Company Debts are debt financing obligations of a business, typically owed to one or more creditors. In simple terms, a company’s debt is the sum total of all its outstanding financial borrowings plus any assets that have been pledged as collateral against those loans. As a general rule, company debt should not exceed the value of the underlying assets in the business. There are a number of risks associated with taking on company debt, however. In particular, it can limit the flexibility of a business in times of economic distress, as loan repayments must be made in a timely manner, and may also reduce operating profits. It can also increase the risk of a bankruptcy event, with creditors being able to seize business assets in order to satisfy their claims.
Debt can provide a useful source of finance for companies, providing access to capital on more favourable terms than would be the case with equity financing. In addition, it is often possible to obtain tax advantages associated with interest payments on company debt.
The term of a company’s debt should be appropriate for Company Debts its activities, with long-term debt generally representing financing debt and short-term debt representing operating debt. For example, inventory and accounts payable balances are normally financed with short-term debt which has maturities of less than a year, whilst loans for equipment and mortgages on real estate will typically have maturities of three years or more.
What Happens to Company Debts on Sale?
When a business is sold, the fate of its debt will depend on whether it is structured as a share or asset sale. In some cases, the debt will be absorbed as part of the transaction, but this is not always the case. In any case, it is important that the business owner is aware of how the debt will be dealt with in the event of a sale.
Is a Director Personally Liable for Company Debt?
Directors of a limited company can be held personally liable for the debts of a business, but the liability is usually restricted to a fixed amount of money which is written into the company’s Memorandum of Association. For a partnership (LLP), the personal liabilities of partners are limited to the amount of capital they have invested in the business. The directors of a LLP are also personally liable for the debts of the business, but again, the liability is restricted to a fixed amount of money which must be specified in the firm’s Memorandum of Association. This amount is commonly set at PS1. The personal liability of the owners of a private company, on the other hand, is unlimited. A personal guarantee can be provided by a partner to limit their exposure in the event of a debt-repayment problem. This is a legal obligation which can be enforced in court if the company cannot afford to meet its debt repayments. This is particularly important in the case of a liquidation, where the director’s personal assets may be at risk.