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Invoice Correctly to Avoid Dealing With Debt Collection Agencies

Here at Access Credit Management we see quite a few invoices from small and large businesses here in the UK and we have some advice for you if you’re a small business owner. Invoicing correctly can make a real difference to whether or not you get paid quickly and without any problems. Some invoices are really good with all the correct information on them but there are others with practically no information on them other than the amount of money due. If you want to make sure you’re paid promptly, then making sure you have a template for an invoice that gets paid on time without disputes is essential.

Here are some tips you can use to make sure that your business can avoid having to engage the services of a debt collection agency in order to get paid:

• Make sure that every invoice begins with your full name (or the legal name of your business) and contact information – including postal address, email address, telephone number(s) and the name of the contact person who should be asked for if there are any queries.

• Make sure that the name and address of your client/customer is correct on the invoice. You should make sure that you know exactly who your customer is and the invoice should be made out to the correct legal entity. This means that your invoice should be made out to a sole trader, a limited company, a partnership or LLP. Incorrect details may result in a delayed payment.

• Always quote the invoice number and the date that the invoice was rendered.

• Make sure that you state the customer/client’s credit terms on the invoice.

• Consider each customer/client’s credit history on an individual basis when invoicing. For example, a customer with a good record of paying promptly could be on 60 days, whereas slow payers should be on 30 days and some will need to pay upon Receipt of invoice. It’s up to you to set these terms, but make sure that customers/clients know these terms before doing business with them. It’s your responsibility to set your own terms and conditions for payment, whatever the customer/client’s payment policy is.

• Make sure that you include on the invoice methods in which you can be paid – include your bank details but, if possible offer other methods of payments such as BACS, Cheque, online payments, etc.

• Make sure that the invoice you send includes payment information for each service rendered – customers will usually want a breakdown of the bill rather than just a total figure.

• We strongly suggest that you exercise your right to late payment interest. State clearly on the invoice that if payments are late then late payment interest will be added to the account. You are entitled to do this under UK government legislation. While this can be used at your discretion, it serves as an effective deterrent.

• Email a copy of the invoice to your customer/client so that there can be no excuse that the invoice was lost in the post.

• Remember at all times that it is your right to be paid promptly and that customers and clients have a legal obligation to pay on time.

• Keep a record of all invoices – both digital and printed so that you always have access to them when necessary.

We are not like other debt collection firms as our collection agency fees are competitive.