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Say it ain't so! SkyMall, the ubiquitous in-flight shopping catalog, filed for bankruptcy protection Friday. While seat-back pockets will never be the same, the company's ordeal offers some legal lessons for business owners.

SkyMall's parent company, Phoenix-based Xhibit Corp., "suspended its retail catalog operations" last week, Reuters reports. Staff layoffs, meetings with creditors, and court hearings are on the itinerary as the company makes its way through the bankruptcy process.

What can small business owners learn from SkyMall's bankruptcy filing? Here are five takeaways:

If your business is falling hopelessly behind on paying its bills, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option for getting rid of your business' debts.

But which debts are discharged in a bankruptcy? And maybe more importantly, which debts aren't?

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.