Difference between a Creditors’ and Members’ Voluntary Liquidation

Creditors voluntary liquidation vs members voluntary liquidationFor a business owner, a precise grasp of the distinction between a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and a Members’ Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is paramount in making astute financial decisions.

In the complex world of corporate finance, the crux of the matter lies in solvency. A CVL is the route taken when a company is insolvent, unable to meet its financial obligations.

In this scenario, the company’s directors initiate the process, leading to the appointment of a licensed insolvency practitioner who oversees the liquidation of assets and the equitable distribution of proceeds among creditors.

On the contrary, an MVL is the preferred choice when the company is financially sound, and its shareholders or members opt to wind it down voluntarily.

In an MVL, the company’s assets are methodically sold, outstanding debts are settled, and any surplus funds are disbursed among the shareholders.

Recognizing this pivotal divergence between the two processes is pivotal as it dictates whether your business is on solid financial ground or teetering on insolvency, ultimately guiding you towards the most judicious course of action.

What are the differences between a Creditors & Member Liquidation

Differences between a Creditors liquidation and a Members Voluntary Liquidation can be identified in several areas:

Members’ Voluntary Liquidation

A members’ voluntary liquidation is a process whereby a company’s assets are sold off and the proceeds distributed to its shareholders. It is typically used when a company is no longer viable and its shareholders wish to dissolve it in an orderly fashion. The process begins with the appointment of a liquidator, who will then oversee the sale of the company’s assets. Once the assets have been sold and the debts paid off, any remaining funds will be distributed to the shareholders.

An MVL can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it offers several advantages over other methods of dissolution, such as bankruptcy. For instance, an MVL allows shareholders to receive a greater share of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s assets, and it also provides more flexibility in terms of how the assets are sold.

As such, it is often seen as a preferable option for those looking to dissolve their company in an orderly fashion.

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation is a process whereby a company is wound up voluntarily by its creditors. The process is initiated by the directors of the company, who must pass a resolution at a board meeting to this effect. Once the resolution is passed, the directors must then appoint an insolvency practitioner (IP) to act as liquidator.

The IP will then take control of the company’s assets and liabilities and begin the process of paying off creditors. CVL is typically used as a last resort when all other options for turning around the company have been exhausted. It can be an expensive and time-consuming process, but it may be the best option for ensuring that creditors are paid what they are owed.


Although very different in purpose, both insolvency processes follow a similar structure when they go into liquidation. The key difference between them is whether the company is solvent or insolvent. This will need to be considered very carefully due to the consequences to a director who makes a false declaration of solvency.

Steve Jones Profile
Insolvency & Restructuring Expert at Business Insolvency Helpline

With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.