COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation

Information about the Business Debt Hibernation process

Published 7 May 2020, last updated 1 June 2022

Temporary legislation passed in May 2020 introduced a 'Business Debt Hibernation' process, allowing businesses affected by COVID-19 to put their debts on hold.

  • Eligible businesses were able to enter into Business Debt Hibernation (BDH) up to 31 October 2021. They received an initial month’s protection, giving them time to talk to their creditors. If creditors agreed with their BDH proposal, the period of protection was extended by a further 6 months.
  • Business Debt Hibernation ended automatically at the end of the 6-month protection period. For some businesses BDH could have come to an end earlier – if the business cancelled the BDH or if it entered a creditor compromise, voluntary administration, receivership, or liquidation.
  • Throughout the process, businesses were required to send various notices to the Companies Office. The Companies Office published those notices on the relevant register (for example, BDH notices for companies were published on the Companies Register). Businesses must also keep records relating to Business Debt Hibernation at their registered office address (if they have one) or at their place of business.