Agency refusing to pay for old jobs
Thread poster: Yaroslav Melnitski

Yaroslav Melnitski  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:19
English to Russian
+ ...
Dec 21, 2011

A Dutch agency just informed me that they will not pay my jobs from 2010, as they have already closed their records for that year. Would that be legal?

They claim that is indeed according to "Dutch tax and accounting rules", which sounds like a complete nonsense to me, but then I know nothing about Dutch legislation, of course.

Obviously, I should have invoiced them before (and so they say, too), but they seemed such a nice people, and I worked with them for many years, and I was really very busy, including projects from this agency, and even now I have two projects from them. I did not invoice them for a little more than one year now. Yes, I am very wrong.

Can they really do it and just get away with that, or is it just an angry talk of someone who is not happy with delay in my invoicing? They seem to be serious.

It seems I have exhausted all chances to resolve it peacefully. What would be the best thing to do in such situation? The money is quite big for me. Should I try and seek advice from a Dutch lawyer, or something? Would I have any chances in court?

Any help, advice or recommendation would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Nathalya  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:19
English to Dutch
+ ...
Late invoicing Dec 21, 2011

Hello Yaroslav,

A similar thing happened to me, only not with a Dutch, but a Spanish agency. Their initial response was the same - citing a lot of nonsense with regard to laws and regulations. They were prepared to pay, but demanded a discount of about 40% (shameless!). After a lot of discussions and a warning to have a lawyer involved, they agreed to pay, if I wrote an invoice for the end of that month, with the usual payment term. I'm not sure what the exact regulations in the Netherlands are, but I believe that, as you have done the job, you deserve to be paid, even if your invoice comes later on. In my case, I know they made a profit of at least 40-50%, they got paid by their end client, and I invested a lot of time and energy in that translation.

I'm also interested in this topic, because I always wondered if there is such a thing as a general, European regulation with regard to late invoicing.

Best regards,


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Local time: 18:19
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Payments can be late, invoicing is always on time Dec 22, 2011

Hi Yaroslav,

There is no such thing as late invoice until the job done is more than 5 years old. I issued this year an invoice for a Spanish agency covering jobs done in 2007 and got paid without problems. My last invoice for a Dutch company, issued several months ago, covered also jobs done in 2009 (the rest were mainly done in 2010).
In fact you were crediting them. They should be grateful instead of trying to avoid payment.
Ask them to provide the grounds for their refusal to pay. Report non-payment to BB.

Good luck!


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Agency refusing to pay for old jobs

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