While strike off and liquidation both result in the company in question being removed from the Companies House register, the process is different. Liquidation can only be entered into under the guidance of a licensed insolvency practitioner, while applying for dissolution can be done by the company directors themselves with no outside involvement. While the lack of professional involvement does make strike off a quicker and cheaper way of closing a business, it also places the onus on the directors to ensure the company is closed correctly and leaves no loose ends or affairs outstanding.
Liquidation requires the identification and liquidation of all company assets, as well as a distribution of all available funds to either creditors or shareholders to be done in accordance with the regulations set out in the Insolvency Act 1986. This is not something that needs to be done as part of the strike off process, as it is assumed that all outstanding affairs of the company have been dealt with prior to the company applying for its dissolution.
When a company is dissolved, there is no investigation into the directors conduct like there is when an insolvent company enters liquidation. This means directors do not run the risk of being made personally liable for any debts of the company. However, directors do need to consider the possibility of a creditor applying to have the company restored to the Companies House register at a later date; if this is done, they are then likely to petition for the winding up of the company which would trigger such an investigation.