If you own a business, at some point, you will have the problem of someone owing you money and not paying. Here is what you should do if someone owes you money:
- Look at the big picture: Is this the first time in 20 years that your client has been late with a payment? Or are you dealing with someone who been late each of the six months you have worked with them? Each situation requires a different solution.
- Understand the legal situation: Knowing the range of options that are available to you will allow you to select which you should take. Well-written contracts are essential to all business agreements. You should draw them up with the help of an experienced business law attorney.
- Keep records: You should list all contact you have with the person who owes you money. Every time you phone or email them, note it down and add a few details. Then if you do need to go to court, you can show the efforts you have made.
- Be persistent but fair: If a client tells you they will have the money in a week, give them a week before chasing them down. Calling too frequently will likely result in them blocking your number or ignoring your calls.
If playing nice does not work and your patience is beginning to run out, seek the advice of your business law attorney. Sometimes, a letter from a lawyer is enough to make someone pay up rather than risk legal action. If legal action is required, your attorney can assist you.