Top Tips to Protect Your Business!
Recent research from the Registry Trust shows a further drop in the number of County Court Judgments (CCJs) against businesses. The Registry Trust Press Release states that the “number of debt judgments against businesses in England and Wales fell for the seventh consecutive year in the first half of 2016”. In fact it’s now down 19% from the same period last year.
This trend is an inevitable consequence of escalating court fees which many argue is sadly obstructing access to justice.
Unfortunately, it’s often small and medium sized businesses that suffer the most because they simply don’t have the resources to start a legal action.
Needless to say, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have effective procedures for protecting your business.
Curwens’ Top Tips:
- Know your customer – make sure you know who you’re doing business with. If they use a trading name, check whether the actual business is a registered company, partnership or a sole trader.
- Does your customer have the means to pay? – make use of free services such as the Insolvency Register or Companies House to do regular checks on your customers throughout your business relationship. Be alert to warning signs such as overdue accounts.
- Contracts – even if you don’t have a written agreement (preferable but not essential), you should make a note at the time of the agreement of exactly what was agreed by each party. It’s also vital that you make sure the person instructing you has authority to do so.
- Be prepared – if you are considering litigation, you will come to appreciate the importance of good record management. Try to keep copies of any emails or letters and notes of any telephones calls in relation to the disputed matter. If you require any legal assistance, having an organised file and a chronology of events will help save you money on legal fees.
- Cash Flow – Whenever possible try to get payment or a deposit upfront or if not, at least make sure the cost is agreed upfront (signed agreement is preferable) and then invoice as soon as the job is finished or consistently at regular intervals if it’s a lengthy project.
- Payment Terms – if you include standard payment terms within the contract, make sure they are clear, reasonable and consistently applied.
If you need legal advice and help to recover your business debts, speak to Sinead Kelly about our fixed fee Debt Collection service, “Prompt Pay”. Call Sinead on 0208 363 4444