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The Steps Businesses Must Take to Recover Debts


For many small businesses, unpaid debts owed to them by customers can be a source of great frustration. However, there are simple measures that can be put in place to ensure unpaid recoveries are kept to a minimum. Bowden Jones advises the following:

Being prepared

Sending out your invoices early and chasing payment should help keep finances healthy.   Having a process in place is a necessity. However there are other entities that should be examined before reaching the stage of recovering debts. You should:

  • The first step at pre-stage should always be to obtain signed Terms and Conditions from the client.
  • Validate customer information. To include:
  • Home address, get
  • Employment details (including occupation)
  • Obtain all contact numbers. Including current home, mobile and work telephone numbers – check they are all active and correct.
  • An email address will also need to be obtained.

If needed, take further action

Deciding if and when to take more serious action can be tough. The good news is that there are a range of options available, and taking your customer to court is a last resort.

To begin with, you can start a legal proceeding yourself.  Alternatively, you can contact a legal firm.

Before taking legal advice, exhaust the following steps:

  • The first step of further action should always be a reminder letter.
  • This will be followed up by a telephone call before a further letter is sent.
  • Should the previous steps fail to result in payment, final demand with proof advising legal action is the next step.

These precautions are merely touching the surface. Should you require further assistance in relation to recovering debts then please visit to make an enquiry. Alternatively, contact Jeremy Symes, our Head of Collections and Recoveries, by calling 02920 484550.