As any company knows, late payments can have a devastating effect on operational functions. Whilst businesses must receive payment in full in order to remain profitable, they must also receive the funds in a timely manner to ensure that they can continue to operate.
Business debt collection can be complicated. In addition to implementing the relevant late payment laws, companies must find a way to encourage clients to pay their debts in full, rather than accepting a partial or token payment.
However, there are methods which can enable you to recover your business debts satisfactorily. A winding up petition, for example, requests that the courts close a business if it cannot pay its debts.
Providing you are owed £750 or more and the company is genuinely unable to make the payments, a winding up petition can result in the company being closed, its assets being sold and the subsequent money can then be passed on to creditors.
If the business in question is simply refusing to pay an invoice, rather than being unable to pay their debts, then a winding up petition won’t be a suitable solution. Instead, you may need to consider an alternative form of debt recovery.
A letter before action or a solicitor’s letter could be used to show your intention to take the matter to court unless it is resolved. Whilst you may not want to resort to litigation, taking a strong stance against late payments could ensure that the debt is paid quickly.
If the dispute is on-going, you may consider referring the matter to an arbitrator where a neutral third party will make a decision about the matter. There will need to be an arbitration clause in the contract or the parties will need to agree to arbitrate. If the matter is resolved via arbitration, an award will be made and the client must adhere to the ruling. As a form of alternative dispute resolution, arbitration can be used instead of going to court and it’s often a quicker and cheaper way to recover your debts.
UK and international debt recovery can be time-consuming for businesses. With various debt collection options available, it may be difficult to determine which method of debt resolution is the most appropriate in any given circumstance.
Instead of increasing organisational costs by managing these issues in-house, you may want to consider accessing professional help. By outsourcing your debt collection, you can ensure that clients adhere to their contractual terms and that your business doesn’t suffer as a result of late payments and debts.