Small businesses can often have a hard time getting paid from larger business. Unpaid invoices radically effect cash flow, growth and can often spell doom for many small businesses struggling to make ends meet.
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) was launched in December 2017 to ensure fair payment practices for Britain’s small businesses, and support them in resolving their payment disputes with larger businesses and bring about culture change.
The SBC is
- independent, but appointed by government
- free to use
- Provides a complete set of resources to help small business get paid in good time.
Forewarned is forearmed
Firstly it’s a good idea to get advice on where exactly you stand. The SBC offers the following links to get some good advice, prior to starting any action to get paid.
- Call the government-backed helpline for England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland to get free business advice
- To get free local business help from your nearest – Local Enterprise Partnership growth hub in England
- Call your professional or trade organisation to see what help they offer small businesses
- Talk to a solicitor or local accountant
Make a complaint
Ask the Small Business Commissioner to explore your case and make a recommendation. They’ll tell you if they can investigate.
Your complaint usually needs to be about a problem with a payment:
- That was due within the past 12 months
- That you’ve already tried to resolve with your customer
Taking legal action
There are a number of ways to take legal action these include
- Sending a solicitor’s letter
- Making a money claim – This is known as making a court claim. It often used to be known as taking someone to a ‘small claims court’.
- Getting a binding decision from a judge in court.
Not all legal action involves going to court, and you don’t always need a barrister or solicitor. Doing some checks or getting legal advice can help you decide the best action to take. The Small Business Commissioner provides some detailed information about taking legal action.
Taken action as soon as possible.
As anyone in business will agree, bad debt is an eternal problem, it’s important that the appropriate action is taken as soon as possible. It’s important to keep good contact with your customers and keep a record of that contact.
ADC Accountants work hard with small businesses to help mitigate issues around bad debt and provide advice on a regular basis to businesses on a range of topic. If you’re looking for an accountant or feel it’s time for a change, we’re on hand to help. ADC are the local choice of accountant for many businesses from self employed to larger operations.
Contact us today for no obligation chat about what your business needs.