Businesses can suffer from excessive debt, just as individuals can. According to the SBA, almost half of all small businesses fail within the first five years, mostly because of poor credit, excessive debt and insufficient capital. Borrowing is sensible when it’s needed to finance expansion or boost cash flow, but many businesses end up in SBA loan default because they are not able to repay what they owe. Here, business owners can learn their options for dealing with debt, including making an SBA Offer in Compromise.
The most ideal option for many is to try to save the business while managing debt. Many business owners take money out of their pockets to fund the company, but this strategy should only be taken if it is likely to pay off in the long term. If the business cannot be saved with an infusion of private funds, the owner must identify ways to cut costs. While layoffs are not the most appealing option, they may be necessary to keep a struggling business afloat.
Contacting Suppliers and Customers
Business owners should stay in touch with customers, seeking ways to increase exposure and revenue. Offer markdowns to loyal customers if they pay quicker, and contact suppliers to ask for payment arrangements and discounts. If this is done early enough, it may be sufficient to save a struggling company.
Talking to Creditors
The business owner should contact creditors and advise them of the situation. Ignoring an SBA demand letter will make the situation worse, and it is easier to handle debt early on through a Tax Offset Program. It is in everyone’s best interests to find a workable solution, and clients should request lower interest rates, increased credit lines and/or an SBA Offer in Compromise.
Selling the Business
Another option is to try to sell the company to repay creditors. It is easier to deal with a single buyer than to go through SBA loan foreclosure, and an orderly sale may free the owner from later obligations once creditors are paid. However, if the business’ debts are more than its assets, it may be hard to find a buyer.