Indiana Small Business Bankruptcy Lawyer remembers Charles Goodyear

January 25, 2012 12:04 pm Published by

Sometimes even we bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana need reminding – in business,tires enterprise isn’t always given its just reward. My colleagues in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices were passing around an article the other day.  Mental Floss magazine was telling the story of Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber.

In these Bankruptcy in Indiana articles I’ve sometimes listed movie stars and famous sports figures who’ve filed bankruptcy.  While I and my colleagues the Anderson, Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Columbus bankruptcy lawyers practice only in central and southern Indiana, and “only” for the past 25 years, I still thought the story of Charles Goodyear would help readers realize that sometimes businesses fail because of small, understandable mistakes, and because of forces beyond business owners’ control.

The Goodyear story goes back to the 1830’s, when there was great consumer demand for rubberized goods.  The problem was that, as the weather changed, the rubber would either become rock hard in the cold or melt into a sticky mess in the heat.  Charles Goodyear discovered a way to combine sulfur with the rubber to stabilize it.  But because he failed to file a patent quickly enough, he did not benefit financially from his discovery and ended up in debt.

What can we learn from this today?  Small business bankruptcy in Indiana has understandably increased. After all, Indiana is home to well over half a million small businesses. And the one question Indiana lawyers for bankruptcy are asked again and again is this:

Can I file business bankruptcy in Indiana without filing personal bankruptcy as well?

The answer is probably “no”.  Why?

  • 90% of small business loans are personally guaranteed by the owners.
  • In most cases owners have put personal funds into their business and also withdrawn money from the business for personal use.
  • Often, business owners have related money problems made worse by the business issues, such as needing student loan debt help.

Was that a “mistake”?  No, it was just what the owner needed to do at the time.  Charles Goodyear made a “mistake” in failing to protect his invention right away.  But sometimes, even patents that were filed right away are infringed, with small business owners lacking the funds for a legal battle.

After 25 years offering Indiana bankruptcy help, I know that small business owners do the best they can.  Often, though, that’s not enough.  At the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, our purpose is to help even when life just hasn’t been fair!

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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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