What are my options if my business is owed money?

Sophie Jackson
Sophie Jackson

Published: January 22nd, 2021

7 min read

It is estimated that, £23.4bn worth of late invoices are owed to firms across Britain, having a huge impact on businesses' cash flow and ultimate survival. If your customer, client or retailer is leaving invoices unpaid past their due date, you may be required to step in.

A great deal of uncertainty remains amongst the business community following the coronavirus pandemic, with cashflow still being so uncertain given the current national lockdown. Therefore, should you find yourself in a position where you are awaiting payment of invoices past their due date, we would recommend the following:

Emails, calls and negotiation

This is often the first step when a client has failed to make payment of monies due. In some cases, a gentle reminder can solve the issue and payment will be forthcoming, resolving the matter quickly and easily.

However, it may become apparent that there is some sort of problem and that is why payment has not been made. For example, the client could be having cashflow problems of their own and you may therefore have to negotiate a suitable payment arrangement or settlement sum in order to come to an amicable solution.

Instructing a Solicitor

Occasionally, it is enough for a debtor to receive a letter from a solicitor requesting payment of the monies owed to realise the severity of the incident and subsequently make payment of the overdue invoice(s). This can therefore produce quick and cost-effective results.

A solicitor can also identify further action available to you in relation to the monies owed and progress the matter on your behalf should the need arise.

Court Action

In some instances, you will find that you have been left with no other alternative but to pursue the monies owed by commencing court action against the debtor. It may be that your emails, phone calls and letters are going unanswered, or the debtor has defaulted on the payment arrangement that you had in place. Regardless of the reason, we recommend instructing a debt recovery specialist to take swift action in the County Court on your behalf.

We always recommend starting this process sooner rather than later as it is more likely you will receive payment if you are not in an extensive queue of creditors.

Within Forbes Collect we will work with you to protect your cashflow and keep business running smoothly. We can act as an extension to your credit control procedures and act on your behalf to collect the outstanding invoice(s), pursuing the debtor with maximum amounts of pressure whilst taking the pressure off your business and resources. Our expert team will also claim late payment fees, interest and costs if you terms or statute allow, ensuring that this process is as cost-effective as possible for you and/or your business.

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