How To Recover Company Trade Debt: Your Top Options

If you want to recover company trade debt, there are a number of different avenues you can take for business debt collection. There are a number of different ways you can initiate the debt recovery process, and recover the money you’re owed. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the legal actions you can take to recover debt and initiate the debt collection process. Note that this article does not constitute legal advice. It is your responsibility to recover debt in accordance with all relevant Australian laws for company trade debt recovery.

Begin With Written Reminders To Pay

In accordance with regulations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, you can begin the process of recovering your money if your debtor has not abided by your terms of trade, such as Net 30 or Net 60 payment terms.

You may wish to first issue verbal warnings over the phone if your debtor has not paid, and follow this up with several written reminders to pay over the following weeks. Often times, this may be enough to get your debtor to pay without formal legal proceedings.

Write A Letter Of Demand

Letters of demand are a more formal written reminder to pay. They state: 

  • How much a business owes you
  • What they owe you the money for
  • When they need to pay their invoice

You can also include a warning that you are considering legal action if the debt is not paid by your specified date. Include the title “Letter of demand” at the top of the letter to ensure that the debtor knows that you are serious about getting the money that you’re owed.

Send A Statutory Demand

A statutory demand is a notice made by a creditor under the Corporations Act regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. It demands the payment of a debt exceeding the “statutory minimum” of $2,000.

The company receiving a statutory demand has 21 days to comply with the demand from the date of service, or contest the demand. If the company does not comply with the statutory demand or fails to contest it, it is presumed that the company can no longer pay its debts and is insolvent, and further court proceedings may begin to recover your money.

Consider Negotiating A Settlement Or Using A Mediator

You may be able to negotiate with a debtor to resolve a trade dispute or failure to pay – either by writing or over the phone. You may also want to consider using a third-party mediator to resolve the situation and recover your money.

Together, you can work with a mediator to resolve the matter and get paid. Mediators specialize in finding mutually-agreeable solutions to these kinds of issues.

Begin Court Proceedings

If you do not hear anything from the debtor and your debt is still unpaid, you may initiate legal proceedings against the debtor – such as suing them for the amount of unpaid debt as well as legal fees and costs incurred by their failure to pay. 

Note that this should be a last resort, as the fees and costs of court proceedings can be very high, and you may not be able to recover all of the debt if the debtor is insolvent and cannot pay your small business. 

Hire Debt Collection Agencies Or Sell The Debt

Another option is to hire a debt collection agency to try to recover the debt on your behalf. In some cases, you may also be able to sell the debt to the agency. They will usually pay you about 25-45% of the amount owed, in exchange for the rights to collect the debt. 

Avoid The Need To Recover Company Trade Debt With Trade Credit Insurance

With trade credit insurance, you can completely eliminate the need to recover unpaid debt. If your company trade debt goes unpaid, your insurance company will cover your costs – preventing losses from bad debt, and ensuring that cash flow is uninterrupted at your small business.

To learn more and see why trade credit insurance is the best way to protect your accounts receivable, just contact Niche Trade Credit now. We can discuss your options in more detail. Give us a call on 02 9416 0670 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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