Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is a small business bankruptcy ?”
In relative terms, Japan’s version of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is young. After fifteen years, however, the change in business culture the nascent bankruptcy law has wrought may be helping to shutter some of the world’s longest-running businesses.
Many of these businesses, as author William O’Hara told the Wall Street Journal in 1999, “are involved in basic human activities: drink, shipping, construction, food, guns.” O’Hara wrote a book called Centuries of Success that chronicled many of the world’s longest-running businesses.
Due to a unique business culture and relatively stable cultural norms, companies like Kongo Gumi—a construction company that specialized in building temples—operated for centuries. When, as The Atlantic reports, Kongo Gumi ran out of money in 2007 “and was absorbed by a larger company,” the business had been running continuously for 1,429 years.
In January, Minoya Kichibee—a seafood seller that specialized in preparing “salted squid guts using a 350-year-old recipe”—filed for bankruptcy, ending a 465-year continuous run in business. Minoya Kichibee’s bankruptcy followed last year’s shuttering of 533-year-old confectioner Surugaya.
While the rate of business bankruptcies in Japan is nowhere near that of companies in the United States, where, by comparison, only one in four companies founded in 1994 was still in business in 2004, the recent failure of so many of the company’s most venerable firms has some observers looking for answers.