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We hear all the time about unemployment benefits for laid off workers. (Or at least you should -- if you're a business owner, chances are you and your employees are paying into the unemployment system.) But what about unemployment benefits for failed entrepreneurs? If you owned an unlucky small business, are you out of luck when it comes to unemployment?

While each state may run their unemployment benefit programs a little differently, there is one general rule to unemployment for small business owners: pay in, get paid.

This week is the SBA's Small Business Week, so we'll be featuring legal advice for small businesses all week long. Today's topic is closing up the shop you opened -- how to sell or end your business.

Most entrepreneurs don't want to think about walking away from the companies they've founded, but that day comes for almost all of them. Whether you're moving on to the next big challenge or riding off into the sunset of retirement, the day will come when you and your small business part ways, so here's how to be prepared and to sell or end your business in the right way at the right time.

Let's face it, when you were getting your company started, you probably weren't thinking about how your days with it would end. And even some serial entrepreneurs haven't perfected their exit strategies. In some cases, it can be hard to say goodbye to the business you built; in other cases, it seems impossible to extricate yourself from your partners.

Either way, having an exit strategy can not only help your leave your small business efficiently and on good terms, it can ensure your business keeps going after you're on to the next thing.

Walmart announced last week that it will be closing 269 stores and laying off thousands of employees by the end of the month. But the news isn't all bad for the brand -- the mega-retailer also announced plans to open 300 to 400 new stores in the next year, most of those overseas.

It's worse news for the thousands of employees that may need to find new jobs. Due to this concern, federal law requires employers to alert employees before mass layoffs and possibly provide skill training or retraining programs for affected workers. So does the law apply to Walmart's store closures? And did they comply?

Nobody wants to bail on a business they built from the ground up. But some circumstances, like enough success to be acquired or a necessary shift in the company's strategy, may require a founder to step aside.

Finding yourself in this situation can be heartbreaking or a blessing, but either way it can also be legally complicated. And you may need to be careful to protect yourself, your finances, and your future if you plan on leaving the company you've founded.

Is My Business Worth Selling?

Only you can decide if your business is worth selling and that probably depends on more than money. How much your business is worth hinges on many factors, including the industry, the economic climate, assets and liabilities, revenue, and much more, some of which cannot be easily translated into dollar figures. Some things have value and are important to the sale of a business but are not easy to quantify.

A business may be worth a lot of money in theory but you can't sell without buyers. Conversely, even a new business that is relatively untested could get an offer. Maybe the buyer wants a ready-made set-up or your style. In order to determine whether the business is worth selling and how much it is worth, you have to get organized and creative.

How Do I Sell My Business?

So, you've spent the last 20 years building up your business. Now, it's time to leave the corporate world behind for a beach in Tahiti. Or a condo in Oshkosh. Whatever.

Is it time to sell your business? Here are some tips for selling your business for the best value:

Last Sunday, a brawl among biker gangs broke out in front of Texas Twin Peaks restaurant.

It started out as quiet Sunday, but police were already on edge. They had prior warning that trouble between bike gangs may occur. So, police were at the Twin Peaks' parking lot staking out the restaurant. Suddenly, a fight erupted. The fight, between five rival gangs, escalated rapidly from punches and kicks to gunfire.

Nine people were killed. At least 18 people were injured. and over 170 people were arrested.

Burt's Bees Co-Founder Ousted: 5 Lessons for Business Owners

The bearded co-founder of Burt's Bees reveals in a recent documentary that he was ousted by the company after he had an affair with an employee.

Burt Shavitz, 79, is the subject of a new documentary "Burt's Buzz" which chronicles Shavitz's life and his role in the founding of Burt's Bees, whose products still bear his cartoon likeness, reports The Associated Press.

What can we learn from Shavitz's 1993 ouster and what's happened since? Here are at least five things for business owners to keep in mind:

Should Your Business File for Bankruptcy?

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: