A company can be wound up by order of the Court because it is
unable to pay its debts, or in exceptional cases because it is the
interest of the public. This is known as compulsory winding up.
In England and Wales winding up petitions are presented in the County Court. HMRC usually presents petitions in the High Court. Companies registered in Scotland may be wound up in the Court of Session (which is broadly the equivalent of the High Court) or the Sheriff Court. HMRC actions to wind up Scottish companies are taken in the Court of Session.
The compulsory winding up of a company will follow the presentation of a winding up petition to the Court. (The Court may also dismiss a petition or adjourn the hearing).