You started your small business in the hope that all would go well, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Even when you have put in your best efforts, unforeseen challenges such as economic downturns, serious illnesses, or employee and management issues can place your business in a precarious financial situation. When all other avenues for financial recovery seem exhausted, there is still help available. Bankruptcy, a legal way to have debts forgiven and get a fresh financial start, can be the best route to take. With the help and guidance of a Missouri bankruptcy lawyer, you can successfully navigate the complex process of declaring bankruptcy, and get your small business back on track again.
Kelvin Birk of Birk Law Firm offers unique perspectives and services to clients considering bankruptcy. Kelvin is fully prepared to guide you through all stages of the bankruptcy process so you can start rebuilding your life and working toward a brighter financial future. Call Kelvin today for a free consultation to discuss your individual business situation and determine the best way to move forward.
Why Choose Our Small Business Bankruptcy Attorney in Missouri?
There are many attorneys in Missouri, and you should find one that you trust who also has the skills and resources to get the results you need. Kelvin is a small-businessman himself, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as well as a business and tax law attorney. He understands the needs of the business owner and utilizes both his legal and accounting backgrounds to come up with individualized solutions that work for you. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose Birk Law Firm:
- We are experienced. Attorney Kelvin Birk has 50 years of combined experience in business, bankruptcy, tax law, and public accounting, and he has been admitted to practice in federal Bankruptcy Court for almost 15 years.
- We are compassionate and know how difficult it is to be facing bankruptcy, so we strive to make the process as easy as possible.
- We provide personalized attention to clients, but we also utilize our knowledge from previous client experiences in order to propose workable business reorganization or liquidation plans. You can read clients’ testimonials about our professionalism and the quality of our services.
- We are local and know the Bankruptcy Courts and how to adjust for local legal preferences. We have built a network of people and resources that complement our legal and accounting services
- We offer free initial consultations with no obligations to find the best way to handle your situation.
How Our Business Bankruptcy Attorney Works to Help You
When filing for bankruptcy, timing is critical, as delays can create problems that make your situation worse. When you have Birk Law on your side, we start working for you immediately. Depending on your individual circumstances, we will:
- Assess your financial situation and provide guidance: We conduct a thorough analysis of the company’s assets, liabilities, income, and expenses to determine the most appropriate type of bankruptcy based on the specific circumstances of your business and how it is organized.
- Determine which chapter to file under. Chapter 7 involves liquidation of assets to repay creditors; Chapter 11 focuses on reorganization for businesses to continue operations; and Chapter 13 is designed for individuals or sole proprietors with a regular income.
- Navigate all filings and legal procedures: We will ensure that all required documentation and paperwork is accurate and submitted within the specified timelines.
- Negotiate with creditors: In situations that involve repayment plans or settlements, we will negotiate with creditors to reach favorable terms that can help a business emerge from bankruptcy with a more manageable financial outlook.
- Protect assets: We know the importance of protecting both business and personal assets during bankruptcy proceedings and can develop strategies to shield certain assets from liquidation.
Bankruptcy Options for Small Businesses
Under the federal Bankruptcy Code, small businesses have several options when considering filing for bankruptcy. Which one you choose will depend on how your business is organized and operated and the amount of accumulated debt. Referred to by the chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that authorizes them, options include:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: A Chapter 7 business bankruptcy allows for the orderly liquidation of business assets to pay off creditors and is overseen by the Bankruptcy Trustee and the Bankruptcy Court. If the business has assets, Chapter 7 makes it clear that that the liquidation will be handled by an independent third party and ensures that creditors cannot take action against the individual owner.
Chapter 7 usually requires you to close your business; however, there are exceptions for sole proprietors. If you are a sole proprietor and business assets have been commingled with your personal assets, you may have to file simultaneous Chapter 7 bankruptcies for yourself and your business. For personal bankruptcy, Missouri has a list of “exempt” property protected from creditors, which you will be allowed to keep after non-exempt assets are sold. Once your debts have been discharged in bankruptcy, you can continue to operate your business.
If your business is a corporation or LLC, there are no non-exempt assets, so all business assets are liquidated by the Bankruptcy Trustee and the business is closed. Chapter 7 is not suitable for businesses that wish to continue operations or those with substantial assets they wish to retain.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed for business reorganization. The business continues operations, and it can restructure debts and renegotiate contracts under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court, while developing a plan to repay creditors over time. While Chapter 11 is usually for larger corporations, small businesses may find it useful if they have the potential for recovery and wish to continue operations. However, Chapter 11 can be a complex and costly process, and the business must propose a reorganization plan that is acceptable to creditors and the court.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 provides a structured plan for debt repayment over a period of three to five years while allowing the business to continue operations. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is primarily designed for individuals, but sole proprietors can use it to reorganize and repay both personal and business debts through a court-approved repayment plan. You may be able to protect your assets by filing for Chapter 13, and an automatic stay goes into effect so that creditors cannot seize your assets or property while the stay is in effect.
Chapter 12 bankruptcy for family farmer or fisherman: Chapter 12 bankruptcy allows family farmers and fishermen with regular income to restructure debts and continue operations. Under Chapter 12, you come up with a plan to repay creditors over a 3- to 5-year period under terms that are more favorable for reorganization and less complicated and expensive than a Chapter 11 proceeding.
If you are operating as an LLC or corporation, a business bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or 11 should not affect your personal credit, unless you signed a personal guarantee for a debt.
Get Help from Our Small Business Bankruptcy Attorney
Declaring bankruptcy is a challenging and complex process that small business owners can find overwhelming, but there is help available from a skilled business bankruptcy lawyer. At the Birk Law Firm, in Cape Girardeau, MO, we get to know you and your business situation so we can find the best course of action that enables you to emerge stronger in the end.
Call us at 573-332-8585 today for a free consultation to start working toward a brighter financial future.
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.