Business Debt Recovery Claims: Advice on Payment Terms

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Vicky Biggs - Legal Director


Maintaining cash flow is vital for the success of many businesses, particularly small businesses. Larger businesses may be able to swallow a cashflow deficit for a short period of time. However, for smaller businesses, it could be the difference between success and failure.

Our business debt recovery solicitors have devised some useful tips to help keep your business’s cash flow as fluid as possible. The starting point is to ensure you have enforceable payment terms to ensure you have the foundations in place for the timely payment of invoices. It is best if you can agree on payment terms before or at the time the contract is entered into with your customer. That way, they know what to expect when the invoice arrives.

Contact Our Business Debt Recovery Solicitors

Payment terms

Firstly, you should consider how long you can feasibly allow your debtors to pay their invoices before that starts to have a negative impact on your business. With most invoices now being sent electronically, it has become more acceptable (and common) for invoices to be payable upon receipt (essentially immediately) rather than within 14 or 30 days. However, when considering how long your payment terms will be, you must also factor in some leeway for late payments, as that will inevitably occur from time to time.

The payment terms must not only set out the length of time allowed for payment but also:

  • How payment should be made (i.e. bank transfer, cash, cheque);
  • Any forms of payment that are not accepted (for example, credit card);
  • What currency the invoice should be paid in – this is particularly important if you have international arms of your business or deal with foreign customers. Ensure that any bank charges are the responsibility of the sender;
  • Who the payment must be made to – you will need to provide the exact name on the account as well as the sort code and account number (and IBAN if you accept international payments) for bank transfers, and cheques need to be made payable to the correct name in order to be able to be cashed;
  • What happens if payment is made late – i.e. if any interest will be charged and at what rate, as well as any penalties or late fees. If the consequences of late payment are set out clearly at the outset and form part of the contract, the customer will be less likely to argue they were not aware of the terms or that they are unreasonable.

All of this information must be clearly provided to your customer to make paying the invoice as easy and transparent as possible.

Advice on Payment Terms

Electronic Methods for sending and raising invoices

Technological advances make it easier than ever to raise and send invoices. There are numerous well-known apps and accounting services which can automatically generate and send invoices for you. There is, therefore, no excuse for not being paid on time.

Equally important is keeping on top of debtors and regularly chasing late payments. Have in place a system of reminder emails that you can send as the due date approaches and also after the due date has passed if payment is not received. Some software will also do this for you automatically, or it may be something your accountant will do.  

Whilst it may seem a time-consuming investment at the outset, an efficient system of credit control will pay dividends for you as your business grows.

We understand that sometimes, despite your best efforts, some invoices remain unpaid. If that happens, we are here to help. 

Contact Our Business Debt Recovery Solicitors

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding Myerson’s business debt recovery service, you can get in touch with our Business Debt Recovery Solicitors below.   

0161 941 4000 

Vicky Biggs's profile picture

Vicky Biggs

Legal Director

Vicky has over 13 years of experience acting as a Dispute Resolution and Insolvency solicitor. Vicky has specialist expertise in contentious insolvency matters, advising insolvency practitioners, directors in relation to both corporate and personal insolvency issues.

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