Dear M & M: I have decided to close my business what do I need to do? – James
One should take a good look at what you are closing there might be something you can sell (inventory, equipment, fixtures, customer lists). The Small Business Administration recommends one should follow these steps to close your business. Do not try and go it alone. Bring in lawyers, accountants, business brokers, tax experts and listen to advice from other business owners who have shut a business down.
1). If your business is a partnership, LLC or a corporation follow guidelines established in your articles of the organization. Document the decision to close in a written agreement.
2). File dissolution documents with the government. Cancel all licenses, permits, domain name, Employee Identification Number (EIN), Transaction Privilege License (TPT) and name registration if you have decided you will no longer need them.
3). Make sure all paperwork and filings with labor laws on shutting down are in compliance. Connect with a professional familiar with this area of the law.
4). Resolve any financial obligations with any leases or creditors.
5). Close your business bank account, lines of credit, business credit cards and settle any contracts or agreements made.
6) Do not forget to file your last business income tax return and check the box that indicates this is your last return.
7). Do not forget to maintain your business records for three to seven years.
The IRS has a link to some specific things to do when closing a business at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/closing-a-business-checklist Remember each business is unique to itself. This list does not cover everything one should do. There are always other things to consider. Do not attempt to do this alone. It is strongly advised to get expert help.