The bankruptcy of a company is based on characteristic elements and a judicial process.
Specialized in business law, we have taken this example to answer your questions about this risk and how to avoid it. Specialized in the field of illuminated and digital advertising, VitrineMedia presents economic characteristics that could correspond to a case of bankruptcy, and it is worth analyzing the example of VitrineMedia. In the case of a bankruptcy, it is absolutely necessary to contact a lawyer specialized in liquidations and bankruptcies. He will be able to advise you on the best strategy to adopt and how to protect your clients and suppliers.
What is a bankrupt company?
The initial characteristic of a bankrupt company is actually quite simple. A company is said to be in bankrupt when its liabilities are greater than its assets. In other words, when its debts are greater than all the assets it owns. That is to say for example: its buildings and its equipment which we also call fixed assets. But also its receivables or accounts payable such as its invoices, its stocks of products in bank accounts, if they are in credit, of course. This is what we call the current assets.
What is the economic situation of VitrineMedia?
First, it is important to officially verify the economic health of VitrineMedia. To do so, you can just have to consult the register of the Chamber of Commerce, called RCS, at the Chamber of Montpellier where VitrineMedia is registered under the number 481980704. Or with the register of the Infogreffe.
Here is what the accounts say, which must be filed every year for any company in France.
The key figures filed and published with the Chamber of Commerce of Montpellier say this:
|12/31/20020||€ 1,866,319||€ – 18,299||21|
|12/31/2019||€ 3,196,873||€ – 190,761||21|
|31/12/2018||€ 2,021,370||€ – 113,200||–|
We can therefore see here that the balance sheets registered by VitrineMedia with the Chamber of Commerce are negative balance sheets that are quite worrying. This means that VitrineMedia has had losses since 2018 for three consecutive years. This is quite serious for a company and puts it in a high risk and places it in a high risk situation.
Negative results mean that the company VitrineMedia does not have much room for debt, and therefore the company risks insolvency. You can consult the details on the Infogreffe.
Unfortunately for VitrineMedia, there is no miracle solution to negative financial statements. And that the cause can be bad cash flow management, business administration errors, a too high and uncontrolled operating cost or a bad accounting management of the company. In this case, it would be imperative to reduce the collection periods for customers.
What to do in case of company bankruptcy?
It is recommended to read the law no 94-475 of June 10, 1994 relating to the prevention and treatment of business difficulties. The general rule is legal and the managers of a bankrupt company have 45 days between the moment when the state of cessation of payment is noted, and the key step of its declaration to the commercial court. Such a declaration is not without consequences. It must be made at the clerk’s office of the commercial court or at the clerk’s office of the district court, depending on the type of company.
Then comes the following procedure:
a) A judicial liquidation procedure of the company
It is decided to sell the company’s assets in order to be able to pay the maximum of its debts. This leads to the final closing of the company. It is a procedure that can vary from months to several years depending on the complexity of the case. Then the company in liquidation must file a profit and loss statement within 2 months or 60 days to transmit it to the authorities from the date of liquidation. Thus, the dissolved company, its cancellation is recorded and is the subject of a publication published in the official journal.
b) A judicial reorganization of the company
In the case of a judicial recovery procedure, the state of the company’s assets and liabilities will be examined. The objective of this option is to see if the company can be reorganized. It can also be an intermediate step to the sale of the company if a buyer is interested.
What are the consequences of bankruptcy?
a) Consequences of bankruptcy on the company
As we saw earlier, the consequences for the company are these two options: The liquidation of the company or the judicial recovery of the company. In the worst case, the company risks the worst case, the company will disappear completely. In the best case, it will be subject to a close supervision in order to monitor in order to proceed to its recovery if however it is successful.
b) Consequences of bankruptcy on the manager
Let’s now look at the consequences for the manager of this company. Because this one is not without responsibility and without any risk if he has committed faults. The director could be sanctioned in several cases.
Risk of being prohibited from managing any business
Even if the manager has only made minor management errors, he or she may receive this sanction. For example, if he or she has simply voluntarily omitted to make the declaration of cessation of payment within the required time. The director of the company will no longer be able to direct, manage and administer a company.
The responsibility of the director for insufficient assets
In this case, the situation is quite different from the others. Here the liability of the director will be personally condemned to pay the debts or rather the lack of assets that would have allowed to pay the which would have allowed the payment of the totality of the liabilities. Because it is a sanction and a mismanagement of the company for the manager.
The personal bankruptcy of the manager
Probably the heaviest sanction against the manager. If the court considers that the manager has committed a serious fault, there is then a decision of prohibition to manage a company or any company.
This can even go as far as the impossibility for him to have and exercise a public position and to be elected.
How to avoid bankruptcy ?
To avoid the bankruptcy of his company, at any time, it is essential to have the sufficient knowledge on the management and the administration of this one, and it does not matter the activity. First, it is necessary to work well and prepare your project beforehand. This is often the very first step, which is to prepare a business plan.
It is necessary to be very rigorous on the cash management. Because its lack of control can have very quickly the consequence of being put out of business by defaulting on payments. This requires a good inventory management, paying suppliers on time, and if there are credits offered to customers, they must be offered to customers, it is necessary to follow them well so that they pay as soon as possible. Not to mention the collection process of unpaid invoices.
Another very critical point is the control of the company’s expenses (fixed and variable expenses). The rent is a fixed charge, and no matter the level of activity, the rent does not vary does not vary. The purchase of products or raw materials are variable expenses in correlation with the activity of the company. They can therefore vary and are more easily controlled.
In conclusion, we have seen what defines the qualification of bankruptcy for a company. As well as the legal process in such a case and the consequences that it entails. As in the case of Vitrine media, if its fixed assets are not sufficient and lower than its liabilities. The situation is critical, and without the implementation of an audit with a real cost reduction and reorganization of its activity, it would be very difficult to turn things around.