What Should You Do When A Customer Doesn’t Pay The Invoice?

In this article, we will discuss some practical steps what should you do when a customer doesn’t pay the invoice, as well as ways to prevent this situation from happening in the future.

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As a business owner or freelancer, dealing with clients who don’t pay their invoices can be frustrating and even detrimental to your cash flow. Late payments or non-payments can cause a ripple effect that affects your ability to pay your bills and employees on time. In this situation, it’s important to know how to handle non-paying customers professionally and effectively.

Table of Contents

Steps to do

Here are some things you should do when a customer doesn’t pay the invoice:

Send a polite reminder

It’s never easy having to remind someone that they owe you money, especially if they haven’t paid on time. However, sometimes it’s necessary to send a friendly reminder to ensure that everything stays on track. Whether you choose to send an email or through billing software, the key is to be professional and polite.

Start by thanking the customer for their business and acknowledging that you understand that things can slip through the cracks. Then, gently remind them that their payment is overdue and provide them with the necessary information to make an invoice for the payment. By taking a kind and understanding approach, you can avoid any potential conflict and maintain a positive relationship with your customer.

Follow up with a late payment notice

Don’t let unpaid invoices pile up – take action! If you’re still waiting on a payment from a customer, it’s time to send a formal notice letting them know the payment is now considered late. This may feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to communicate clearly and professionally in these situations.

By using the best invoicing software, you can remind your customer of their payment obligations while maintaining a positive business relationship. Remember, a little follow-up can go a long way toward ensuring timely payments and maintaining a healthy cash flow for your business.

Offer payment options

As a business owner, it’s important to offer your customers flexibility in making payments.

You never know what unforeseen circumstances might arise that could make it difficult for them to fulfill their financial obligation in full. That’s where offering a payment plan can make all the difference.

By providing these options, you’re not only showing that you’re understanding their situation, but you’re also helping them stay on track with their payments. This ultimately leads to a stronger, more positive relationship with your customers, which can benefit your business in the long run. So why not offer payment options and help your customers succeed?

Enforce your payment terms

As a business owner, you work tirelessly to ensure that you’re providing quality services to your clients. And one of the most frustrating things you can encounter is delayed payments. If your invoice number clearly states your payment terms – including late fees or interest charges – you must enforce them.

While it might be uncomfortable to chase down clients for their overdue payments, it’s a necessary task to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer financially. Taking action to collect overdue payments will not only help steady your cash flow. It also sends a message that you value your work and expect payment on time.

Consider legal action

When you’ve exhausted all other avenues, there comes a point where legal action is your only recourse. Perhaps your business has done its absolute best to collect a payment, but all your efforts have gone unnoticed. Don’t despair. You still have options.

One of them is to use the best free billing software, which can employ a range of tactics to get the money your business is owed. If that doesn’t work, small claims court may be the next step. It’s not an easy or cheap route to take, but sometimes you need to fight for what’s rightfully yours.

Review and revise your invoicing process

Don’t let your invoicing process hold your business back. Take charge by reviewing and revising your approach for maximum efficiency. The key is to stay active in your invoicing process to prevent unexpected setbacks.

You can start by assessing your best free invoicing software and the best billing software. Perhaps you need to streamline communication between departments or implement automated invoicing software.

Whatever the case may be, don’t hesitate to make changes that will benefit your business in the long run. With an active approach to invoicing, you’ll stay on top of your cash flow and avoid any unnecessary headaches.


In conclusion, dealing with non-paying customers can be a difficult and time-consuming process. It’s crucial to address the issue promptly to protect your business’s financial health.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can increase the chances of collecting overdue payments while maintaining a positive relationship with your customers. Remember to communicate clearly and professionally, enforce your payment terms, and consider legal action as a last resort.

And finally, be sure to review and revise your invoicing process to prevent future payment delays or disputes. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your business stays financially stable and successful over the long term.

Jordan Salas
Jordan Salas

Jordan is an experienced CPA and an author & editor at Financopedia. Over the past 12 years, he has written tax and financial content for leading brands. His writing has been featured in Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, Walstreet journal, and more. Jordan enjoys watching old movies and hiking in his free time.

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