We’ll navigate the tough times for you

Saying it’s been a hard 12 months for small business owners is an understatement.

Now’s the time to have someone in your corner – an advisor who provides clarity amongst the murkiness of insolvency, stress and indecision.

Approved small business restructuring practitioners

Worrells is available Australia wide

Fast, cost effective options

New solutions for companies with liabilities up to $1m

Insolvency Laws have changed, for the better

COVID-19 has created a tough economic environment for many small businesses and the government has made changes to allow your company to restructure debt more easily to weather the storm (and stay in control of your company).

Do these new laws apply to me?

If things are too tough and you need to close, the new legislation changes make it more straight forward for businesses to wind up, with less costs.

OPTION 1

Debt Restructure

  • Helping you look at your company debts & negotiating an easier pay back plan
  • On your behalf, dealing with creditors to agree on delayed payments, reduced payments or debt 
  • Working with the ATO to negotiate a payment plan that buys you breathing space to rebuild
OPTION 2

Wind up

  • A lower cost option than the standard liquidation
  • A faster way to wind up your company with less burden on you the owner
  • More certainty in the liquidation process, giving you assurance before you go ahead with simplified liquidation

Knowing when to make the call for help

Small business owners are tough breed and independent by nature, so that makes it difficult when deciding you might need a helping hand to change your situation.

There’s some critical signs that you should look out for.

5 signals that indicate
business stress

  1. Falling behind on payments due to cash-flow blockages
  2. Stressed relationships with key suppliers
  3. Juggling issues with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  4. Business leaders checking out or becoming overwhelmed
  5. The stress creeps into your personal life

Breathe easy by preparing early

We’ll take the lead, so you can focus on your business.

Plain talk, straight answers and here to help

We’ve been around the block, specialising in insolvency since 1973. It’s what we live and breathe every day. We take the jargon out of what can be a complex process and offer a supportive environment during difficult times.

This new insolvency reform is like a game of Jenga. Only practitioners previously experienced in insolvency understand how each piece impacts another.

Eliminate the hurdles of uncertainty with qualified, expert advice from the team that care.

  • Approved small business restructuring practitioners
  • Worrells is available Australia wide
  • Fast, cost effective options
  • New solutions for companies with liabilities up to $1m (what if I’m not eligible?)

Downloads

Want to understand more about what’s changing and how it can help your business?

FAQs

Not quite sure what this reform is really all about? We’ve got plenty to share on it:

What's the criteria for a simplified liquidation?

Should your company meet certain eligibility criteria, the liquidator may adopt the simplified liquidation process rather than the existing approach.

The currently announced criteria are:

  • the company has passed, a special resolution that the company be wound up voluntarily;
  • the directors have given the liquidator a report concerning the company’s affairs and a declaration that the company will be eligible for the simplified liquidation process;
  • the company is insolvent;
  • the company’s total liabilities do not exceed the amount to be prescribed in the regulations;
  • no director has been a director of a company that has previously used the simplified liquidation process or a debt restructuring process; and
  • the company’s tax lodgements are up to date.

Upon electing to adopt the process, the liquidator will notify creditors who will then have the opportunity to opt-out of the simplified liquidation process.

What's the criteria for a a small business debt restructure?

The main criteria are:

  • the company’s total liabilities do not exceed $1 million (liability is taken to mean any liability or obligation, except those that are contingent);
  • no director has been a director of a company that has previously used the simplified liquidation process or a debt restructuring process; and
  • the company’s tax lodgements are up to date.

What if I'm not eligible?

The team at Worrells will work with you to map out the best course of action for you. Speak to an expert to get tailored advice based on your situation.

What's our role in all of this?

In an effort to reduce costs associated with the insolvency process for small businesses, the proposed debtor-in-possession model introduces a new a classification of insolvency advisor called a Small Business Restructuring Practitioner (SBRP), charged with administering the restructuring of a company.

All registered liquidators are automatically Small Business Restructuring Practitioners (SBRPs). Worrells has 29 registered liquidators/SBRPs across Australia.

Providing appropriate advice regarding a distressed business requires a specialised skill set and knowledge that is acquired through years of education and experience.

Furthermore, registered liquidators operate in a highly regulated environment and are subject to strict professional standards, accountability and ethics, unlike many “advisors” in the unregulated pre-insolvency market.

While SMEs may appear to have simplified affairs, in order to achieve a successful outcome in any business turnaround process, it is important for those managing that process to have the correct expertise, a well-planned and articulated strategy, and the ability to support all key stakeholders.

Read the full article

What has changed in liquidations?

If the company is eligible, a simplified liquidation appointment is different to standard liquidation appointment through:

  • Reduced investigation and reporting requirements. The requirement to provide a report on offences to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is removed.
  • Reduced meetings. The obligation for liquidators to convene meetings is removed.
  • Removed Committees of Inspections. Creditors may no longer appoint a committee of inspection, which is currently used to advise and assist the external administrator and can approve and request certain aspects of the liquidation process.
  • No Reviewing Liquidators. Creditors may no longer appoint a reviewing liquidator to review the incumbent’s remuneration.
  • Fewer voidable transactions. It is proposed that the liquidator cannot clawback unfair preference payments from creditors not related to the company.
  • Simplified dividend process. The process of creditors lodging a claim (proof of debt) and dividend payment will be simplified.

What if the company is solvent?

If the company is solvent, meaning it can pay its debt when they fall due, then the simplified liquidation pathway is not available.

Solvent companies can be wound up by its members via a members’ voluntary winding up.

We’re here to help

Chat to your local partner today.

Help is here

It’s natural to have lots of questions, concerns or are simply needing a chat about your situation.

It’s easy to get in touch with one of our experts who are here to help during these tough times.

Look after your mental health

Facing financial distress is a crushing experience that creates hardship on a personal level. It’s not easy.

Be aware and proactive about your mental health, so you can get out the other side of these challenges.

Ask for help if you need it.

Chat to your doctor or reach out to Beyond Blue or Lifeline if you are in urgent need of help.

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