The Treasury is sometimes asked to take action in respect of money owing to a company which has been removed the Companies Register. Please note that bona vacantia / “ownerless” money is different to “unclaimed” money, which has an owner - albeit one that cannot be found (for more information, see Unclaimed Money)
Receipt of Bona Vacantia Money
The Treasury on behalf of the Crown can receive money owing to or held in the name of a removed company. Before doing so we need to be satisfied that the money constitutes property of a removed company.
To make an application, please provide a statutory declaration from someone with knowledge of the matter which includes:
- details of the how the funds became payable to the removed company ("the Company");
- details of the circumstances surrounding the removal of the Company without first collecting and dealing with the funds; and
- any steps undertaken to contact the directors of the Company.
You will also need to provide extracts from the Companies Office for the Company showing when it was registered and when it was removed.
Provided that we find the statutory declaration and the Companies Office extracts to be satisfactory we will accept a transfer of the funds to the Treasury.
A template of the statutory declaration is available below.
Statutory Declaration - Money (receipt) (Word, 29KB)
Distribution of Bona Vacantia Money
The Treasury on behalf of the Crown can also distribute funds held in the name of a removed company.
To make an application, please provide the following:
- A statutory declaration by a director of the removed company ("the Company") (or someone else associated with the Company) at the time the Company was removed which includes:
1.1 details of the how the funds became payable to the Company;
1.2 details of the circumstances surrounding the removal of the Company without first collecting and dealing with the funds; and
1.3 a declaration that the Company held the funds in its own right and not on trust for any other body corporate or any other person.
If you are unable to locate any former officers of the Company we may accept a statutory declaration from someone else with knowledge of the matter. However, their statutory declaration will also need to include details of the steps taken to contact the former director(s) of the Company.
- An application form requesting the Crown to deal with the matter pursuant to the relevant section of the Companies Act 1993 or Companies Act 1955, together with an indemnity from the applicant in favour of the Crown in respect of all or any liability that may be incurred by the Crown in respect of all actions taken, or not taken as the case may be, in relation to the funds.
- The application will also need to confirm that the applicant has been authorised by the former shareholders and directors of the Company to accept the distribution of the funds.
- Extracts from the Companies Office for the Company showing when it was registered and when it was removed.
- A certified copy of the applicant's current passport or driver's licence.
- The details of the nominated bank account into which the funds are to be deposited.
- Your undertaking to pay our fee ($400 inclusive of GST) and to reimburse any advertising costs and other disbursements we need to incur in connection with this matter. We are entitled to recover our costs pursuant to section 75(2) of the Public Finance Act 1989.
Provided that we find the above documents to be satisfactory we will transfer the funds to the nominated bank account.
As an alternative to seeking a distribution of the funds by the Crown you may also wish to consider an application to restore the Company to the register. In some circumstances this can be a faster and cheaper process than seeking a distribution. For more information, see How to deal with property of a company removed from the Companies Register.
Template forms of the statutory declaration and the application and indemnity are available below.
Statutory Declaration - Money (payment) (Word, 25KB)
Application and Indemnity - Money (payment) (Word, 28KB)