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What is Phoenix Activity

Depending on your age, hobbies, and cultural background, you might have heard the word ‘phoenix’ in the context of Harry Potter or Kanye West. In Greek mythology, it’s a bird that bursts into flame when it dies, then gets reborn from its ashes, ensuring that it lives forever. In the business world, a phoenix is something entirely different.

There are various definitions of phoenix activity, and the crux of it is more of a legal argument than anything else. Phoenix activity is when a company deliberately closes shop to avoid creditors. Owners then use the assets from the shutdown company to restart a new, debt-free entity.

Sometimes, alleged phoenix activity is completely innocent. If your business was a partnership and you had to shut down, it’s only natural that one partner might use the networks, contacts, and property of the dead business to start over. This is especially true in niche industries.

If for example, you’re trained medic, you may not know how to do any other kind of work. So if you own a clinic or pharmacy and it collapses, you will take the instruments and medications and begin again on new premises. You will probably use the same sources to fill your stores, and you’re likely to have the same customers.

Of course, this scenario only applies if the business failed for genuine reasons. This would mean the partners still have a healthy relationship with their suppliers, so they can still work with them. But sometimes, partners shut down a business and declare bankruptcy for fraudulent reasons. They do it to avoid tax obligations or elude a debt collection agency.

The danger with phoenix behaviour is that it casts doubt on genuine business failures. Statistics suggest that many start-ups collapse and that it takes a successful enterprise five years to break even. Due to the unscrupulous practices of Phoenix businesses, your failed venture may be eyed suspiciously.

Usually, when things start to go bad, a business offloads its assets to pay the people it owes. Selling assets off doesn’t always earn enough to settle debts. If the company was limited, its owners can fold and walk away, and creditors will have no legal way to regain their cash. Most of the time, debt collectors are called in before this happens.

Here at Boston Commercial Services, we specialise in recovering debt. If you consult us early enough, we can approach your debtors before they can initiate activities that suggest Phoenix-based solutions. We have an experienced legal team that can handle the legal aspects, should the need arise. Leave it in our hands, and we’ll do our best to recover your money.

For assistance in reclaiming your debts, call Boston Commercials on 1300 668 699. Boston Commercial provides debt collection service in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


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  • I have worked closely with Boston Commercial Services for over twenty years across four different companies and would not work with anyone else in regards to helping me with my outstanding accounts. Whenever I have started a new role, the first thing I am asked is, “How would you go about cleaning up our accounts receivable ledger?” My answer is always the same – “The first thing we need to do is call Boston Commercial Services”.

    Voytek Bradford

    Freedom Foods Group Limited (National Credit Manager)

  • I have known the principal of the BOSTON Group (Derryn HARRISON) as well as key staff members (including Ben GOWER) for well over 2 decades and have been using their professional services for myself as well as for Powerhouse Logistics Pty. Ltd. on a regular basis, not only in Sydney but on a national basis.

    At all times BOSTON have been extremely pro-active, attentive, courteous and professional with all matters we threw at them. Their advice has always been extremely sound and commercial and I find them to be a "breath of fresh air" within the legal fraternity and have no hesitation whatsoever to highly recommend them.

    Peter Brueckner

    Powerhouse Logistics Pty Ltd (CEO)

  • Expect A Star has worked with The Boston Group for 10 years. In this time we have appreciated the ongoing support of Boston for all of our collection and legal requirements. Like most businesses cashflow is critical to ongoing success and growth, with Boston we have found a partner who are an extension of our business and play a key part in our cashflow management. The Boston Group bring a level of expertise to our business which is valuable and coupled with their excellent customer service we look forward to continuing to work with them for many years to come.

    Ryan Meldrum

    Former CEO

  • I have been using the services of The Boston Group and their legal entity for over 11 years. During this time I have found their service to be impeccable, delivered with the utmost professionalism and integrity. The vast majority of cases that I have placed with Boston were far from straightforward, requiring legal acumen and delicate handling. Having used all methods available without success to procure payment, I confidently placed these matters into their safe hands. In all instances a successful outcome was achieved.

    Mark Parish

    Credit Manager

  • SNP Security has had the pleasure of working with Boston Commercial Services for the past 11 years. Boston has played an integral part in the continuing success of SNP Security’s low DSO’s, 90 Day % Debt & of course Bad Debts Written Off.

    Amanda Griffiths

    National Administration Manager

Boston Commercial Services prides itself in offering specialised, professional services, through a highly experienced team of debt collector, with personalised client attention.