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Abolition of the Licensing Act 2003 Section declaring IVAs an act of bankruptcy

Comment 30th July 2010

The Licensing Act treats Individual Voluntary Arrangements as an 'act of bankruptcy' and so, if a licensee wants to start an IVA then they have, first, to replace themselves as the Premises Licence Holder with someone else. Failing that, the Insolvency Practitioner, in theory, can apply to take over. This is all well and dandy for large chains going into Administration, but for small pubs with historic debt, but now a good business (for which an IVA would be ideal), this, effectively, means they can't do an IVA as no IP is going to take on the premises licence and all the legal liabilities that go with it.

The law needs to be amended to exempt IVAs as acts of bankruptcy and triggering the failure of the premises licence.

Why does this matter?

See above, but also this means publicans are being denied, in practice, an insolvency solution available to nearly everyone else. This is grossly unfair and is increasing the number of pubs failing and publicans plunging into bankruptcy.

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