how to liquidate a small business in Atlanta
April 25, 2024 Uncategorized No Comments

How to Liquidate a Small Business in Atlanta

Closing your business is always a bittersweet process, whether you’re leaving for new opportunities, retirement, or because you need to pay off creditors. When things are emotionally charged, it can be harder to make smart decisions or even know where to start with as large a task as liquidating a business. In this guide, we’ll show you the steps in closing down and selling off assets. Of course, you should go over your plan with your accountant and your lawyer to ensure that you’re following the law and making the best decisions for you. In this guide, we will also provide local resources to help liquidate your small business if you’re in Atlanta, Georgia.

1. Legal Dissolution and Cancellations

If you share ownership of the company with any person or organization, you will need their permission to legally dissolve the business. You’ll also need to fill out some paperwork to make the termination official. The process varies by state, but in Georgia, you need to file a Certificate of Termination.

You’ll only be able to complete the dissolution process if all of the business’s debts, liabilities, and obligations have been paid, discharged, or barred, which typically means that you have to sell off all of its assets. It’s worth noting that if you’re filing bankruptcy, the trustee will sell your assets, and you typically do not have to worry about most of the liquidation process.

While you’re handling the paperwork, it’s also wise to start the process of cancelling your business’ permits, licenses, registrations, trade names, and other intangible assets that you pay for but which you’ll no longer need. Consider selling to competitors when possible.

2. Taking Stock of Assets

Over the years, a business collects a great deal of assets, some of which you have probably forgotten about. It’s important to make a list of assets and make a plan to deal with each separate item. It’s wise to divide the list into tangible assets and intangible assets. When possible, take a photo of the asset (excepting inventory) and record details about the object to make selling simpler and to make reporting to the IRS simpler too. Here’s a checklist to help you make your list:

Tangible assets

  • Equipment and tools: The equipment you have varied widely depending on industry and the specific nature of your business. Everything from computers to cash registers, nail guns, forklifts and MRI machines counts as equipment or tools and can typically be sold. Make a note of what may be needed before the sale. For example, you may need to clean industrial equipment or clear information from computers.
  • Supplies: You may have materials and supplies from past jobs or those that were cancelled. Unopened supplies can typically be sold, while you may simply have to send opened supplies to donation centers or landfills. This may not be true if you keep a large stock of chemicals or hazardous supplies, which may need to be disposed of professionally.
  • Office furniture: Couches, chairs, desks and all other furniture qualify as an asset.
  • Vehicles: Whether you have one truck or a fleet of vehicles, they are typically large assets that can help you recoup a lot of value.
  • Real estate: Business properties are assets and can also help you recoup quite a lot of money. Property that you lease is a bit different. Read more on that in intangible assets.
  • Security deposits: Deposits you paid to landlords or other organizations may be assets that you can get returned.
  • Prepaid insurance premiums: You may be able to get these premiums returned if you paid them ahead of time.
  • Merchandise and inventory: This can all be sold through your usual channels. You may hold a promotion to encourage fast liquidation.

Intangible assets

  • Leases: You don’t own a property you lease, but the lease itself has value. Sometimes you can purchase the lease from the lessor and sell it.
  • Accounts receivable: These have a cash value. Selling to competitors can be advantageous.
  • Customer contracts: Depending on your business and arrangements with your clients, you may be able to sell your contract with them.

Most assets should be appraised for value, typically by a third-party professional. You may not have to bother for pens and paper, but any significant assets should be appraised. An appraisal can also help establish that you sold the asset for a fair price if you are selling to pay creditors.

If you’re having trouble taking stock of assets or know that you’ll have trouble finding buyers for them, or you have a large inventory, you can consider working with a company that liquidates businesses. There are several of these businesses in Atlanta, including Atlanta Liquidation, or lawyers that specialize in completing the process, like Stone and Baxter.

3. Finding Buyers

Typically, the best buyers for your assets are competitors. They have the same needs for specialized equipment, property and supplies. More general assets like office equipment and vehicles can typically be sold off to businesses in other fields. Consider used dealership for vehicles,

Keep in mind that it is typically your legal obligation to get a fair price for all of your assets, whether you’re paying off creditors or returning investment value to investors. It’s therefore important to find multiple buyers, look for competitive offers, and try to market your assets effectively. You can consider using a professional auctioneer to

4. Donating and Recycling

What about the items that don’t sell or can’t be sold? You may still need to dispose of these items. You can donate and recycle much of it before you send it to the landfill, especially basic office supplies and furniture. You can save time and hassle by having professional junk removal companies like Green Junk do the donating, recycling and trashing for you. We provide tax-deductible donation receipts whenever possible so that you still get the full value of donating your items, even though you won’t do the work yourself.