Define: Wrongful Trading

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Wrongful Trading

What is the dictionary definition of Wrongful Trading?

Dictionary Definition

Wrongful trading is when a company trades during a period is which it has no reasonable prospect of avoiding insolvent liquidation.

The liquidator of a company may petition the courts for an order instructing a director of a company that has gone into insolvent liquidation to make a contribution to the company’s assets. A court may order any contribution to be made that it considers proper if it is reasonable to assume that the company director knew, or ought to have known, of the company’s situation.

In regards to wrongful trading, no intention to defraud needs to be shown. A director would be judged liable if a reasonably diligent person undertaking the same function in the company would have realised the situation.


Full Definition of Wrongful Trading

Wrongful trading is a type of civil wrong found in UK insolvency law, under Section 214 Insolvency Act 1986.


Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Wrongful Trading. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. April 09, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Wrongful Trading. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: April 09, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Wrongful Trading. Retrieved April 09, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Wrongful Trading are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 4th July, 2019