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Should your small business file for bankruptcy? If you find yourself asking this question, you're not alone.

Filing for bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean throwing in the towel. On the contrary, it may just mean a fresh start for you and your business.

Here are five factors to mull over when deciding if your business should file for bankruptcy:

NFIB's Business Credit Card: Read the Fine Print

The National Federation of Independent Business has unveiled a new business credit card -- but is it a good deal?

The NFIB Business Edition MasterCard, offered by the First National Bank of Omaha, promotes itself as a "business rewards card built for NFIB members by an NFIB member."

Though the NFIB-branded card boasts a number of perks -- namely, attractive rewards points and no interest for the first nine business cycles -- the card lacks basic borrower protections offered to personal cardholders under the CARD Act, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

New companies don't always become roaring financial successes. Unfortunately for many small businesses, bankruptcy will be a reality.

Take heart, small business owner, there are several ways in which a company can declare bankruptcy. Depending on your company's financial situation, knowing the differences can help you get your business up and running again.

Which type of bankruptcy will work best for your business? Here's a general overview:

How to Avoid Burnout as a Small Business Owner

As the owner of a small business you are literally the key to the whole company. You provide the inspiration, the final say in business goals, and the raison d'etre.

You might think the most important business strategy is to maximize income or efficiency. But really what's most important is keeping the heart of the business going strong. That means you.

Work burnout is a real risk for small business owners who put more than just their time and money into their companies. If you want your small business to succeed, and of course you do, make sure that work is always a joy and you're excited to come back and do it again every day.

Small Biz Credit Cards Not Protected by CARD Act

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (the "CARD Act") went into effect on March 22, 2009, but Congress exempted business credit cards.

This new consumer protection law changed the game for credit card companies and consumers, as we blogged about in 2009.

So two years into application of the new law, business credit card users remain at risk for many of the dangers Congress targeted with the CARD Act, reports the Pew Charitable Trust.

Consumers no longer risk exposure to two-cycle billing, unilateral APR increases, and certain fees. But since business cards lack these protections, and many business cards are still backed by their holders' personal credit, credit card companies have kept a "back door" open to the old practices.

Rising Food Prices: More Restaurant Bankruptcy

As if eating out wasn't already expensive enough, U.S. restaurants are now facing the challenge of record-high food prices. A rise in food costs is problematic because consumers are alright watching their money, restaurants have high levels of debt, and profit margins are razor thin.

In just the last year, Fuddruckers, Charlie Brown's Steakhouse  and Uno Chicago Grill Pizza declared bankruptcy, and more are likely to follow, Reuters reports. And with the increase in food prices, 2011 could be even worse, with companies like Sbarro, El Pollo Loco, Perkins & Marie Callender's Inc, already on the brink.

Small Biz Bankruptcies Down Yet Again

For once I'm here with good news. About bankruptcy. And the economy. Yes, seriously.

A pair of recently released studies indicate that small business bankruptcies are declining nationwide. According to Equifax Commercial Information Solutions, bankruptcies declined 11 percent in the third quarter of 2010 alone. That also marked the fifth consecutive quarter that bankruptcies have dropped for small businesses. This signals a remarkable shift from only 18 months ago. For the purposes of the study, small businesses are classified as those with 100 or fewer employees.

"Small businesses are having a tough time. But the numbers are beginning to indicate that some of the stresses may be abating," said Reza Barazesh, senior vice president of Equifax. According to the study, small business bankruptcy filings reached their peak at 37,299 during the second quarter of 2009. They stood at 30,392 during the third quarter of 2010. Equifax analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy filings in addition to business data on 24 million U.S. small businesses.

Blockbuster Plans September Bankruptcy

Blockbuster, once the king of video rentals, is preparing to file for bankruptcy next month. Blockbuster hopes to use time in Chapter 11 to restructure their debt load. The company has nearly $1 billion in debts and hopes to escape leases on over 500 stores.

The Blockbuster bankruptcy comes largely as a result of the company's inability to shift gears into the digital age. Netflix and Redbox made renting movies online and from kiosks faster, easier and cheaper than going to a Blockbuster. Even as the company began offering services similar to Netflix, the Blockbuster bankruptcy became inventible as the company was sinking under its massive debt, reports The Los Angeles Times.

Loan Delinquency During A Business Loan Credit Crunch

Reuters reports that the number of small and mid-sized businesses who are suffering from a loan delinquency rose in the past six months in the midst of the current business loan credit crisis. According to a survey done by PayNet,  small and medium-sized U.S. businesses seeking to finance in the form of business loan credit showed signs of trouble in November as loans more than six months past due rose for the 22nd consecutive month.

PayNet also found out that the loan delinquency will eventually be a cost that is going to be carried on to the lender. If the cost gets carried to the lender, then that leads to more of a squeeze on business loan credit in general.

If you are one of those small business owners who are having a hard time making payments on your small business loan, you do have options.

Small Business Bankruptcies Up 81% in California

California small business owners have it tougher than most small business owners in the country. According to the Los Angeles Times, California small business bankruptcies grew by 81% over the past fiscal year, compared to the previous fiscal year. These percentages were provided by the credit agency Equifax, Inc.

While these numbers may seem depressing, experts warn that numbers may be even higher because most small business owners start their businesses as sole proprietorships and file for personal bankruptcy versus commercial bankruptcy. Lawyers often advise small business owners to file for personal bankruptcy instead of business bankruptcy because the filing process is easier. Ms. Kathleen March, a bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles said that many small business owners go out of business only to discover that their company's debts continue to haunt them.

Ms. March told the Los Angeles Times: "The norm is if you're running a small business, you will have to either cosign or personally guarantee the significant debts. The business itself can shut down, but the people cosigned all the debts. So, the individuals are then saddled with these huge debts."