"First, standardize your business practices. Draw up a contract for every job, every client, every time. A contract should include a description of the work, payment information, and payment schedule. This will also help clients feel comfortable that you will uphold your end of the deal, as “deadbeating” can go both ways. Decide how to accept payment– many professionals suggest taking a down-payment (up to 50%) before the start of any project, and collecting the balance upon completion, before turning over any goods or services to your client.
Take action! Bill your clients on time and address non-payment immediately. Send a late payment notice notifying them of the date you will follow up with legal action. Within your area’s statutory limits, pursue non-payment in small claims court, or work with a collection agency or mediator.
Know your rights and have legal resources available. You don’t have to have a lawyer on retainer, but you should have a referral on hand in case you ever need one. Familiarize yourself with lawyers who specialize in business organization or contracts. Local lawyers will be particularly helpful, as your rights in court or with collections will vary by jurisdiction."We, completely, agree. We see way too many clients that are operating without contracts, don't address non-payment issues professionally, and fail to understand their legal rights.
We see in many cases that a demand letter from a law firm goes a long way in encouraging a debtor to pay. A demand letter will cost you a token amount of money and often helps to flush out the possible issues.
The full article may found at: What to Do When a Client Doesn't Pay
*Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.
Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team and Chair of International Practice Group at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw. He has, also, received the highest rating by AVVO and other legal rating services.