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.

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.

Last edit: 19.05.2014