The last thing you need in the world of business is not to be paid! If you’re having trouble getting what you owe from a certain party, then here’s what you should be doing. All this applies whether the debtor is an individual or another business.
Know what you shouldn’t do
Before we go into what you should do, we should look at what you shouldn’t do. When some companies are owed money, they can get really shady in their operations. (Perhaps the best example of this are, of course, tax collectors.) As angry as you may be, or as urgent as the need may be, the law only permits you to do so much. You can’t tell the debtor’s employer about the debt, for example. You can add arbitrary additional fees, nor can you call them at unreasonable hours. There are right ways to go about this. There are also very wrong ways.
Make paying you their priority
When someone isn’t paying up, it’s likely that they’re pushing you right down in their list of priorities. In fact, a lot of these debtors actually manage to push it completely from the memory. So while you shouldn’t harass them, you should be giving them frequent reminders of their obligation. Contacting them often via phone, e-mail, and letter will keep you in their thoughts. If you’re on their mind often, then the chances are high they’ll end up paying.
Alternative forms of payment?
Sometimes these debtors are just really unfortunate. They simply don’t have the cash. Maybe they had completely reasonable reasons to believe they would have the cash. But something unfortunate occurred. You can, of course, decide to be more lenient. While no business wants to appear a pushover, some compassion can really go a long way. But you could also look into alternative forms of payment. What this alternative may be is up to you. Understandably, this isn’t too popular an option! But it’s certainly worth considering.
Get legal help
If they’re really dragging their heels about it, or even flat-out refusing to pay? Then it might be time to get some professional assistance. The first thing many businesses will do is talk to a collection agency, if they weren’t working with one already. They often have more formal resources at their disposal. If the problem has been ongoing for a while, or if the sum is particularly big? Then you may want to consider working with a solicitor. These methods tend to come with their own expenses that a lot of businesses want to avoid. But these expenses often end up paying for themselves. That’s if the debtor isn’t made to pay for those as well!
What if they’re bankrupt?
This is a tricky one. Under bankruptcy laws, debtors will often have their debts dissolved. Because they owe you money, the court needs to inform you of what’s going on and how to proceed. It’s not a certainty that you won’t get your money back. You may be able to get partial payment. Be sure to research the ways in which a debtor’s bankruptcy filing can affect your claim.