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Welcome to Tracenet Legal Services. Since 2015, we have managed and effected the service of thousands of Statutory Demands upon debtors across the Country.


We are a multi-award-winning and Industry leading UK Process Server providing Business to Business Support, Litigation, and Insolvency Support Services to UK Debt Recovery professionals and Legal Teams. If you need assistance in serving a Statutory Demand upon an Individual or Company, please call us on 0800 048 5684 or contact us for a fixed fee, Nationwide service.


Are you a creditor who is owed money by a debtor?

Do you know what a statutory demand is and how it can help you recover your debt?

Or have you received a Statutory Demand and are looking for advice?

In this article, we'll cover some common points you need to know about statutory demands. From understanding what they are, when to use them, how to serve them properly, as well as advice if you have received one. 



A Statutory Demand is a formal written request for payment of a debt that must be served upon a debtor. It is an important tool that creditors can use to help recover their debts. Anyone who’s owed money (the ‘creditor’) can make one. You do not need to be a lawyer or legally qualified.

They are formal payment requests from creditors demanding payment of outstanding debts from debtors.

They can be used as a precursor to bankruptcy proceedings in the matter of individual debtors or liquidation proceedings in the case of company debtors. Statutory Demands are not court papers and it is not necessary to apply to have one granted. Failure to repay outstanding debts or respond to the Demand following its service may result in legal action being taken against the debtor.

If no response or payment is made within 21 days of one being served upon a debtor, legal action such as a bankruptcy petition or winding-up proceedings could ensue.



To create a demand, it is crucial to adhere to strict formal requirements set out within Civil Procedural Rules.

As a consideration, there is actually no standard minimum debt amount required to issue a Statutory demand, but as there are minimum amounts relating to Bankruptcy Petitions and Insolvency, it is accepted that a demand is raised for an individual debtor for sums of over £5,000.00 and for Company Debtors, for sums over £750.00.


The creditor must ensure that the correctly chosen written form specifies the precise amount of debt owed and only includes relevant information related to the debt. You should avoid adding any additional demands or amounts that are not part of the outstanding debt; otherwise, it might invalidate the entire process.

You must also be sure that the debt is not disputed. As a rule of thumb, statutory demands should only be used when a debt is not subject to a genuine dispute.  Otherwise, the debtor can apply to set aside the statutory demand.

In cases where a debtor disputes a debt on substantial grounds, they can apply to 'set it aside' under certain conditions.


Legal advice from a solicitor or Debt Recovery Professional, experienced in insolvency law may help handle such situations more efficiently without further litigation proceedings. Contact us today if you would like further advice.

If you find yourself in a situation where other methods of debt recovery have failed, you may need to consider making a statutory demand. However, it's important to keep in mind that this should be seen as a last resort. The debtor should be given at least 21 days from the date of being served to pay the outstanding debt.


Remember that there are alternatives available such as voluntary arrangements which can help resolve financial difficulties without having to resort to litigation or insolvency proceedings.



To issue a statutory demand, specific rules must be followed to make it valid. You should ensure that the demand is in writing and served correctly by following the correct procedure as per the CPR guidelines.


Ensure that the correct form is used. There are a number of options available -

Form SD1: If a limited company owes you money, you can use Form SD1 to demand payment within 21 days.

Form SD2: Section 268(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986. Debts for the liquidated sum payable immediately.

Form SD3: Section 268(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986. Debts payable at a future date.


Form SD4: Section 268(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986. Debt for a liquidated sum payable immediately following a judgment or order of the court.

Once you have completed the necessary form, you may use professional process servers or serve it in person at a debtor's home address, or registered company office. 


You may also consider sending papers by post and through email to ensure that a Court can see that all reasonable efforts were made to notify the debtor. However, incorrect service can lead to further legal proceedings and expenses for both parties.


Therefore, it is always advisable to seek legal advice on proper service of the demand to avoid any legal costs or disputes.


You must use a different form for proceedings in Scotland.

If you require any assistance in choosing and completing the necessary form, please do not hesitate to contact us.



To ensure proper service is followed, there are different ways of delivering the demand to the debtor.

Personal service is the most effective and reliable way of ensuring that documents are received by the debtor. 

It's advisable to speak with a solicitor, Debt Recovery Professional, or Process Server for advice on whether or not you should attempt service personally.

There are several options available for serving a statutory demand including personal service by an authorized individual or process server, postal service either personally or through a solicitor acting as a third party, and even via email or advertisement (provided correct procedure is followed).

Creditors should take care of following correct procedures while serving to ensure that the process is valid and enforceable. It is essential to consult with professionals before attempting service as legal costs may occur if incorrect procedures are followed.

Primary service via email is not recommended as there’s no guarantee that it has been received by the addressee. If the debtor fails to respond or pay within 21 days of serving this notice under Section 267(2) (b) Insolvency Act 1986 you can take further action.

After being served, debtors have 21 days to either pay the debt or come to a payment agreement with the creditor.


Failure to comply can result in legal action.



To ensure that a statutory demand is enforceable, it must be served correctly and in compliance with CPR Rules.


It should be delivered in writing either by post or preferably, through personal delivery to the debtor's home address or registered office or principal place of business, in the case of a Company.

In cases where a debtor has ceased trading or their whereabouts are unknown, alternative methods of service may be used.


It’s important to obtain the correct proof of service and retain it for future reference as it serves as evidence that the service was conducted effectively. Failure to comply with proper service rules can result in the process being set aside by the court, which can lead to additional legal costs and delays in debt recovery proceedings.

If you want to avoid potential conflicts or confrontations while serving a statutory demand for payment of outstanding debt, you should consider using a professional process server, such as Tracenet Legal Services.

A process server's experience and professional knowledge of legal procedures and regulations can help ensure that the document is served correctly and legally, according to the formal requirements set out within accepted guidelines. In addition, the necessary proof of service provided by process servers can be crucial in case there are any disputes or challenges to the validity of the service.


Hiring a professional process server is an effective way to serve a statutory demand smoothly and without complications.

Different ways of serving statutory demands include personal service or via email.


If you are facing litigation proceedings due to an unpaid debt or bankruptcy petition against you, seeking advice from a professional is highly recommended.

If a debtor fails to pay a debt or agree to a statutory demand within 21 days, a creditor can:




To help evidence that the statutory demand has been properly delivered to the debtor, it's necessary to provide a proof of service. This document should include details like the date, time, and method used for delivering it.


Keeping a copy of this document for your records is important.


There are different ways to serve a statutory demand such as using a process server, and detailing the exact steps taken in effecting the service forms an essential step in supporting future proceedings.


In case there is any dispute regarding whether or not the debtor received the statutory demand, having this document will be essential in proving its proper delivery.

Requirements for Proper Service


Improper service of a statutory demand can have severe consequences for both the creditor and the debtor.


If proper service rules are not followed correctly, it could result in the demand being set aside by the court.


This will lead to additional legal costs and delays in recovering the outstanding debts. Therefore it is crucial that you seek professional advice before serving a statutory demand to ensure that it is appropriate for your situation.

Consequences of Improper Service


Filing a Creditor's petition for bankruptcy should be considered a last resort when attempting to recover outstanding debts from a debtor.


However, before proceeding with this option, it is crucial to ensure that all legal procedures have been met and that the debt is valid under the law. Alternative options such as negotiating a repayment plan with the debtor can be explored before initiating Creditor proceedings for bankruptcy.


A Creditor's petition for bankruptcy can have far-reaching consequences on both parties involved; therefore, it is paramount to seek legal advice and assistance from qualified solicitors before taking any action.

When it comes to Statutory Demand proceedings, you will need to issue a petition by filling out a specific form and submitting it to the appropriate court. The petition must contain certain details such as the amount owed and the grounds for issuing the demand. It is crucial to follow proper procedures while doing so to ensure that it is legally valid.


Once issued, there are strict timelines for debtors to respond before risking facing legal action. To avoid any complications and confusion with regard to this matter, seeking legal advice from solicitors or insolvency practitioners could prove useful.

Petition for Bankruptcy


When dealing with a statutory demand received from a creditor, seeking legal advice would be beneficial.


It's important to note that ignoring this document can result in severe consequences such as bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings.


You must consider negotiating with the creditor for a payment plan or applying to set aside the statutory demand within 18 days of receiving it. Taking prompt action in such circumstances could save you from falling into further financial turmoil.

There are several options available to debtors who receive a statutory demand. Seeking legal advice can help determine the best approach. Negotiating with the creditor could lead to the establishment of an affordable payment plan. Applying to set aside a statutory demand is also possible within 18 days of receiving it. Debtors who dispute the validity or accuracy of the demand may begin litigation in response.



If you receive a statutory demand and wish to dispute it, there are a few critical steps you should follow.


Firstly, make sure to apply to the court within 18 days of receiving it, along with seeking legal advice from an experienced solicitor.


Providing evidence that either the debt is disputed or there is a genuine reason why you cannot pay the debt can help in disputing the demand successfully.


If everything goes according to plan and your dispute gets approved by the high court, they may set aside the demand or make an order for payment by installments in different ways such as through a voluntary arrangement or individual voluntary arrangement (IVA).

Disputing a Statutory Demand



A demand is not valid forever. In fact, once served, if further action is not pursued by a creditor within a certain time frame, a demand will become redundant and a creditor will have to start again.

In the case of Individual debtors, once served, they will have a period of 18 days in which to have the demand set aside, after which a creditor can issue a bankruptcy petition against them. The creditor will then have a maximum of 4 months to take action in regards to issuing a bankruptcy petition upon the debtor, after which a new demand will need to be served.

In the case of Company debtors, the debtor will either settle their debts within the allocated 21 days or if they want to dispute the demand, then they must seek an injunction against the creditor within that 21-day period to stop them from issuing a winding up petition at court.  



Ignoring a statutory demand can lead to severe repercussions, including bankruptcy proceedings. Seeking legal advice and negotiating with the creditor is crucial if you cannot pay the debt. Responding to the demand, even to dispute it, is essential in avoiding legal action.



After being served with a statutory demand, the debtor has 21 days to respond. Failure to respond can lead to a winding-up petition or bankruptcy order. Debtors can dispute the debt by applying to set aside the demand within 18 days of receipt. Legal advice is crucial for both parties involved.



If you are unable to set aside the statutory demand, you must pay the debt in full or reach a payment agreement with your creditor within 21 days. Failure to comply may lead to bankruptcy proceedings. Negotiating a payment plan or seeking legal advice can help avoid bankruptcy.



Statutory demands can be issued to both companies and individuals demanding payment of a debt. Failure to respond or pay within 21 days may result in insolvency proceedings. Seek legal advice immediately upon receipt of a statutory demand.



Receiving a statutory demand can have serious consequences, so seek legal advice right away. Review the demand thoroughly to ensure it's legally valid, and respond within 21 days by paying the debt or applying to set it aside. Failure to act could lead to winding up proceedings against your company.


In conclusion, statutory demands are a powerful tool that creditors can use to recover debts from debtors. However, it is important to follow the proper procedures and requirements to avoid any legal consequences and ensure that the demand is legally valid. Debtors also have options available to dispute or respond to the demand. As with any legal matter, it is best to seek professional advice and guidance to navigate the process smoothly.


For more information on statutory demands and other debt recovery strategies, contact our expert support team today. Call us on 0800 048 5684 or Contact Us Here

Frequently Asked Questions


When instructing Tracenet Legal Services to undertake your Process Serving cases, you are entrusting an industry-leading and multi-award winning 'Process Serving' specialist who can efficiently arrange service of your documents whether locally or Nationally, through a network of professional associates based around the Country.


There is no need to spend the time looking for a local supplier in the area of service, instead, we refine the process and provide you with the ability to serve your documents nationally for a fixed fee. If you have important legal process that needs serving then we can definitely help you. Contact us here >

The most common items of process served by us daily, throughout the Country : 


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