Making sure you are invoicing your customers correctly, plays an important part should the relationship take a turn for the worse, and you find yourselves embroiled in a County Court claim or litigation. Of course, nobody takes on new customers envisaging that the relationship will turn sour, but we have seen cases where clients have invoiced their debtor incorrectly (the invoice addressed to them as an individual, not as a limited company for example). A simple mistake, but this resulted in further costs and time being incurred to amend the claim, costs that were not recoverable!
When taking on new business, are you ensuring that you are gathering all of the required information? If you are approached by a new customer for a credit account (for example), and they tell you they are a company, are you doing your due diligence on them? Companies House is the obvious starting point for this, but you may have other credit agencies that you are signed up to.
If you cannot locate the limited company details, there are additional questions to ask your new customer. Perhaps they have not provided you with the full name of the company or the correct spelling?
If the customer is a sole trader or an individual, are you obtaining ID from them? Do you have up to date telephone numbers and emails?
Getting all of this information right at the start can save you time and costs further down the line. A County Court Judgment in the wrong name is unenforceable and you cannot recover your legal costs. Furthermore, you have already waited so long for your payment and to correct this mistake will take more time.
Just a reminder to be sure of your customer’s trading entity and fact check all information you are given by customers and do as much due diligence as you are able. It will save you time and costs in the long run!