The consequences of late payment of invoices to SMEs can have significant effects on a companies’ ability to trade effectively. After all cash is king.
Recent research by electronic invoicing network, Tungsten, revealed from a poll of 1,000 business owners, 23% reported a brush with insolvency due to unpaid invoices. The average small to medium sized enterprise, or SME, is owed £40,857 and around half of that total figure is overdue. If you spread this number across the entire UK small business community of around 5.2m firms, you are looking at a total unpaid bill of around £212bn.
It appears that for many businesses, simply lifting the phone and chasing the payment isn’t as easy as it sounds. In another survey carried out by a Surrey-based litigation firm, around 60% of small business owners have worries that chasing payments will lead to offending customers and/or lead to the risk of their reputation. 18% said that it simply takes up too much of their time, meaning that many late-payers are simply left to get away with it.
Often, situations with late payment arise because small companies do not have terms and conditions which govern when invoices must be paid. It means that disputes can develop as to when invoices are payable and overdue and also lead to further delays in obtaining payment.
In order to avoid the risk of non-payment you should ensure you have terms and conditions specifying the payment terms and if payment is not made to terms, take swift action to recover the debt.
If you need any further help or guidance about how to deal with late payments, or your overdue invoices are steering your business towards the rocks, then you can get in touch with one of the team here at Verisona Law, who would be happy to help.
Robert has a broad commercial practice and has handled thousands of disputes relating to many commercial activities and industry sectors. He has acted in claims ranging from a few thousand pounds to several million, including cases where the commercial implications of the dispute carry a greater value than the dispute itself.
Applying negotiation, mediation and litigation as appropriate, Robert is well-known for his tenacious yet pragmatic approach to getting the best results for clients, while managing the risks and costs.
Robert Joined Gray Purdue in 2000, initially on a secondment from a client company. The opportunity to bridge the gap between lawyer and client gave Robert an insight into settling disputes and he seized the opportunity to join the firm full-time and progress through a series of qualifications whilst managing a diverse caseload of disputes, culminating in his admission as a solicitor.
After Gray Purdue merged with another firm to form Verisona Law in 2008, Robert relocated to the firm's Lakeside office and developed the firm's Commercial Dispute Resolution practice. In 2013 Robert was appointed as a director of the firm and now heads the Commercial Dispute Resolution team and oversees the various litigation teams across the firm.
Protecting and preserving business interests:
- Enforcing, terminating and recovery under contracts and agreements
- resolving disputes including contractual obligations and statutory or commonlaw duties duties
- Protecting brands, Intellectual Property and goodwill
- Protecting confidential information and trade secrets
- Protecting online and digital activities
- Recovery of money, property and assets
- Urgent relief including court applications, injunctions, freezing orders and search orders
- Mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution
- Including bringing and defending claims against:
- Accountants, and
for breach of professional, fiduciary and statutory duties.
Land and Property:
- Boundary disputes
- Dilapidations claims
- Actions against trespassers
- Forfeiture of leases and recovery of property
- Recovery by distraint
- Pursuing and defending claims on behalf of and against Liquidators and Administrators
- Strategic advice on merits, legal and tactical issues
- Asset tracing and recovery
- Claims against directors
Director, Head of Dispute Resolution
T: 023 9231 2051