Should you file business or personal bankruptcy?
Many businesses are legal entities separate from their owners, and include include Limited Liability Companies, S Corporations, C Corporations, and certain partnerships.
It is possible to file a bankruptcy for the business entity itself, or for the owner, or both.
Most small business owners wondering whether to file a business or personal bankruptcy, however, find that it is best to file a personal bankruptcy and allow the business to stop operating.
Why file for personal bankruptcy?
- Protects the owner from having his or her personal assets taken to pay the business debts
- Allows the owner to quickly start business again with a new business entity that won’t have debt
Why not file for business bankruptcy?
Most types of business entity give their owners limited liability for business debts.
- Limited liability means that the owner cannot be made to pay the debts of the business, only the business entity can be made to pay for its debts
This is true unless the owner has agreed to personally guarantee the loan.
- Most creditors now require owners to give personal guarantees of business debts so that if the business loses money, the creditor can still collect from the owner
- Because creditors often insist on personal guarantees, many business owners now choose to file a personal bankruptcy
What happens before filing for bankruptcy?
- So, if the owner has personally guaranteed the business debts, the creditor will collect from the owner
If the owner has not personally guaranteed the debt:
- The creditor must collect from the business
- The business has no assets, so the creditor can get nothing
So if the owner has not personally guaranteed the debt, then the creditor can’t collect from the owner.
If the owner has personally guaranteed the debt:
- The creditor will levy the owner’s bank accounts and wages to try and collect the debt
How does filing for bankruptcy help?
Filing a bankruptcy will stop forever the levying and garnishment of the business owner’s wages and bank accounts.
- It discharges all personal liability of the owner for the business debts
If the owner wants to keep doing the business, it is usually best to file a personal bankruptcy to discharge his personal liability, and then to create a new business entity to start fresh without any debts.
If you’re a business owner and thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Minnesota, then we can help you.
Simply call us at 612.824.4357 now and tell us what you need us to do.
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