Late payment delays getting longer, research finds

23 Dec 2019

UK businesses are experiencing longer waiting times as they chase late payments, according to research from online business lending platform MarketFinance.

The research found that delays to payments have almost doubled from 12 days in 2018 to 23 days this year.

The business finance platform analysed late payment trends between 2013 and 2019, examining over 100,000 invoices. MarketFinance found that businesses typically agree 45-day payment terms from the completion of work or the delivery of goods.

Although the percentage of invoices that were paid late improved from 43% in 2018 to 39% this year, they are taking longer to settle and are for larger amounts. Invoices paid late were typically larger in value, averaging £34,286, than those paid on time, which averaged £24,624.

Bilal Mahmood, External Relations Director at MarketFinance, said: 'Late payment practices harm business cashflow, hamper investment and, in extreme cases, can risk business solvency.

'Separate research we've conducted highlighted that 87% of businesses are prevented from taking on more orders because of the cashflow constraint owing to late payments.

'Overall it seems who you are doing business with and where they are based is important to know for a small business if they need to forecast cashflow.'

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