If you file a Chapter 7 on a corporation, can you still do business after discharge under that same company name?

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2014

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If you file a Chapter 7 on a corporation, can you still do business after discharge under that same company name?

Lets say it was Joe Blow, Inc. and I filed Chapter 7, mainly to discharge major bank debt that I couldn’t pay. The company name was a brand name and there are no records on the internet of the filing and other than the banks nobody really knows of the bankruptcy. I have been in business for 20 years before the filing and am starting up again. This is also a family name that was not tarnished. Can I still do business under it? like Joe Blow or even Joe Blow, Inc. again?

Asked on July 30, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A chapter 7 bankruptcy filing does not dissolve a corporation or cause it to cease to exist--which is not to say that companies may not be dissolved more or less simultaneously (or just after) a chapter 7 filing, but the one does not lead to the other. Therefore, in the first instance, there is no reason why the bankrupt company is not extant and you cannot resume operations under its name. And if the bankrupt corporation had been disolved, then the name should be available for use.

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