Late payment charges - enforceable in UK?
Thread poster: Mimi McQuaid

Mimi McQuaid
Local time: 15:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 7, 2007

Hi everyone,

Apologies for rehashing a well worn topic, but all the previous hints I've found on this seem to be related to the US and elsewhere in Europe - I'm wondering if anyone in the UK could tell me how effective a clause on my invoice relating to late payment would be?

I'm totally sick of having to wait months for payment and waste my time calling these people demanding my money, so would a clause like this be enforceable - ie would they take any notice of it??

If so, what kind of form would such a clause take - I mean, if payment is not made within 30 days of invoice then... what?
A fixed amount surcharge per day, week? a given % until payment is made?

Thanks so much for your help!

[Edited at 2007-08-07 12:20]

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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
English to German
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Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act Aug 7, 2007

I am no expert in this field and never had any difficulties so far, but maybe this document can help you find out for yourself, what you can do:

and another User's guide on the regulations regarding late payment:

[Bearbeitet am 2007-08-07 15:00]

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Adam Burman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:55
Spanish to English
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Excellent resource Aug 7, 2007

Thanks for the links Claudia - they are excellent and seem to address most of Mimi's questions.

I am also based in the UK and found the one link very useful! There suggestion is to put something like this on your invoice:

“I understand and will exercise my statutory right to interest under the Late Payment of Commercial
Debts (Interest) Act 1998 if I am not paid according to agreed credit terms.”

Loads of other useful info too!

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Mimi McQuaid
Local time: 15:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank you! Aug 9, 2007

Thanks Claudia - that link is really useful!

I'm going to give it a try - as Adam says, add the suggested section to my invoices - and see if it helps!


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+ ...
EC Directive on Late Payment Aug 12, 2007

The EC Directive on combating late payment in commercial transactions (Directive 2000/35/EC), which was
formally adopted in 15th June 2000.

This protects EU small businesses and the self-employed.

You can download the directive and a leaflet at this address:

You can enforce this law in the UK, as it has transposed the directive (see But I think you have to have a contract with your client, as there are two clauses in the directive that clients may use as a loophole:

These are:
(c) the creditor shall be entitled to interest for late payment to the extent that:

(i) he has fulfilled his contractual and legal obligations; and

(ii) he has not received the amount due on time, unless the debtor is not responsible for the delay;

[Edited at 2007-08-12 20:32]

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Late payment charges - enforceable in UK?

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