Each business closure situation has different details. The type of business will dictate what actions you, your customers or suppliers will have to take before the business closes for good. To develop a customized letter meeting your needs, start with a sample letter and adapt the wording to reflect the details of your particular situation.
Business Closing Letter Templates
If you are managing the process of closing a business, it may be appropriate for you to send letters to your customers and suppliers. Sample letters for these audiences are provided here. You can access each template by clicking on the corresponding image. Each template is a customizable PDF document that can be saved and printed as needed. See this guide to printables for assistance working with the documents.
This template is designed to be sent to customers to let them know that a company is closing. It is particularly important to send this type of letter if customers need to pick up items from your location or take some other kind of action before the business ceases operation.
Use this letter to notify suppliers that your organization will be ceasing operations, being sure to provide sufficient notice to allow for final account invoicing, payment and resolution of any outstanding matters.
Reasons to Write a Business Closure Letter
Once you make the decision to close your business, it's not advisable to just hang a 'closed' sign on your door. It's best to to announce the closing to your customers and suppliers with a formal letter. They have been key players in your business activities by purchasing your products and services and, in the case of suppliers, by providing you with products and services which were instrumental in your business. As one of your final acts of customer service, you will need to give them advance warning that your business will no longer be available.
The business closure letter is an excellent way to create a professional end to your current business relationship and explain any actions which need to be taken by your customers and suppliers. Sending this kind of letter shows a good faith effort to communicate with and accommodate those with whom your organization has conducted business. It can also help ensure that all matters are handled prior to closing, which can help prevent potential legal issues from arising down the road.
Closure Notification Timing
There is no hard and fast rule about when you need to mail a business closure letter. The actual mail date will depend upon several factors.
You want your special customers to hear about your business closure from you, not through rumors or discovering a shuttered door with no advance notice. Having notice reinforces to your customers that you think they are special and gives them an opportunity to conduct any necessary final business transactions with you.
In general, consider mailing a closing notification letter or including a copy of the letter in their monthly bill at least 30 days before the closure date. A service business such as a dry cleaner or repair shop will need to give customers enough time to come in and pick up their belongings. A retail business will probably want to leave lots of time for a sale to reduce their inventory, with the business closure letter being released before the sale begins.
It is generally best to inform suppliers of your intent to close at least 60 days before your final date of operation. This will allow enough time for accounts to be settled and closed.
Special Consideration for Future Plans
If you are selling a business and plan to open a related new business immediately thereafter, you may want to minimize the amount of time between the two. For example, you may decide to hold off sending the business closure letter until right before the closure date if you are selling your housekeeping franchise and opening your own housekeeping service.
What to Communicate in Your Letter
The key goals of a business closure letter are to clearly express the details of the business closure and to sincerely thank the reader for their business or service. These letters don't need to be long to be effective. The letter should:
- Tell the reader the date the business will close
- Inform the reader of anything they need to do (such as pick up their dry cleaning, pay off their outstanding bill, or come in for the going out of business sale)
- Tell the reader where to direct their questions
- Thank the customer or supplier for their business
The letter does not have to give a reason why the business is being closed. If the reason is good news, such as the retirement of the owner, you may decide to include the reason in the letter. Otherwise, it is usually best to concentrate the letter on subjects that are important to the reader, like what they need to do and by when.
Maintain the Relationship
It is always preferred to leave a relationship on a positive note. Even if you never plan to see or work with an individual again, it is best to be helpful, positive and sincere in business closure letters. Your professionalism will make it easier to close the business and it may give you a head-start if your future business plans lead you to work with these same individuals in the future.