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Late Payments

When small businesses are paid on time, everyone’s a winner. Learn how to reduce your risk of late payments and what to do if you find yourself a victim of them with our guides, resources and practical advice.

In our award-winning Fair Pay, Fair Play campaign, we highlighted the late payment epidemic plaguing small businesses across the UK. The Government has been proactive in attempting to end the worst kinds of poor payment practices, responding to FSB asks and most recently tightening up the Prompt Payment Code to get big companies to pay small partners on time.

We’ve made progress, but more must be done, and it must be done now. With the challenges of COVID-19, stronger action is more vital than ever to help small businesses protect their cash flow. 

Where are we now? 

March 2019

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement Commons Speech announced our Audit Committee recommendation as the first step to a late package reform package. He congratulated “FSB in particular on its tireless campaign on the issue.

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June 2019

BEIS press released the full reform package with an FSB quote, confirming our Audit Committee recommendation and our second reform - of the Prompt Payment Code. She offered “great thanks to the Federation of Small Businesses and its Fair Pay campaign, which has campaigned so hard for movement from Government”.

May 2019

The Chancellor gave the keynote address at FSB’s UK Awards final, focusing on late payments and how proud he was to have worked with us.

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July 2019

The Chancellor hosted an FSB roundtable of members at No.11 Downing Street to cement the reforms.

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September 2019

No.10 worked with us as the Cabinet Office announced it would implement our third reform. Every strategic supplier to the Government must pay 95% of invoices in 60 days or be struck off winning public contracts.

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June 2020

A new report by FSB, Late Again, highlighted how the coronavirus pandemic impacted payment terms for small businesses. 62% of small businesses experienced an increase in late payments and/or had payments frozen completely.

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June 2020

FSB launched a new FSB Debt Recovery service to further support members. The Small Business Commissioner was "pleased to see FSB adding this service. I know how crippling late payment can be and that early action is crucial when expected funds fail to arrive.

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October 2020

Consultation to strengthen the powers of the Small Business Commissioner to help small businesses tackle late payments.

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January 2021

The Government announces reforms to the Prompt Payment Code to ensure larger companies pay their smaller suppliers on time, with payment periods being halved to 30 days.

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We're a proud supporter of the Good Business Pays movement

The Good Business Pays Logo

We’ve joined the Good Business Pays movement as part of our ongoing campaigning for shorter payment terms for small businesses – and here’s why you should too.

Small businesses are at the heart of our communities, employing 61 per cent of the workforce. Yet, around 50,000 firms close each year due to cash flow problems. If larger businesses paid smaller suppliers sooner, more small firms have the opportunity to thrive, create new jobs and boost our

We’re lobbying government to persuade all businesses to adopt better payment practices, but change can only happen if we all play our part.

Make a difference by signing up today, because good business pays.

Learn more and join the movement

Please note that when you click on the above link, you will be leaving FSB's website and entering the Good Business Pays portal. We would encourage you to carefully read both the terms and conditions and the privacy policy before you use or sign up to the services and products of Previse and Good Business Pays. 

Good Business Pays – improving late payments to get paid sooner

The Good Business Pays movement campaigns for a better, smarter way of doing business, through advances in technology and the availability of data, whilst building an engaged community of corporates and small businesses to get suppliers paid sooner.

Watch our webinar on-demand to find out how you, as a small business, can add your voice to the Good Business Pays movement, access the Good Business Pays portal and play a part in supporting the solution.

Dealing with late payments?

If late payments are causing you issues, our guides below can help.

How can I <br>avoid late payments?

How can I
avoid late payments?

Learn the nine strategies you can put in place today to help reduce the risk of late payments in the future, including payment terms and credit references.

Why are late payment letters so important?

Why are late payment letters so important?

Take control of your late payments with our top tips for getting invoices paid, from consistent communication to friendly letters.

What is the process for debt recovery?

What is the process for debt recovery?

Lost count of how many reminders you’ve sent? Find out about the legal action you can take to recover the money owed to you.

Support through your FSB membership  

Your FSB membership gives you 24 hour access to tools, resources and support to help you manage your payments on your terms: 

✔️ Free 16 page downloadable debt recovery guide to help you get started

✔️ Late payment calculator to calculate interest and compenstion on late invoices 

✔️ Take control of your late payments with letter before action templates ready to download and customise. 

✔️ Telephone helpline staffed by debt recovery experts ready to answer your questions.

Finally, should you need it, our legal team are available to offer additional support at discounted rates. 

Find out More

With 5.9m small businesses in the UK it is vital they have access to a variety of support services. I know how crippling late payment can be and that early action is crucial when expected funds fail to arrive. I'm pleased to see FSB adding this service to the support they offer their members and believe it will complement the help available from my office. 

Small Business Commissioner, June 2020 

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