSA)