Many startup founders avoid preparing for the possibility of failure, writes Conner Forrest. Communicating honestly with your employees and customers can be helpful as you shut down a failing startup, but you'll still need to make a few tough decisions. "[T]here are still legal questions to address; including whether a wind-down or a bankruptcy makes the most sense, and how and when investors might see a partial return for their investment," said entrepreneur and investor Greg Langdon.

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