The quick answer
The Official Receiver is a civil servant employed by the Insolvency Service who deals with compulsory liquidations and bankruptcies. A business liquidator is an individual working in the private sector and is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner.
In more detail
When the directors want to liquidate a company they will need a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner like us. Often directors will want to use a private sector business liquidator instead of the Official Receiver. An Official Receiver is funded by the government and will often have unlimited time and resources to investigate a failed company.
A company will end up with the Official Receiver as liquidator if it is forced into liquidation by creditors – this is known as a compulsory liquidation. This is different from a creditor’s voluntary liquidation which means the directors have chosen a private sector liquidator.