If you have a small business that isn't doing very well and owes way more money than you are bringing in, you may want to consider filing business bankruptcy. There are three different kinds of bankruptcy when it comes to businesses, and you will have to figure out which one works best for your business and your needs.
Declaring bankruptcy is an entire process. There are several criteria you must meet, including choosing which form is right for your business. Filing for bankruptcy will give you a way to pay off your debts and get your creditors off your back. Having a judge approve your bankruptcy for you will protect you from having legal actions brought against you. So, what chapter of bankruptcy is right for you and should you file?
If your business is completely dead and has no chance at a future past this moment, then Chapter 7 is the appropriate form of bankruptcy for you and your business. Usually, businesses file Chapter 7 when they have few to no assets and the debts are so weighty that even if the business were to restructure there would be too much of a debt load for the business to repay in any way. The judge will hire a trustee. The trustee will take the assets of the company and distribute them to the various creditors. Once that has happened, the judge will grant you a discharge, which means that you are free from debts.
If you file for Chapter 11, that means that your business has a future ahead of it. It may take some work to get it up and in the black again, but it is possible. When you go in front of the judge, they will appoint a trustee to do the restructuring. That may be you or it may be someone else. The trustee will take a survey of the business, its assets, and its debts, and reorganize the way that they are being handled. When the plan is fully drafted, it's submitted to your creditors who vote on whether or not to accept it. Once they have accepted it, it goes to the court for them to approve it. This procedure isn't a quick or easy process, just the reorganization itself can take a year, while repayment can take decades.
Chapter 13-Personal Bankruptcy
While Chapter 13 isn't technically a business bankruptcy, if your business is a sole proprietorship, with your business and personal assets intertwined, the judge may approve of you filing this form of bankruptcy. This will let you do things like keep your house.
If you have a business that is carrying a heavy debt load, bankruptcy may be the right choice for you.