Tool #7: Preventing nonpayment

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Unfortunately, nonpaying or very late-paying clients are often a reality. To avoid nonpayment, the US-based Freelancers Union suggests the following:

• Make sure you have a written record of the agreement with your client.
• For any verbal agreements, send follow-up e-mail to confirm them in writing.
• Keep records of all communications and agreements.
• Insist on partial payment up front, such as 50% of the total.
• Send formal yet friendly invoices and late notices promptly.
• Should your client still not pay, phone him/her.
 

Sample reminder e-mails (via Creative Boom)

First gentle reminder:

“Hi Clare,
This is a friendly reminder that invoice 33 is now due for payment. I’d really appreciate if you could settle at your earliest opportunity.
Warmest,
Katy”
 

If your client is still not paying, remind him/her of the terms you agreed upon in your estimate and/or terms & conditions:

“Hi Clare,
Payment still hasn’t been made for invoice 33. I attach another copy with my payment details.
Just to remind you – if payment is not received within 30 days, I reserve the right to add late payment charges to your account, as detailed in my terms.
Hope that makes sense.
Warmest,
Katy”

Last edit: 19.05.2014