Tips for Handling Slow Paying Clients, by Rocklin and Roseville Area Attorney Terry L. Gilbeau

Most businesses have at least one or two slow paying clients. They may be good clients in every other way, except for when it comes time to pay the bill. Perhaps they offer promises of payment and even say the check is in the mail, yet it doesn’t arrive and you have to call and hear the same thing over again. This can be a frustrating situation that can be avoided some by taking a few measures ahead of time.

Here are a few tips for handling slow paying clients, whether they are in the Rocklin, Roseville, and Sacramento areas, or beyond: 

  • Get it in writing. Write up an agreement between your company and the slow paying one. This will get them to agree to the payment terms in writing. Keep that on record, in the event that it is ever needed. Just having it may be enough to prompt them to pay up when you refer back to it.
  • Always send an invoice. Once the work is done, always send an invoice right away. That way they have it on file and you have a record of it. The longer it takes to send an invoice, the more of a delay the payment will tend to be. Get the invoice sent right away.
  • Remind, and remind again. You will need to send reminders to slow paying clients. Remind that their payment is due, and as soon as it is past due, remind them again that payment is due right away.
  • Work with them. There may be clients that are willing to give you a date that they know for sure they can pay. There may be others who can pay you in installments, rather than in one lump sum. Try to work with them so you can get payment out of them.
  • Document all efforts. Keep a written log of every time you contact them regarding payment. Write down who you spoke with and what they said. That way you have that information if you need to refer back to it.
  • Get assistance. If you have a client who owes you a large sum of money and hasn’t been working with you to get it paid, it may be time to get help. An attorney can at least send a letter on your behalf, asking for payment. They can also help take things further if need be.

Slow paying clients can be a major drag for any business. Without good cash flow it can create a problem for most businesses. Follow these tips above to try and keep the cash flowing. With a little bit of effort, you may just get them to pay on time.

The Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues. His office is located in Rocklin, CA, just outside of Sacramento, CA, near Roseville, Lincoln, Auburn, in Placer County and can be reached at (916-626-5539) or email Terry at Click here for the firm website

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