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Fishing industry in Louisiana still suffering from oil spill

While recent reports have come out showing a recovery in certain industries after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, some businesses in Louisiana that depend on the fishing industry are still reeling from the catastrophe. Citing poor public perception and the environmental consequences of the disaster, such as reduced numbers of fish and the continued presence of oil and tar balls on their beaches, the businesses owners in the area are not feeling the reported economic recovery. For them, the economic downturn is ongoing and their optimism is waning. A sale of business may be warranted.

The main problem, as some have argued, is public perception. While state health officials consistently verify the cleanliness of local fish and other seafood, the public does not seem to find the results trustworthy. And several attempts to convince the public, such as a big advertising campaign funded through a grant from BP, do not seem to be working as well as some hoped they would. In these dire and unfortunate circumstances, it's a reality that businesses sometimes cannot endure the economic hardships. These business owners need exit strategies that would allow them to sell or dissolve their business without unneeded complication.

In these instances, business owners need to do their due diligence in the closing of their business. Contrary to what some may think about closing a business, it is a relatively complex process with potential tax issues as well as other financial ramifications that the owners need to take seriously. This is especially the case if the business is owned by more than one individual or is in debt and has lasting financial obligations.

Other issues such as resolving taxes with the state and cancelling business licenses also require attention. For those in Baton Rouge who are seeking to close their business for whatever reason, economic or otherwise, discussing the topic with an experienced business lawyer may provide a better understanding of the process.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Fishing guides say their businesses are gasping for air two years after BP oil spill," Bob Marshall, April 24, 2012

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