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Late Payment of Commercial Debt Regulations 2013

Business Meeting

Statutory rights to help your business stay afloat.

The Late Payment of Debt Regulations came into force on 16th March 2013 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and on the 29th April 2013 for Scotland. It was intended to bolster the protection already afforded to commercial businesses under the Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 with the main aims of dissuading poor payment practices and improving cash flow for those businesses owed money for products and services already rendered.


The original act came into force in 1998 with the main objective being to help small and medium sized businesses, sole trader and partnerships (under 50 employees) being unfairly treated by large multinational corporations persistently paying late or withholding invoice payments for an unreasonable amount of time despite goods and services already transacted. Prior to 1998 the burden was on the Supplier to include specific terms within the initial contract or sue the debtor in a court of law to stand any chance of recuperating late payment debts.


In 2013 The Act was amended again to allow 30 calendar days for public organisations such as Local Authorities, NHS Healthcare, Education Trusts etc when purchasing commercial goods/services and 60 calendar days when the purchaser is a private company i.e. Limited, PLC or LLP, however this can be extended if expressly agreed in the initial contract and isn't deemed to be grossly unfair to the supplier. If there is no prior agreement written then the 30 days and 60 days applies respectively. 


If the original contract is deemed to be grossly unfair towards the supplier (creditor) in terms of unreasonable payment terms or substantially low interest payments fees then courts will revert back to the initial statutory requirements of the Late Payments Act removing the ability of a Supplier (creditor) to act unfairly outside of the original Act.

Whilst there is no legal requirement to officially notify your business customers of your right to exercise the act in the event of late payment, it is good practice to include clear terms on your initial invoices and quotes so to prevent possibly chasing overdue invoices. We can help you with this via our Turbo Charge Invoice services.


There is also no legal requirement for you to notify your customer/debtor that you intend to pursue late payment invoice fees for invoices already paid but beyond initial agreed terms (dating back 6 years) or invoices overdue and awaiting payment. We appreciate that you may not want to risk antagonising an existing business customer by applying late fees, however if your business has been severely impacted by your business customers not paying on time then it is your statutory right to be compensated.


We can act as intermediary's on your behalf to claim late invoice fees in a friendly and reasonable manner. Our free invoice dashboard manager allows you to organise your entire sales ledger by simply uploading all your overdue invoices dating back 6 years. We then get to work on your behalf organising and calculating overdue invoice fees and making contact with your business customers to reclaim monies rightfully owed to you. Furthermore, our services lessen the chances of future invoices being paid late and shows to your existing and prospective customers that you have a robust system in place to act as a deterrent against future potential malpractice.


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