Hanging Up Your Hat: What Happens When You Want to Leave Your Business?

Closed SignNothing lasts forever. Even if you’re a business owner and you love what you do, at some point you’ll want to leave your business, either to move on to greater things or to enjoy your retirement. But what happens once you leave your business? Does it linger on, or do you close shop for good? And what happens if you do?

If your business is incorporated, the process of leaving your business is pretty straightforward: simply sell any shares you have in the company, and take any retirement benefits you may be entitled to as a result of whatever position(s) you hold in the company. That is, assuming, that you want your business to continue after you’re gone; if you don’t, you’ll have to undergo a complex legal process, including getting written permission from the Department of Taxation and Finance to dissolve. This process is even more complicated if you’re not the sole proprietor of your corporation, in which case you’ll also need to hold a vote for your corporation’s board of directors, as well as a two-thirds majority vote at a shareholder meeting. After that, you’ll need to cancel all lines of credit, settle all outstanding debts, and sell any property that belonged to the corporation.

If, instead, your business is an unincorporated partnership or LLC, the difficulty of leaving or dissolving your business will depend on whatever agreement you set up when you created the partnership or LLC. If your partnership agreement or articles of organization do not have specific terms for how to handle an owner leaving the company or selling their stake, even one person leaving might require dissolving the company and reorganizing entirely, even if all your other partners want to continue doing business together. Even then, however, you’ll still need to do an accounting to figure out how much your individual stake in the partnership or LLC is worth.

If you find yourself looking to sell or dissolve your business, you can look to the experienced guidance of the business law attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio and Clark. The commercial litigation attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio & Clark are skilled and knowledgeable in the area of business law and commercial transactions.  With an office conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, the firm provides high-quality legal care at reasonable prices. If you require legal assistance concerning antitrust litigation, dissolution of a business, protecting your business from divorce, or another commercial litigation matter, call (516) 280-7105 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.

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