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One of the biggest problems freelancers and self-employed people have is getting paid once they’ve done the work.
Over on our ‘Ask’ forum, Debbie Mynott from The Debt Recovery Bureau wrote a great answer on how to set your payment terms to give yourself protection if any of your clients are slow to pay or refuse.
Over to Debbie.
1) Send your clients clear terms and conditions from the start
“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. Send them out with your invoice as well.”
2) Show you know about adding on debt recovery costs
“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 a reasonable debt recovery cost if payments aren’t made on time.
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.”
3) Your invoices should tell your clients when you’re expecting them to pay….
“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.”
4) …and how to pay
“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 XXX.’ Basically, you need to make it as easy as possible for your customer to pay you.”
You can read Debbie’s whole post here.
Elsewhere on the ‘Ask’ forum, she has written about how her company helps people who are having problems getting paid.
“If you have any problem, give us a ring, and we’ll see if we can help. We often give a lot of advice for free. Our website is www.tdrb.co.uk, my number is 0800 440 2359, and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.”
You can read the whole post here.
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Have you used any of these tips? What happened? Have you found any other smart terms and conditions you can put on your invoices to help you get paid? Do you have any other advice for our community? Join the discussion in the ‘Ask‘ forum, here.