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Even if your small business is filing for bankruptcy, there may still be some debts you'll need to repay. And who you'll need to repay -- and who you'll need to repay first -- will depend on how your creditors are classified. By the same token, if a client or customer is declaring bankruptcy, there's still a chance you'll get paid. And whether -- and when -- you'll get repaid will also depend on how your small business is classified as a creditor.

Therefore it's important to understand some bankruptcy terms from both sides of the coin. For instance, do you know which of your creditors are secured creditors in a bankruptcy? Do you know if you are one? Here's what you need to know.

Hope for the best; plan for the worst. It's a good life strategy that can be essential for small business owners. While most of us don't want to plan for -- or even consider -- our businesses going bankrupt, it's a sad reality that many startups don't end well. And meeting that end with the right plan can protect you as the small business owner and may even give your business a second chance.

So here are the most important things you need to know about small business bankruptcy, from our archives:

Filing for bankruptcy for your small business can be doubly painful. Any time an entrepreneurial dream dies is a sad day, plus, depending on how your company was structured, those business debts may affect your personal credit.

Chapter 7, or liquidation, can wipe out a lot of your small business's debt, but how long will that bankruptcy filing hamper your ability to buy a car for yourself? Here's a look.

If you're a small business owner pondering bankruptcy, you have a few filing options. While some would mean an end to your entrepreneurial dream, others may let you continue to operate your business while paying off your debts. And if you're not willing to say goodbye to your small business yet, you may consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Generally, Chapter 11 is intended for the reorganization of businesses with significant debt, and may allow your small business to propose a plan for profitability post-bankruptcy and continue to operate while temporarily keeping your creditors at bay. And while most Chapter 11 filings don't include liquidation of the business's assets, it may be permitted in some cases. Here's a look.

Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature -- no one starts their own business to see it fail. And the last thing most small business owners are thinking about when they're starting up is declaring bankruptcy. But failure is a fact of life, and not all businesses make it.

That said, declaring bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean your small business is a failure. Plenty of big businesses have declared bankruptcy only to rebound stronger than before. But what happens to your business after declaring bankruptcy will depend on the type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 are two of the most-filed types of bankruptcies for small businesses, so let's see how they stack up.

The dreaded b-word. No small business owner wants to think of their company going under, but in some cases it's inevitable.

But not all bankruptcies equal total failure. Chapter 11 bankruptcy can allow your business to reorganize, remain open, and repay your debt. Here's a look.

Despite most retailers still enjoying the revenues from the holiday shopping season, a former leader of department stores, Sears, is having a grim start to the year. In fact, analysts are predicting that Sears will be forced to declare bankruptcy within the next two years if something doesn't drastically change. CEO and billionaire Eddie Lampert is basically extending a line of credit to keep the retailer afloat.

While declaring bankruptcy for Sears may not be the end for the retailer, it is certainly looking like the likeliest path to continue existing at all. The retailer has been selling off assets, iconic properties, and even their exclusive brands. It's no secret that traditional brick and mortar retailers have been struggling since online shopping became normalized. However, many people have been fearing the fall of the Sears empire and what that means.

You may have thought that buying into an existing franchise, with its business plan, name recognition, and even supply chain all sorted, would be a less risky way to own your own business. But even less risky doesn't mean risk-free and not all franchisees avoid failure, as one Iowa-based McDonald's franchisee recently learned.

As it turns out, declaring bankruptcy as a franchisee has some different quirks than shuttering a business you own outright. For instance, what happens to your franchise license? Can a franchisor just take back your contract once you file for bankruptcy? Here's a look.

When an individual is financially underwater, they might explore bankruptcy as an option. However, when that individual is married, the question about whether or not to declare bankruptcy becomes more complicated. While they can and often do, spouses are not required to file for bankruptcy jointly.

Generally, bankruptcy will allow a person, business, or married couple, to get out from under debt either by liquidating assets to discharge the debts, or structuring a repayment plan. However, because there are restrictions on qualifying for bankruptcy, it is not always a viable option for married couples. Sometimes, only one spouse may actually qualify. When only one spouse declares bankruptcy, the non-declaring spouse needs to be aware of the ramifications.

Ending a business, or one particular venture, can often be a smart business decision. Sometimes an entrepreneur needs to cut their losses and move on to the next project. When a business owner reaches that point, they may be wondering about how to get back the dollars they invested into their business. If your business has any assets the answer may just be liquidation.

If you are thinking about liquidating your business, or just a few business assets, below are a few tips to consider.