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What Steps Do I Take When Closing A Business That Doesn't Sell?

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Comments & Replies: 2     Views: 3517     Posted By: Joe Ranieri  Joe Ranieri - Restaurant Broker - Orange County Area

Every business broker knows that a listing taken is not a listing sold, in fact the ratio of listed vs. sold could be discouraging if you really thought about it. Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker) discusses what you should do if you finally have to close the doors and call it quits.

Topics: Selling A Business     Tags: selling a business



Every business broker knows that a listing taken is not a listing sold, in fact the ratio of listed vs. sold could be discouraging if you really thought about it. Early in my career I would try to guess which of my listings would sell and which ones wouldn't, but after years of doing this, I've given up on that line of thinking. I've worked with many sellers who have had to abandon a sinking ship, some have been successful, while others have not, and so this is my advice to the ones who have not...

1. Collect all outstanding debts or accounts receivable, before they know you are going under.

2. Unload the remaining inventory you have, possibly by marking it down significantly.

3. Notify creditors and lenders that you are closing, so they have appropriate time to ask for payment.

4. Cancel any service contracts you may have.

5. Tell your landlord, but be prepared that he may and probably will sue for time remaining on the lease, because, hey they’re landlords after all.

6. Important: Notify and pay your employees. Be honest with your employees, but don’t be surprised when they start looking for other jobs, but make sure everyone is squared away financially.

7. Liquidate your assets, consider approaching competitors to see if they are interested in purchasing your fixtures, furniture, and equipment.

8. Make your final federal and state fillings (payroll, sales tax, etc.)

9. Cancel all state and city licenses and permits.

10. Notify utility, credit card, and any other service providers.

11. Close your business bank account.

I would be interested in what other advice those on this Discussion have.

Replies To This Comment
To add to Joe's helpful response, I'd add that if you can forward your mail and phone calls it will help you ensure that you're not missing any liabilities that may pop up after you close that you wouldn't otherwise be aware of. It's much better to get a phone call or letter regarding money owed or a potential claim than to face a lawsuit down the line because a party couldn't reach you at the business location.

It's also important to file a dissolution with the state if you are a corporation or LLC.



Joe provides excellent advice. I would add the following: Don't assume you know what you don't know. Consult with your attorney, your CPA, your insurance broker, and your banker. Their advice is invaluable and essential to avoiding civil (and even criminal) liabilities.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 800-864-0420.

Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

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California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area

Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.

Joe Ranieri, Business Broker, Orange County Area

Having owned retail/restaurant businesses for over 20 years, my interest turned to listing and selling businesses rather than owning them. I specialize tend to specialize in Orange County high volume restaurants, fast food independents and chains, bars and liquor stores. Call 714-292-5448.

Mike Hurrell, Broker: Coin & Card Laundry Specialist Brokerage

Providencia Properties Inc in association with Golden State Laundry Systems is a full service Coin Laundry Real Estate Broker. At GSLS you will receive personalized attention from our professional staff of coin laundry experts. To sell or buy a Southern CA laundromat call Mike at 310-223-2240 X209.

George Lanza, Business Broker, At Plethora Business Sales

Plethora Businesses, a division of A Premier In Services, Inc., is a Business Intermediary Consulting Firm headquartered in Orange, California. Plethora specializes in the listing and sale of small and medium sized private businesses.


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What Steps Do I Take When Closing A Business That Doesn't Sell And I Close?

Every business broker knows that a listing taken is not a listing sold, in fact the ratio of listed vs. sold could be discouraging if you really thought about it. Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker) discusses what you should do if you finally have to close the doors and call it quits.

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