If you’re a freelancer, chances are you’ve had to deal with a late-paying client at some point. And if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky—because dealing with clients who don’t pay on time can be a real pain. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the situation a bit more bearable. Read on to find out what they are!
take a deep breath and try to keep your cool.
The first thing you need to do when dealing with a late-paying client is to remain calm. It can be tempting to lash out and send angry emails or make phone calls demanding payment, but trust us—that will only make the situation worse. Not only will the client be less likely to pay if they feel like they’re being harassed, but you also run the risk of harming your professional reputation. So take a deep breath and try to keep your cool.
Send a polite but firm reminder
Next, you’ll want to gently remind the client that they still owe you money. This can be done via email or phone call—whichever you think will be most effective. Be polite but firm in your reminder, and make it clear that you expect to be paid as soon as possible. You might also want to mention any late fees or interest charges that will be incurred if payment is not received by a certain date.
Send a formal notice that their account is overdue.
If the client still doesn’t respond or continues to delay payment, your next step is to send them a formal notice that their account is overdue. This notice should state the amount owed, the date payment was due, and any additional charges that have been incurred. You should also specify what actions will be taken if payment is not received within a certain period of time—such as sending the account to collections or taking legal action. Sending this notice via certified mail will provide proof that it was received and adds an extra layer of urgency.
Last resort? Legal action.
And finally, if all else fails, you may need to take legal action against the client in order to get paid. This should always be seen as a last resort, as it can damage your relationship with the client and may not even result in getting paid anyway. But if you’ve tried everything else and the client still hasn’t paid up, it may be your only option.
🍩 Just the sprinkles
Dealing with late-paying clients can be frustrating, but it’s important to handle the situation in a professional manner. The first step is to remain calm and avoid sending angry messages or making threats. Instead, gently remind the client that they owe you money and follow up with a formal notice if payment is still not received after a reasonable amount of time has passed. If all else fails, legal action may be necessary—but it should always be seen as a last resort.