Plymouth face a 10-point deduction after issuing a `notice of intention' to appoint an administrator.
The League One club have faced winding-up orders this season and it was revealed last week that players and staff have still not been paid their wages for January.
Deputy chairman Paul Stapleton issued the following statement: "This action gives the club protection from insolvency action from creditors, whilst at the same time allowing the directors the opportunity to turn current expressions of interest into a permanent and lasting solution for the club.
"This action does not mean that the club is in administration nor does it assume that it will necessarily enter into administration at a future date. Further steps will depend upon the outcome of current discussions with potential investors.
"Under current Football League rules and despite the fact that the action taken is not administration, Plymouth Argyle Football Club will be subject to a 10-point penalty under the league's Sporting Sanctions rule.
"To allow the best options for the way forward to be independently assessed, David Hinchliffe from Walker Morris Solicitors has been appointed to work with Peter Ridsdale, who will, for the time being, continue to act as an independent advisor to the board."