Legal Steps to Closing a Business

Unfortunately, closing a business isn’t as simple as locking the doors and laying off employees. An often drawn-out process, a business owner must follow a long list of sometimes complicated legal steps. So before you get started on the checklist below, be sure to assemble a dissolution team. Closing a business may actually require an accountant and/or a lawyer. Step 1: Vote If there is a written partnership agreement or articles of incorporation, be sure to follow voting procedures. Dissolutions often require a 2/3 vote. Step 2: File Dissolution Papers Even if not required, it is a good idea to file dissolution papers with the state. Doing so notifies creditors that the business cannot incur further debt . Step 3: Notify Third Parties Let your employees, business partners and customers know that the business is closing. Those with concerns can be dealt with early on in the process. Step 4: Settle Accounts You will need to notify creditors and pay your debts, as well as collect any debts owed to you. Also make plans for any contracts that last after your closing date. Step 5: Notify Other Government Entities When closing a business, notify any agency that registered your business or issued a license. There may be fees, taxes or paperwork involved. Step 6: Distribute Assets and Close Bank Accounts The final step to closing a business is the distribution of assets and the closing of bank accounts. Be sure to have real estate and personal property appraised. All assets must be distributed in accordance with business agreements. Related Resources: Checklist: Dissolution and Winding Up (FindLaw) Checklist: Settlement and Distribution Of Assets (FindLaw) Top 4 Checklists for Closing a Small Business (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise)

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Legal Steps to Closing a Business

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