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How long does it take you to get paid?
Thread poster: xxxivbaracho

xxxivbaracho  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:21
English to Portuguese
May 22, 2012

Hi. I'm new here and I was just wondering how long it takes you guys to get paid. Because I sent my first invoice on friday and I have not received a word from the employer since then. Is it normal? What should I do? Thanks!

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Welcome to ProZ. May 22, 2012

Hi,

since you've just sent your invoice last Friday, there's no need to worry about it.

The due date of your payment depends on the agreement you and your client have reached in regards to the terms of payment. Which due date is on your invoice? Is it a bank/wire transfer, through PayPal or a check? The factors need to be taken into consideration.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2012-05-22 15:27 GMT]


 

xxxivbaracho  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:21
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
PayPal payment May 22, 2012

Thanks for your reply!

Well, I sent him the video file on thursday, and the invoice on friday. But we had not discussed when he would make the payment. Since it was my first job I just assumed he would pay me right after I was done. I sent the invoice via PayPal. Now I'm afraid I won't get my payment...


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wrong... May 22, 2012

ivbaracho wrote:
Well, I sent him the video file on thursday, and the invoice on friday. But we had not discussed when he would make the payment. Since it was my first job I just assumed he would pay me right after I was done. I sent the invoice via PayPal. Now I'm afraid I won't get my payment...

Well, this is a good lesson for the long run: it is critical that you agree all the aspects of the transaction and that these get reflected in a proper purchase order from the customer.

Being paid immediately is an exception. I'd say that the average is to be paid 30 days net or more. I really think you should ask your customer for confirmation that they have received the job and the invoice and ask them about their usual payment term. Since you haven't negotiated this with them, you will have to go with whatever they are used to...


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:21
English to German
+ ...
Depends on the terms of payment May 22, 2012

agreed upon. Usually I do not accept a period longer than 30 days.

Some agencies even pay immediately or within three days after delivery.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
It varies May 22, 2012

Here in Spain, my private sector clients usually pay at 30, 60 or 90 days, and even 120 days in some cases nowadays. Regional or local authorities can take years - most of them in Spain are not only bankrupt now but deep in debt.

Just remember that the due date you put on your invoice is merely wishful thinking, unless you get a hard and fast agreement a priori, as Tomás points out.

I never expect a payment on delivery, although it has happened. In fact, the other day someone paid me only 4 days after I sent the bill by email and I was pleasantly surprised!

"All things come to those who wait" (Tout vient a celui qui sait attendre)~Rabelais.

Of course, there are 2 sides to every coin. Today, one long-standing client has just paid me a small bill that I had issued on 12th November last year. They still owe me for work done this year...

[Edited at 2012-05-23 08:44 GMT]


 

xxxivbaracho  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:21
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 22, 2012

Thank you all for sharing your stories with me. It was very enlightening. I guess I've been quite naive...icon_biggrin.gif

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Well, May 22, 2012

ivbaracho wrote:

Thank you all for sharing your stories with me. It was very enlightening. I guess I've been quite naive...icon_biggrin.gif


It takes time to learn the trade. And you've just learned a valuable lesson.

Just contact your client and ask about when s/he intends to pay you.
If that's not possible, send a revised invoice (samer invoice number!) with a date when s/he should pay you.icon_smile.gif


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:21
Member (2008)
French to English
Days to pay May 22, 2012

For me, 45 days on average. Some pay within a week. Most pay at about 45 days. Some pay 75 - 85 - 90 days. My terms are net 30, I tolerate 60, then start cutting back how much I will accept from slow clients. Once a client pays consistently over 60 days I question their value to me. I won't accept clients who have terms of 60 days end of month.

Regarding government payments, remember that almost all governments anywhere have laws that govern when their invoices must be paid. A slow paying government agency can often be brought to heel by reminding the paying authority of the legal requirement. Even if they have little cash, they will generally pay the debtor who is noisiest first.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member
English to French
Longer and longer May 23, 2012

A few years ago, 30 days end of month was a kind of norm, at least in Europe. Which meant you could wait up to 2 months to get paid if you sent your invoice the first day of a month.

But gradually, alledgedly due to the economic slowdown, many of my agency customers have increased their payment terms to 45 days or 60 days end of month (yes, you could wait a quarter of a year to get paid). Take it or leave it.

Some agencies even offer to pay at 30 days end of month if I decrease my invoice amount by a certain percentage! In other words, financing their cashflow at my expense...

Yesterday, I received an email from an agency customer who will delay their payments from 60 to 90 days nett.

In my opinion, this is getting a bit too much for a balanced and reasonably safe cooperation. But then again, the risk of payment failure (if the customer goes bankrupt within the period) is to be balanced with the risk of losing business.

So as usual, it's people like us (independents, employees and consumers) at the end of the foodchain who pay. Nothing to be surprised about.

Incidentally, the best agencies (those who pay good rates, pay on time or earlier, offer proper deadlines, have prominent end clients and/or don't expect you to work for free) don't seem to have cashflow problems and pay within a few days or weeks.

Philippe

Edit: "independents" probably means "freelance workers" in Frogglish

[Edited at 2012-05-23 07:48 GMT]


 

Ronald van Riet  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:21
Member (2011)
English to Dutch
+ ...
European law may help May 23, 2012

In the European Union, we have national laws on payments, based on Directive 2000/35/EC.

These laws state a maximum payment of 30 days if no specific term has been agreed upon. With or without the specific term, after expiry of the term, you may add interest at 7 % over the then current interest rate, fixed for each half year and published in official national documents. The interest you may charge is currently 8 %. On or before 16 March 2013 a new Directive 2011/7/EU will be implemented nationally, specifically dealing with late payments by public authorities to businesses.

I have enforced these laws a few times and the positive aspect was not only that they paid (with interest) in the long run, but more importantly that after that, they always paid on time, which is exactly what the law was meant to make happen.

Sometimes the EU does make useful laws...


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cost of legal action May 23, 2012

John Fossey wrote:
... Regarding government payments, remember that almost all governments anywhere have laws that govern when their invoices must be paid. A slow paying government agency can often be brought to heel by reminding the paying authority of the legal requirement. Even if they have little cash, they will generally pay the debtor who is noisiest first.


The cost of litigation can be prohibitive unless very large sums are involved. The economic situation here in Spain is quite desperate and some local/regional councils can't even pay their electricity bills. There are long lines of creditors desperate to get paid, some waiting years on end, and there are even deals offered where payment is made only if the creditors agree to relinquish a percentage of what they are due.

"You can't get blood out of a stone".


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:21
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
60 days until worry starts May 23, 2012

John Fossey wrote:

For me, 45 days on average. Some pay within a week. Most pay at about 45 days. Some pay 75 - 85 - 90 days. My terms are net 30, I tolerate 60, then start cutting back how much I will accept from slow clients. Once a client pays consistently over 60 days I question their value to me. I won't accept clients who have terms of 60 days end of month.


My exact experience over here in Spain. We're working on the same wavelength here, John.


 

Bruno Depascale  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:21
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Hi everybody May 23, 2012

for what concerns agencies and publishing houses in Italy, the usual term is 90 days.
Unfortunately, this agreed term is almost never met, and payment terms go even to 120-140 days (at the moment)...
So it is extremely difficult managing to get a fixed income from Italian agencies, you always have to balance with international clients that pay on time..


 

Johannes Gleim  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:21
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
New European Directive 2011/7/EU Apr 5, 2013

Today a client asked me to enter the maturity date into the invoice. I remembered having heard of a relevant directive, and found the directive dated Jan. 16, 2011, which amends the directive 2000/35/EC mentioned by Ronald van Riet. This directive had to be implemented into national law. I cite

Article 3
:
3. Where the conditions set out in paragraph 1 are satisfied, Member States shall ensure the following:
(a) that the creditor is entitled to interest for late payment from the day following the date or the end of the period for payment fixed in the contract
(b) where the date or period for payment is not fixed in the contract, that the creditor is entitled to interest for late payment upon the expiry of any of the following time limits:
(i) 30 calendar days following the date of receipt by the debtor of the invoice or an equivalent request for payment
(ii) where the date of the receipt of the invoice or the equivalent request for payment is uncertain, 30 calendar days after the date of receipt of the goods or Services
:
Article 12
Transposition
1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Articles 1 to 8 and 10 by 16 March 2013. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:048:0001:0010:en:PDF

I think it would be a good idea to stipulate a payment period of 30 days. But should I refer to this directive in the invoice form?


 
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