I have finally decided to close down my business. I've tried to keep it running hoping that something might change. What records do I need to gather from my business to present to my lawyer before filing for a bankruptcy?
The answer to this question depends to some extent on the nature of your business. You will need at least the following:
Tax returns 2 years
Bank statements 3 months
Titles to vehicles
Copies of contracts and leases
Deeds and mortgages to any real property owned by the business
Articles of incorporation, by-laws and corporate minutes
List of utility providers
List of secured creditors
For all creditors: names, addresses, account numbers, date debt incurred, background behind debt
There may be more documents than this, but it's a start.
But here's the real question: why are you filing bankruptcy for your business? Frequently a corporate chapter 7 case creates more problems than it solves. A liquidation under chapter 11 may be different, but you should discuss all this with your lawyer.
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As you said that you are going to close down, you will need corporate authorization to file, tax returns for past three years, P&L for six months, bank records for six months, copies of all insurance policies, copies of payroll, A/R, A/P, any and all debts that the business has, and a list of any and all assets. You should consult with your attorney that you are filing through to see hat else is needed.
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3:00 in the am, you should be sleeping. When you are this worried, get help.
So when you set the initial appointment, ask what the attorney would like for you to bring. If you bring a paper bag full of information, there will probably not be enough time to review everything and give you good advice. Generally, I like a summary of the bills, an idea of how much is still coming in, and what is pressing you most to set an appointment. Generally, there is a reason, such as IRS garnishment, lawsuit papers that were served and it must be answered, or landlord lockout. Be able to discuss everything. If you do not know basic information, bring the person who does know and can answer. Many times it is the spouse or book keeper. The lawyer can make suggestions that you may not have thought of, and with their help, can put you back on track, whether it is really shutting the business down, or working a way out of the problems, so that you can keep the business alive. So good luck in your search.
As mentioned by a previous poster, you may be better to just wind down operations rather than file Chapter 7 for your business.
An issue you definitely want to discuss with your attorney is whether or not you or anyone else personally guaranteed any loans associated with the business. If you personally guaranteed a loan that the business ultimately defaults on - it may be a good idea to discuss personal bankruptcy with your attorney.