Fraudulent trading under the Fraud Act 2006
Fraudulent trading under the Fraud Act 2006

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fraudulent trading under the Fraud Act 2006
  • Fraudulent trading under the Fraud Act 2006
  • Elements of the offence of fraudulent trading under the Fraud Act 2006
  • Bodies exempt from fraudulent trading
  • Sentence for fraudulent trading
  • Liability of company officers

Fraudulent trading under the Fraud Act 2006

A defendant who is a sole trader, in a partnership or a trust, commits the offence of fraudulent trading if they are knowingly party to the carrying on of a company’s business either with intent to defraud creditors or for any other fraudulent purposes.

Where the offence is committed by a company it would be charged under section 993 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) after 1 October 2007.

Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 (FrA 2006) extends the type of fraudulent business to circumstances in which the business is not carried on by a company or a corporate body. This parallels the offence that applies in the case of fraudulent businesses carried on by companies and other corporate bodies. It extends the criminal liability under the Companies Acts legislation to sole traders, partnerships and trusts and other non-corporate traders.

Following the Law Commission findings, non-corporate traders covered by the new offence include sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies registered overseas.

The offence of fraudulent trading has evolved through case law and it is established that the offence has these features:

  1. the mischief is the conduct of fraudulent trading and is not dependant on the effect on creditors

  2. the offence describes carrying on a business but can be committed in a single transaction,