Owning a business is a huge risk that can be both rewarding and devastating. Life can change in an instant, and the need for major changes arises. This can often include closing a business. If you face the need to close your business for whatever reason, there are some important steps that you need to take to ensure the process is as smooth and easy as possible:
Think Through Your Decision
Making the decision to close your business is tough. It is crucial that you put emotion aside for a moment to consider all that will go into the process and whether it is going to be your best option. After you have thoroughly analyzed your thoughts, you can then move forward in whatever direction is best for your life and your future.
Start the Ball Rolling
After you have made the decision to close the business, the work then begins. If your business is a simple sole proprietorship or you are the sole owner of an LLC, the process is a bit easier than if you are in a partnership or with other investors. If the latter is the case, you will have to work with the group of owners to make final decisions and tie up loose ends.
The next thing to think about is liquidation and paying your creditors. You also need to deal with your staff and handling layoffs. Other things to handle include closing up customer accounts, ending standing deliveries, and the like. An accountant and an attorney are very useful in times like these, as they will know which steps you need to take and when so that you do not end up missing something important.
In the best of circumstances, you will be closing with your business in the black. However, you may have a need for bankruptcy if your circumstance will benefit from it. If bankruptcy is an option, you will need to speak to your attorney to get the ball rolling on that front. He or she can help you determine if bankruptcy is truly a need or if there are other ways out of the business that will keep you from needing to file.
Pick Up the Pieces and Move Forward
Once the business is closed and all is said and done, take some time to mourn the process. Opening a business is akin to nurturing a child. A lot of work and sweat equity goes into it, so it can be excruciating to let go. However, you need to know that all is not lost, and you can move forward.
It is completely possible to start another business in the future. Take some time off and figure out what the next best steps are before you jump in, however. The goal is to have a long-running, successful business. Consider different ownership options. You may fair better in a franchise or partnership situation. Your options are limitless.
Contact a law firm like Boynton Waldron Doleac Woodman for additional advice.