Top B2B Debt Avoidance Tips Part 1
These tips are based on many years experience of the debt recovery industry. Whilst we would not state that every insolvent company traded knowingly, we see many examples of fraudulent and insolvent behaviour where our client has no likelihood of retrieving their goods or money.
- Know your customer
Always ensure that your customer indicates whether they are a Limited company or not. Remember, if a Limited company liquidates, you are extremely unlikely to recovery any monies. You should also be very wary of any debt recovery companies who state that they can recover funds from liquidation. In 20 years, we have yet to see anyone successful obtain monies under the Insolvency or Fraudulent trading clauses in the companies act.
- Confirm who is instructing you
Always confirm who is instructing you and who will be paying your invoice. If this is not the same company or individual, you need something in writing from the person paying the bill.
We often see debtors instruct work on houses or property they do not own, have goods delivered to other company addresses or stating that they are an agent only after work has been carried out.
- Never re-invoice a company other than the one who instructed you.
You could have difficulty proving your debt if you re-issue invoices. Plus the debtor may be shifting the debt away from a solvent company to an insolvent one.
- Never continue to work for a company who has close and re-opened under a new name
Often, our clients are asked to continue supply a debtor’s new company after their old company has liquidated. This is done with the promise of paying extra monies to cover for the invoices owed to the old company. This is an illegal act. Any monies paid to any creditor under these circumstances can be reclaimed by the Insolvency Practioner. You could be prosecuted for this.
Continuing to work for the new company will only prove to the debtor that he can avoid his obligations. Although you may be able to trade through his loss of business, this type of debtor is often responsible for £m’s of unpaid tax and job losses which the honest business owner will inevitably pick up the bill for.
- Always read the back of checks before paying them into the bank.
There have been a number of debtors who have made part payment via check and have written “in full and final settlement”. If you bank this cheque, you cannot collect the rest of your account.