5. Talk to the tax office
Tax bills are one of the biggest costs a business pays. It’s important to remember that GST revenue and income tax withheld for employees isn’t your money. But we also know it’s quite possible you don’t have what’s required to pay the bills when they fall due.
It’s important you keep all your tax declarations up to date and accurate. If so, you will find the ATO is also supportive of trying to get you through a tough period.
The ATO has now issued special advice about help that's available, which you can find here.
6. Talk to your suppliers
They are probably facing a tough time as well. And they will certainly know others amongst their customers doing it hard. Have an open discussion with them and work out what you can agree together.
Just like banks, it’s in your suppliers’ interests to keep you going and remaining a customer over the long term. But do understand they too might be squeezed for cash right now.
7. Get qualified help
Yes, it’s likely to cost you some money that you don’t feel like you have now but getting qualified help is likely to save you money in the long run.
Most local accountants and lawyers don’t know their way around the complexities of insolvency law. So you need to talk to a specialist.
ARITA Professional Members are fully qualified in this area, are covered by insurance for the advice they provide and are regulated by the government. Which means you can trust their guidance.
ARITA Professional Members usually offer a free and confidential initial consultation to help you understand your financial position and what options you have available.
ARITA Professional Members include specialised accountants who might be Registered Liquidators (who look after businesses in distress) or Registered Trustees (who look after individuals facing personal bankruptcy).
If you think your business can trade through with a little help, then ARITA Professional Members are the very best people to talk to.
Indeed, engaging them may give you a ‘safe harbour’ protection to stop further personal claims against you if your business does end up going broke.
Find out if an adviser is an ARITA Professional Member
8. Look after your mental health
Having your business in financial distress is a crushing experience. It’s likely to be personally hard on you. It’s important to ensure you are aware of, and look after, your mental health, because the most important thing is that you get through these challenges yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Chat to your doctor, check out Beyond Blue or call Lifeline if you are in urgent need of help.
It’s important to realise a lot of people are in the same boat now, and generally through no fault of their own. So, don’t see this as a personal failure. But do get proper, qualified advice as quickly as you can.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Business Australia.