Many people are in business for themselves, and being your own boss certainly has its advantages. Of course, there are certain responsibilities that go along with business ownership as well. The lay of the land can be a bit tricky when you are trying to determine whether you can be held personally responsible for debts that are incurred by your business. We will provide some insight in this blog post.
When you are starting your own business, you should be very discerning about the business entity that you choose, because it will have everything to do with personal responsibility for business debts. If you are a sole proprietor, there is no separation between you as an individual and the actions of your business. As a result, you would absolutely be responsible for debts incurred by the business. The same thing is true of a general partnership. Each partner is responsible for all of the partnership’s debts. It may not sound fair, but if you have personal assets, and your partner is insolvent, you would be responsible for all of the debts, not just your 50 percent share.
Things are different with limited liability companies and corporations. Generally speaking, you would not be personally responsible for business debts under these structures. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you personally guarantee a business-related debt in writing, it would be your personal responsibility. This is not uncommon, because some vendors, leaseholders, and others know that the business entity would not be liable, so they insist on personal guarantees.
Of course, if you put personal property up as collateral for a loan that you will use for business purposes, the lender could seek to attach the property if you don’t pay the debt. If you use a personal line of credit or a credit card to infuse your business with resources, the business structure would do nothing to limit your liability. When you digest all of the above information, you can see why you should think long and hard about the business structure that you should utilize when you are establishing your enterprise.
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If your business debt is becoming unmanageable, there are steps that you can take to ease the burden. We are here for you if you would like to discuss them with a licensed Portland, Oregon bankruptcy attorney. Our firm offers free consultations to people in The City of Roses and many other communities throughout the Beaver State. To schedule an appointment, call us toll-free at 1-800-682-9568.