7th December 2017 at 11:22 pm #585
I’m thinking of going self-employed but I hear a lot of people have problems getting paid. What’s the best way to set payment terms to protect myself?
7th December 2017 at 11:31 pm #589
I’m Debbie Mynott. I’m the Business Development Manager at a debt recovery company called The Debt Recovery Bureau.
First, make sure you’ve got very clear terms and conditions that you send to every new customer when you sign them up, saying quite clearly what you expect of them. If you have some sort of a client signup form or contract form, make sure it’s really clear that everyone who signs up is agreeing to your terms and conditions.
Second, send them out with your invoice as well.
Third, make sure that there’s something in the terms of conditions about legal and recovery cost. That way, if it goes to court you’ve quite clearly said you’re expecting to get those costs back.
You should also put very clear text on your invoices which says you reserve the right to add reasonable debt recovery costs if payments aren’t made on time.
Fourth, be very clear about when you’re expecting payment. Every invoice should clearly set out your payment terms, such as ‘7 days’ or ‘30 days.’
Finally, I always advise people to make it very clear to the person getting the invoice how they can pay. Make sure your bank details are on there. Write ‘cheques should be made payable to…’ Basically, you need to make it as easy as possible for your customer to pay you.
The Late Payment of Commercial Debt Regulations 2013, which is enshrined in law, allows you to add reasonable debt recovery costs to any business-to-business debt.
If you have any problems, give us a ring, and we’ll see if we can help. We often give a lot of advice for free. Our website is http://www.tdrb.co.uk, my number is 0800 440 2359, and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve written more about how we work here.
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