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  • Writer's pictureVinicius Adam

Don't Let it Linger: The Advantageous Route of Dissolving Unused Business Entities


Introduction


Dissolving a business entity in Florida, whether it's an LLC, partnership, or corporation, is a significant step that requires careful consideration and strict adherence to Florida statutes. Dissolution refers to the formal closing of a business entity, which entails not only ceasing operations but also settling debts, distributing remaining assets, and notifying the Florida Department of State. Reasons for dissolution may vary, such as retirement of the owners, unresolvable disputes between owners, ongoing losses, or strategic shifts in business focus.




Purpose


The objective behind dissolving a business entity is to bring a definitive end to its operations and legal existence in a structured manner. By doing so, the entity ensures all debts are correctly settled, remaining assets are fairly allocated, and all state guidelines are diligently followed. Opting for dissolution comes with a plethora of advantages. It puts an end to continual statutory obligations like yearly reports and fees. More importantly, it shields business owners from potential future liabilities connected to the entity. Lastly, it offers unmistakable communication to all stakeholders, including creditors and customers, about the end of the business, thereby delivering overall resolution and certainty.


Benefits


While dissolution might seem like an unfavorable outcome, there are certain benefits:


1. Liability Protection: Properly dissolving an entity can help protect owners from future liabilities associated with the business.


2. Regulatory Compliance: Dissolution helps to avoid ongoing statutory obligations, such as filing annual reports or paying annual fees.


3. Closure and Clarity: It provides a clear end to the entity's existence, ensuring all members can move forward without uncertainties regarding the business.


Florida Statutes


Dissolving a business entity in Florida involves several statutes, depending on the nature of the business. Some of these statutes outline the procedural steps required and set forth the state's legal requirements for notifying creditors and other claimants. Others should be considered because they may impact liabilities when winding up your business operations. Below are key statutes that should be taken into account:


1. Florida Business Corporation Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 607): This law contains specific provisions (§ 607.1402 and § 607.1403) that provide guidelines for corporations on how to approve and file for dissolution.


2. Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 605): For LLCs, this act (particularly § 605.0707) outlines how members can agree to dissolve the LLC and what steps should be taken thereafter.


3. Florida Revised Uniform Partnership Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 620): This act covers the dissolution of partnerships, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. Key sections include § 620.8807, § 620.8903, and § 620.8904.


4. Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (Florida Statutes Chapter 726): When dissolving a business entity, care must be taken to avoid running afoul of Florida's fraudulent transfer statute. This law, embodied in the Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (FUFTA), is designed to prevent the transfer of assets with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor. In the context of a business dissolution, where assets of the business are typically distributed to owners or other parties, these distributions can be scrutinized under FUFTA. If a company that is insolvent or becomes insolvent as a result of these distributions makes them without receiving reasonably equivalent value in return, the transfers may be deemed fraudulent.


In such cases, the recipients of the fraudulent transfers could be liable to the company's creditors, who may have the ability to reclaim such transferred assets or their value. This can potentially occur even if the business was properly dissolved under Florida law. Therefore, when dissolving a business, it's essential to carefully document the value of the assets being distributed and the solvency of the company both before and after the distribution, to minimize the risk of a fraudulent transfer claim.


5. Florida Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Time-Sharing (Florida Statutes Chapter 61): This law could be relevant if a business entity is considered a marital asset in the event of a divorce.


6. Florida Statutes Chapters 718 and 719 regarding Condominiums and Cooperatives: If the business entity owns property regulated by these laws, they must be considered during dissolution.


Procedure


The procedure to dissolve an entity in Florida largely depends on the type of business structure. Let's take a look at the general steps involved for each of them:


1. Limited Liability Company (LLC):


The first step in dissolving an LLC is to consult the operating agreement, which often includes specific instructions for dissolution. If there are no specifics, Florida statutes dictate that members must approve the dissolution (Florida Statutes § 605.0707). Afterward, a form called "Articles of Dissolution" (Form CR2E009) must be completed and filed with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations.


2. Partnerships:


General partnerships can simply stop doing business and agree to dissolve. For registered partnerships, however, a Statement of Dissolution (Form GP) should be filed with the Florida Department of State. Limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships may require additional procedures per their respective partnership agreements and the relevant Florida statutes.


3. Corporations:


To dissolve a corporation, a majority of the board of directors must approve the dissolution and draft a resolution to be approved by the shareholders (Florida Statutes § 607.1402). After shareholder approval, "Articles of Dissolution" (Form 601) must be filed with the Florida Department of State.


It is also crucial, regardless of the type of business entity, to settle any outstanding debts or obligations and properly distribute any remaining assets among the owners. Lastly, it's recommended to notify all creditors, customers, and relevant parties of the business dissolution.


Conclusion


While dissolving a Florida business entity is a process requiring thoughtful consideration and scrupulous attention to detail, it can be navigated successfully by strictly adhering to the Florida statutes and the entity's formation documents. Always seek legal counsel when dissolving a business to ensure compliance with all state regulations and to protect personal interests. The legal experts at VAdam Law can provide personalized advice based on specific circumstances, ensure compliance with the requirements, and help guide you during the process of dissolving your business and winding up operations in an orderly manner that protects you and your future endeavors. .

If you would like to learn more about VAdam Law and schedule a free consultation, visit our online scheduling portal or call 24 hours a day at (954) 451-0792.



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