There are some underpinning rules that the owners of a failing business should adhere to, regardless of their decision to pursue bankruptcy or simply wind down their business:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding. During Chapter 7, a Trustee will be appointed by the bankruptcy court to liquidate the company's assets and pay creditors as per the laws of creditor priority. The decision to go bankrupt or to allow the company's management to wind down depends heavily on the value and nature of the assets; the attitudes of creditors; and the availability of management to oversee the process.
Companies can go out of business without filing bankruptcy: they liquidate their assets and cease operations. Creditors have a right to recover their claims from the assets of the corporation. If there are no assets, the corporation cannot be further harmed by lawsuits that try to collect from the corporation.
The danger to management in this approach is the tendency of some creditors to assume that the business's failure to pay means that there is some sort of underhanded activity taking place, and sue the officers as well as the corporation to collect the debt. While the claim against the individuals may be invalid, the individual has to appear and defend in the lawsuit, or a judgment will be entered against him. Sometimes, the individuals are liable.
Personally managing the wind up has advantages, if you are willing to devote the time and energy to the process. On the other hand, filing bankruptcy may protect assets from creditor action, preserving value for the payment of taxes and employees.
Employment law for businesses Chapter 7 bankruptcy for businesses Liquidating business assets Bankruptcy Chapter 7 bankruptcy Bankruptcy court Bankruptcy trustee Debt Bankruptcy liquidation Bankruptcy and debt Business Employment Lawsuits and disputes