Another thing to consider before starting a claim, Trading Entities
Do you know your client’s correct trading entity? Have you been invoicing your client correctly? Tying in with the “Know your Debtor” series, making sure you are invoicing correctly plays an important part should the relationship with the customer take a turn for the worse and end up at the Court Proceedings stage. We have had instances where clients have been invoicing their debtors as a limited company (when they are not) or not as a limited company (and they should be).
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 searching Companies House? You can search against company name and also the director on here. If it doesn’t show up, there are further questions to ask the new customer. Do you have Experian or other credit search facility? Perhaps they have not given you the full name of the company or the correct spelling? Or, it may be their company is now dissolved and actually they are a sole trader.
All of these things, if found out at the beginning can save you time and costs further down the line if it gets to the stage of Court Proceedings.
Even for customers that you have had for years. Maybe now is a good time to revise your procedures when taking on new customers/accounts. Ask for ID to check against the information the customer provides!