Thursday, May 24, 2007

Encourage Your Customers To Pay On Time - And How To Recover The Debt If They Don't

Whatever sort of business you run, it can be difficult to ensure that your customers pay their bills on time. After all, late payment of debt can cause crucial cashflow problems and non-payment of debt has the potential to effectively cripple your business. But how can you make sure that your customers pay their debts on time? And, if they continue to renege on their payments, how can you go about recovering the debt?

To begin with, it's important to set out clear terms and conditions for your customers to adhere to when they're making their payments. For instance, offering discounts on early payments - and making customers aware of the consequences of non-payment - will definitely encourage bills to be paid on time. On the other hand, charging customers a fee on late payments is sure to encourage your clients to by the agreed deadline. Legally, if your customer fails to pay their bills within 30 days of being invoiced, the amount of interest you'll be able to charge interest daily at the Bank of England base rate plus eight per cent.

Additionally, you'll also be able to claim debt recovery costs when adding interest onto any overdue payments. Your customer is legally entitled to pay you rates of £40 for debts of under £1000, £70 for debts ranging between £1001 and £10,000 and £100 for late payments exceeding £10,000. However, if you choose to claim debt recovery costs, it's vital to let your customers with unpaid bills know in writing than you plan to implement these extra charges.

While these efforts usually provide results in obtaining your payments on time, some customers repeatedly ignore reminders to settle their bills with your business. In this case, the best course to take is usually to employ a debt recovery agency to claim any overdue payments that are owed to you. Debt recovery agencies can offer a lot of advantages when it comes to collecting debts for you.

Firstly, debt recovery agencies have the time, expertise and specialist industry knowledge that are needed to effectively recover any debts that are outstanding to you - so you can concentrate on the everyday running of your business. Often, the agency will also be able to instruct solicitors on your behalf if the customer still doesn't make their payment. Handing over these responsibilities to an external debt recovery agent will leave you free to tend to the everyday running of your business.

Ultimately, if you decide to opt for a debt recovering agency in order to collect any payments owed to you, it's essential to check whether the agency is registered with the Credit Services Association by referring to the CSA's website Choosing a reputable debt recovery agency, like Capquest for example, will ensure that you won't be associated with any questionable practices and will guarantee the fast recovery of your debts.

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