Why closing up shop is harder than it seems

Your firm has faithfully served your business clients for years, but now due to changing market conditions it is time to close operations. While it might seem that just hanging up the "closed" sign and cutting the final checks is all there is to do, the reality is that shutting down operations can be as complicated as starting up.

Doing it right reduces future liability

When shutting down a business, you will want to take care of your employees, clients, vendors and yourself while ensuring that your future is protected from any unfinished business. By providing advanced notice to everybody who works with your business, no matter in what capacity, you give them the chance to make a positive adjustment.

For valued employees, finding a buyer for the business or a merger that requires their special talents ensures their future wealth and happiness. Offering a new relationship to clients and vendors helps them continue their operations smoothly, instead of struggling to fill a hole in their business.

Work to ensure that any work-in-progress will be completed before you sign off on your final day. Satisfied associates will be less likely to come back to you in the future with problems.

Tail insurance may be a good idea

However, problems may still arise for a job you completed before the end of business. When looking at your financial obligations discussing post-work business insurance with your corporate attorney can protect your retirement from law suits filed before the statutes of limitations in your state run out. It's a good opportunity at that time to also talk about any other steps you might need to take to ensure that going out of business won't leave you with obligations you are unable to fulfill.

A legal advisor can anticipate things like identifying anything that may at one point or another become a claim. Perhaps a client files for bankruptcy or there is a fee dispute. Even something as small as an error on a tax return may come back as a potential problem for you. It's smart to get some help now to avoid potential problems later.

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