Many Founders have Anxiety before bankruptcy. But even if it is big: "Failure is also an opportunity - if you learn from the mistakes" - that says someone who has gone through all the stages of insolvency and still does it again today successfully at a hunt.

Fail better: bankruptcy & mistakes as an opportunity

First error

Everything had started well in Krefeld in 1992: Joachim Niering had noticed that there was a need for porcelain repairs, but hardly any Companyswho offered this service, let alone a corresponding one Vocational Training. The trained pedagogue therefore equipped founders with the commercial and technical know-how for porcelain repairs and thus enabled them to build up their own existence - as a franchisor. He brought the technical understanding from his time as a play equipmentDeveloper with, the necessary Capital came from his private fortune.

Today he says that was probably his first mistake. “I had been warned that 500.000 marks was not enough capital. But I thought my idea was so good that I laughed at it." Now he knows: “Even the best ideas need lead time, until eg the Brand established – and that costs a lot Money! "

Trust is good, control is better

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Seine Company also flourished for a few years: Niering gave his Background, the franchisees monthly their royalties. Then something happened that often happens to franchise systems without a strong brand: the licensees became independent. “They just lacked that Sinn for the network idea," says Niering and today admits to himself self-critically: "Trust is good, Control is better!"

They were followed by judicial battles, and suddenly the fee was lost. Niering filed an insolvency petition for the first time and reorganized the company with the help of an insolvency plan. This was expensive and meant to save money, continue the company, and also take in personal loans and bring them into the company.

First rescue, then sinking

After a dry spell of four years, the rescue plan was fulfilled. The entrepreneur believed that he could rebuild the successful franchise system and failed again: "I clung to an idea that worked before, instead of daring something new and only repeating the mistakes," says Niering self-critically. The company finally went bankrupt and the entrepreneur fell ill.

But Niering seems almost relieved about the end: "At some point you have to realistically admit that you can't make it anymore." Self-mutilation also makes no sense to him: for Niering, there is no such thing as the cardinal error that many people are desperately looking for in this situation, but rather various causes. However, he considers it essential to look for an external consultant as an entrepreneur: “For example, I would have needed someone who would tell me in good time weaknesses shown in personnel management. You don't always see that for yourself."

In the end, private insolvency

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Because of the liabilities from the restructuring, the ex-entrepreneur finally had to file for private bankruptcy: he had nothing left and lived in a student digs at times. But Niering did not give up. "You have to clear make that the bankruptcy is an economic, but not a human collapse and must not affect the whole of life.

The important thing is to start over, ”he says - and has done it: Niering passes on his experience as a consultant for companies and private individuals:“ All of the clients I look after are still successful on the market today and are leading a normal life again, ”he reports proud.

Why insolvency is not the end

Hildegard Allemand, specialist lawyer for insolvency law in Cologne, also confirms that insolvency cannot be the end, but a new beginning: “Enforcement measures by the creditors are then no longer possible and under certain circumstances a company can be continued unencumbered by the old liabilities.” However, at the opening of the insolvency proceedings, there must still be enough assets left to at least Costs of the procedure to cover.

In the case of sole traders, the procedure can also be opened by deferring the costs of the procedure. The residual debt exemption procedure follows the insolvency procedure, which brings about the discharge of debt. "It's a relief," explains the lawyer, "because the reminder letters and calls from creditors and collection agencies and the bailiff's visits are finally stopping. However, those affected must keep their attachable property for six years Income pay, there is a basic obligation to work and provide information. After six years, the remaining debt is then discharged by court order.

GmbH managing director in duty

In the event of insolvency or over-indebtedness, a GmbH is obliged to file for bankruptcy. For GmbH managing directors, this often means their own debt if they have personally guaranteed the liability of the GmbH. "Knowing these consequences, some then try to save the company at any cost, but delay the bankruptcy of the GmbH, which is punishable," reports everyone from their day-to-day advice. There is no residual debt relief procedure for the GmbH, but the indebted managing director can choose the path of private insolvency with residual debt relief.


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