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Can You Legally Charge Interest on Overdue Invoices?Every self-employed person is obliged to know their rights, responsibilities and comply with the law. Many are interested in the legality of collecting interest on invoices that were not paid on time. And it is the right question. The shortest answer is yes, but it’s not that simple. Let’s take a closer look of invoices rules at the issue with Saldo Invoice.
Calculating Interest on Overdue Invoices
It is worth stipulating that you cannot just start adding a penalty to the unpaid amount if you haven’t discussed this issue with a client. Before signing a contract, you should indicate your terms and conditions and specify what percentage and under what circumstances will be added to the totals in the emailed or printed invoice.
We recommend registeringit in the “Notes” section so that a customer has all the important information before their eyes.
There are two options for how to charge late fees on invoices. You can set a fixed amount or assign a percentage to be added to the total, for example, monthly. If the first option suits you, just add the agreed amount for each month of delay. If you chose a percentage, e.g., 6%, multiply a debt by 0.06 to get the fee amount.
What Is the Standard Late Fee on an Invoice?
The law doesn’t establish a standard fee for expired bills. But what is the maximum late fee allowed by law? It depends on the specific region, country, or state. For example, if you do business in the United States, Connecticut has a maximum fine of 12%, while in Maryland, the rate is 6-8%. So, before entering into a contract with a client, ask your business advisor ‘how much interest can I charge on overdue invoices following local laws’.
However, every industry still has unspoken norms. As a rule, typical late fees for invoices do not exceed 1-1.5% of the total amount of a contract. Keep in mind that it should be a motivational measure to get a customer to pay on time. There is no need to impose too high fines to try to squeeze the maximum out of a payer. Still, it’s better to maintain a good relationship; then, there is a high probability that a client will return to you.
Examples of Unpaid Invoice EmailOf course, if your orderer did not provide money at the agreed time, you can’t just write off unpaid invoices. It’s necessary to carry out competent work with them to get your money and prevent repeating such a situation in the future. It’s recommended to send three letters:
Samples of Invoice Messages
- A couple of days before the due date with a gentle reminder to pay. Be polite and clear about a subject. You may ask if everything is fine, whether your assistance is needed, etc.
- A few days after the due date, in a mild form, notify a client that the sent invoice is overdue, and you start charging the fee.
- If, after two notifications, a recipient hasn’t paid, write the final letter for the unpaid invoice in a stricter tone and inform a customer that legal actions may follow.аAttach a copy of an invoice .xls, .pdf, or .docx to each message if a client accidentally deleted the previous ones.
What is an overdue invoice?An overdue invoice is a payment request that has not been settled by its due date. It is an invoice that has not been paid by the customer or client within the agreed-upon payment terms.
Can I charge interest on overdue invoices?Yes, you can charge interest on overdue invoices. Charging interest is a common way to encourage customers to pay their invoices on time and it can help to cover the cost of the delay in payment.
What is the legal interest rate for overdue invoices?The legal interest rate for overdue invoices may vary depending on the country or state you are located in. It is important to check with your local laws or seek legal advice to determine the appropriate legal interest rate for your business.
How do I calculate interest on overdue invoices?To calculate the interest on overdue invoices, you can use a simple interest formula that takes into account the amount of the invoice, the interest rate, and the number of days that the payment is overdue. The formula is: Interest = (Invoice amount x Interest rate x Number of days overdue) / 365.
Can I waive the interest on an overdue invoice?Yes, you can waive the interest on an overdue invoice if you decide to do so. However, it is important to communicate clearly with your customer or client and make sure that they understand the situation. You may also want to consider the impact that waiving interest will have on your business and cash flow.