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Policy Page

Late Payments
Is, or has, this affected your business?

FSB is currently working with the Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the effects of late payment on small businesses. BIS is listening, and FSB needs to provide case studies, which can be made anonymous, to illustrate the harm caused by late payment.

We need to made a solid business case if Government is to consider and make our suggested changes to current legislation.

You may wish to think about the following points before sending your response:

  1. Retrospective discounting – This is when the debtor unilaterally reduces the amount despite clearly breaching agreed payment terms. It is too often used by large companies to maintain their margins and in some cases expand their own business. As the large company can be a significant customer, the small business have little choice but to absorb the cost.
  2. Challenging invoices - Too often invoices are challenged near the payment due date. This can occur even under long payment terms. Where the debtor delays challenging an invoice until close to the due date, the small business can suffer from an unplanned reduction in cash flow, which, in turn, disrupts cash flow and can have severe knock-on effects to other creditors in the supply chain.
  3. Supplier lists - There is no justification for the practice of charging to belong on a supplier list. This should be prohibited, not least on the grounds of fairness, but also for its potential implications on competition (larger firms having the greater potential to pay the upfront costs than smaller businesses).

If you have a late payment story to tell please email your local FSB office at

Thank you

Do you employ an Apprentice?

Get it Go Far, a Government Campaign, launched in August, aims to find case studies, feedback and photos which will tell the story of both employers and Apprentices.

You can play a part in this!


  1. Find out more here
  2. Submit an Apprentice 'workplace selfie' which FSB will upload to a Pinterest map. This map will identify which regions across England are the most successful in employing Apprentices.
  3. Send your stories and photos to FSB Policy Advisor, Dan Hooper, at

Trading Standards inspections

18 September 2014

The FSB is campaigning to require Trading Standards to give 48 hours notice to business prior to routine inspections. To support our campaign we need examples of where routine Trading Standards inspections have been carried out without notice and caused inconveniences for businesses, or where inspectors have had to return because relevant managers and paperwork was not available due to the unannounced nature of the inspection. Get in touch if you can help.


September 2014

Read the latest from FSB's work in Europe here .

Small Business Index launched

30th June 2014

FSB launched recently its Small Business Index which looks at business confidence in the UK. Read the report here

FSB Endorses Lord Young's report on education and enterprise

30th June 2014

View here

FSB Comment on latest Ofgem decision to refer energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority

30th June 2014

View comment here

First ever Small Business Bill set to benefit FSB members

After many years of lobbying we have welcomed the first ever small business bill . The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill includes measures which will benefit many small firms, tackling issues around prompt payment, employment law , infrastructure and procurement.

Contact Angela Fitch on 01386 750032