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All about closing your business

When you go into business you probably have not given any thought as to what you will need to do if you close your business. However, there are many different reasons that business owners need to close their business and just selling off your inventory and closing your doors doesn't cover it all. There are some very important steps that you should take. Here is all about closing your business-

- Have an employee meeting-It is important that your employees hear from you about the store closing. It is patently unfair to ignore informing the people who work for you. Keep in mind that most likely this will be a highly emotional time for your employees so you need to be prepared for that. If at all possible you should try to provide your employees with job seeking help and exit counseling.
- Make sure that your final payroll taxes get paid-As soon as you know the time frame for closing your business you should contact the IRS about information on how to pay your payroll taxes for the last time. You should never assume that the IRS will not require you to pay your final taxes just because your business is closed. If you cannot pay the payroll taxes you should contact them immediately to work out a settlement. Simply ignoring the matter will only make things worse. You should also consult with your business financial professional and attorney at this time to make sure all financial matters are settled.
- Inform your customers that you will be closing your business-It is not only a good business practice to let your customers know that you are closing your business if you choose not to you can seriously damage not only the image of the business you are closing, but any future businesses and yourself, as well. You can let your customers know you are closing in a variety of different ways. This can include but is not limited to: posting an ad, using signs, or even calling your customers. You may also want to refer your current customers to another competitor that you respect and trust. This will help you to build goodwill even though you are closing your business.
- Start the legal process-There is some legal steps that you will need to take in order to shut down your business. You will need to make sure that all of the necessary tax paperwork is filed for everyone who has worked in your business. If the legal status of your business requires it you may need to file a corporate notice that officially states that you are closing your business. The only exception to this is if your business is a sole proprietorship. If you are operating this type of business you can simply shut your doors without any legal concerns. At this stage you should also look into discontinuing any benefits that you have offered your employees such as: health and dental benefits, pensions, and any other non-monetary compensation.
- Close the physical location-Once you have completed these other steps you can then begin closing down any physical locations that you have. At this stage you will need to see if you have to turn off power, water, gas, and other utilities. If you do not you will want to make sure that they are taken out of your business name and turned over to your landlord. You should also cancel any applicable business licenses and insurances. It can also be helpful to check with your state to make sure that you are abiding with any state regulations about closing your business, as well.

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