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The UK’s late payment problems could be about to change for small businesses

  • 27/02/2018
  • Jane Bray


Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal has set up a new website to make it easier for small business owners to resolve their late payment disputes. It is hoped that this website will assist companies and help to change payment practices across the board.

Margot James, Small Business Minister, has said that if small businesses were paid on time, it could deliver an annual £2.5 billion boost to the UK economy, which shows the scale of this problem in the UK.

The Commissioner’s website is a complaint handling service, which also guides businesses on how to deal with unfair and late payments by ‘checking, chasing and choosing.’ According to the Small Business Commissioner:

  • Check to see that there was nothing wrong with your invoice. Make sure that it has all the right details, it went to the right person and that they actually received it
  • Chase if your invoice was accurate. The next step is to speak to your customer to say payment is overdue and advise them of the next steps you can take to get the money you’re owed
  • Choose what next steps to take. You might need more advice, you might be prepared to negotiate with your customer or you might need to work out how much time and money you’ll be prepared to spend to get what you’re owed

 
If you believe lodging a dispute with the Small Business Commissioner is your next step, you can do so if you have fewer than 50 employees, and you are complaining about a customer that has more than 50 employees and an office in the UK.

The Small Business Commissioner will consider disputes regarding payments that are from the previous 12 months and that you’ve tried to resolve already, but there are some exceptions.

To see whether you have an eligible complaint visit: https://www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk/deal-with-an-unpaid-invoice/get-advice/complain-to-the-small-business-commissioner/

When lodging a complaint with the Small Business Commissioner you’ll get an automatic reply, and if the Small Business Commissioner takes on your complaint, you’ll be assigned a caseworker.

If you are currently owed money, CoCredo can help you to get the ball rolling to resolve your dispute. We work with a number of leading debt recovery firms whereby we can send out a Letter Before Action (LBA), which is a formal and legal document. Please call us on 01494 790600 to discuss this further.

This article highlights the importance of credit checking companies before you begin working with them. Our credit reports reveal a company’s recommended credit limit, if they have previous judgements against them and how many days beyond terms they pay their bills, fuelled by accurate payment data. All of these factors can give you a good indication on whether a company is in a good financial position to pay their invoices on time. You can then select to monitor the company so you are proactively informed of any changes. If you haven’t used our reports before, please contact us at: customerservice@cocredo.com and claim your free trial.