Meeting with a Lawyer: Closing a Business
If you are closing any form of business other than a sole proprietorship, you will probably want to retain an attorney to determine the appropriate procedure for notifying various state authorities and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of your intentions. In addition to these required notifications, you also will want to contact business partners, customers, suppliers, and any other parties that will be affected by the shut down. Remember, problems can arise even after a business has closed down -- such as contract disputes or customer needs -- which is why doing it properly and with the help of an attorney is so important.
Due to the complexity of closing down a business entity, it's best to have the help of an experienced business attorney. But in order to best assist you, your attorney will need your cooperation and careful recordkeeping. At your first meeting with your attorney, you should be prepared to provide the following information:
Name of Business_________________________________________________________
Any other names under which the entity has done business_________________________
Business Telephone number_________________________________________________
Business E-Mail Address___________________________________________________
Person to be Contacted_____________________________________________________
Telephone Number of Contact Person_________________________________________
Business email of contact person_____________________________________________
Employer Identification Number_____________________________________________
Date of Incorporation (or the date that the state gave you permission to conduct business)
When and where you filed your articles of incorporation, registered your partnership, limited liability articles of organization, etc.
When and where you filed each certificate of trade name, fictitious name, assumed name
When and where you obtained a sales tax permit
When and where you obtained any licenses to conduct your business
When and where you filed your last tax return
Full names and addresses of all corporate officers, general partners, members, or any person who is likely to appear on documents that are filed with the state or taxing authorities.
If you have already voted to dissolve:
· The date dissolution was approved_________________________________________
· The number of votes cast on the proposal to dissolve__________________________
· The total numbers of votes cast for and against_______________________________
List any dissolution preparations that have already been made, e.g., tax forms filed, plans for liquidation
If the law firm will be notifying creditors of your dissolution, list the names and addresses of your creditors
If the law firm will be collecting your assets, list all outstanding assets
The name of your commercial insurance carrier_________________________________
Commercial insurance carrier agent's telephone number___________________________
The name and telephone number of the accountant who will be handling the liquidation or taxes issues
Find the Right Attorney to Help You Close Your Business
Since closing your business is not as simple as flipping the switch and walking away, you want to make sure you've done it both effeciently and legally. Even an honest mistake can result in liability long after the business has closed down. Find a business and commercial law attorney licensed in your state today.