Sometimes running a business means making some tough choices. One of those potentially incredibly difficult choices is whether or not to file for bankruptcy protection. It can feel daunting, but you need to remember the laws surrounding bankruptcy. They were created specifically to protect entrepreneurs, businesses, and those who operate businesses.
Just because you are filing bankruptcy doesn’t mean that your business is going to be confiscated, liquidated, and eliminated. There are some types of filings that will offer protection to the business. This will allow them to continue their operations while solving some of their seemingly insurmountable debt problems.
This is the case with many larger companies that comprise significant portions of industries, like airlines and large banks. Businesses like this, and many others, will often use a bankruptcy filing as a strategic maneuver. These business use it to reduce or eliminate debt, while legitimately restructuring their business. This can result in a more efficient business operation overall. This will lead to an increase in profitability even without new revenue streams.
The Types Of Bankruptcy Filings
There are three main types of bankruptcy that may be applicable to your business. They are chapter 7, chapter 11, and chapter 13. Make sure that before you make any decisions, you speak with the legal counsel for your business.
If you do not have legal counsel, it may be worth it to pay for an evaluation or a la carte bankruptcy preparation from a local bankruptcy lawyer. Let’s take a look at each type of filing, and what it might entail for your business.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy consists of having a court-appointed agent, called a trustee. They will sell your assets and use the proceeds to pay your creditors. By filing for chapter 7, the structure of your business will determine if you will be able to keep it operational. Sole proprietorships may benefit the most here, while legally separate entities like LLCs or corporations may want to file on behalf of the business.
Chapter 11 is where your business will be allowed to keep its assets while setting up and maintaining a repayment plan with all of the creditors. These can be notoriously complex, but filing for chapter 11 is the only way to let corporations, LLCs, and even partnerships reorganize and continue their business operations. Filing Chapter 11 may also let sole proprietors restructure and continue operations, but do not meet the debt limits for Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 filings are only available to businesses that are owned and operated by sole proprietors. With this filing, the business gets to keep all of its assets and is assigned a repayment plan with its creditors. There are some stringent debt limits that apply for those seeking Chapter 13 protection. However, using Chapter 13 as part of your business bankruptcy strategy can let sole proprietors include business debt as well as personal debt. This makes it a great option.