Collecting your business debts

No business, large or small can survive without sufficient cash flow. Constant vigilance is necessary – below is a checklist to make sure you keep up to date with what your business is owed:

  • As soon as an invoice becomes due for payment start chasing it. Invoices must be paid within 30 days if no contractual payment period is in place. Set up a system to track outstanding invoices
  • Have a timetable listing actions you will take – emails, letters, phone calls etc and keep a list of dates of each action you take to recover your debt
  • In the first instance send a polite letter as a reminder that payment is due and follow this up with telephone calls
  • Be wary of delaying tactics and ask for a date when you can expect payment
  • If the customer is having financial difficulties set up a payment schedule
  • If payment isn’t received stop any further credit sales until you have been paid
  • If agreement cannot be reached send a letter of claim stating your intention to sue for the outstanding debt
  • Attempt to negotiate an agreed settlement with the customer rather than going to the courts but be prepared to take further legal action to enforce payment
  • If there is a genuine dispute try to resolve it
  • Keep records of everything that is said and who you are dealing with
  • Don’t take legal action if you consider that the debtor will be unable to pay

If you are having problems collecting money that is owed to you please contact our experienced Dispute Resolution team who will guide you through the recovery process.

Our Dispute Resolution Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Michelle or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.