Dear Small Business Owner,
Having been a small business owner myself, I have a passion for helping other entrepreneurs like me. Businesses are a puzzle that require finding the right mix of a good product(s)/service(s), finding the right people to work in the business, finding the right customers, and controlling your expenses to make a profit. After 13 years of working with and in both successful and unsuccessful businesses, I have had a lot of valuable experiences that can help business owners.
However, because I am a bankruptcy attorney, most business owners will avoid talking to me until it’s too late. Most people would think that seeing a bankruptcy attorney is the end of their business, but I see my job as the opposite. Good bankruptcy attorneys help businesses survive. I always remember the words of one of my colleagues: “As bankruptcy attorneys, we perform resurrections, not funerals.”
Here are some of the ways a bankruptcy attorney can help your business:
· We can help you structure your business to protect personal assets.
· We can assist in selecting the right corporate structure for asset protection and tax planning.
· We can eliminate personal guarantee liability.
· We can lower your debt service by eliminating or restructuring debt.
· We can develop a plan to reallocate resources to pay off secured debt or taxes.
· We can help identify quality professionals that help with accounting, bookkeeping and efficiency.
· We can prepare your business for sale.
· If necessary, we can wind down an existing business while preserving value to start a new business or transitioning into a new career.
Many of these strategies can involve solutions that may not include filing for bankruptcy. Even if you did have to file for bankruptcy you would be in good company as some of America’s greatest businessmen have utilized bankruptcy prior to building some of America’s iconic brands, including Milton Hershey, H.J. Heinz and Henry Ford.
When is it time to see a bankruptcy attorney?
· When you are considering taking a loan that includes collateral or a personal guarantee. Some careful planning at this point can help you avoid taking on an onerous debt obligation. Careful planning can help you protect personal assets and give you options if your business experiences a downturn or fails.
· When your income is insufficient to cover all of your monthly bills.
· When debt service is keeping you from making a profit.
· When you begin to have internal issues with investors or business partners.
· When you are considering taking a factoring or accounts receivable loan. (These are the business equivalent of check cashing loans and should be avoided at all costs.)
· When you have a tax debt you can’t pay.
· When you are unable to pay trust fund taxes like payroll and sales. Business owners and some employees could potentially face personal liability and criminal sanctions for failure to pay these taxes.
· When your bank stops lending or declares you in default.
· When you or your business receive a law suit.
· When you can no longer take a salary or draws for your hard work.
· When you lose your passion for the business to continue.
As small business owners and entrepreneurs, our job is more than a place we work. Our jobs become part of us. It is not a 9-5 job and in good times and bad we stay up at night thinking of ways to grow our enterprise or navigate the next big challenge. If you get to the point that you need help, I can be an excellent resource for thinking out loud about creative solutions to common issues you face.
Personally, I love helping small business owners – at all phases of building a business – and in many cases these opportunities give me a new perspective to help future clients, or incorporate into my practice.
So, don’t hesitate to call. I offer a free consultation. An hour with me can uncover a new path forward to increase profitability, restructure your business, or put past difficulties behind you so you can reignite the passion for what you do. Most of all, please do not wait until it is too late.
The Debt Doctors at Quatrini Rafferty