Ensure customers pay you on time

Taking court action to collect debts

Guide

Taking legal action to recover your money should be a last resortTherefore, consider all other alternatives before going to court.

If court action still seems the best solution, consider whether making a claim is cost-effective. It might be cheaper to write off small sums. If a customer is likely to place large orders in future, it may be better to let things lie if only a relatively minor amount is in dispute.

If you decide to take court action, make sure you have resolved any disputes over the goods or services you have provided. If you don't do this, the debt will be difficult to recover. You also need to make sure that customers have the means to settle. If they are bankrupt or in liquidation, your debt is probably irrecoverable.

Debts of up to £3,000

Debts of up to £3,000 are dealt with by the small claims track at your local county court. This offers a quick and inexpensive way of making claims for unpaid debts, as you don't have to employ a solicitor. Find your local county court with the Northern Ireland Court Service.

Debts over £3,000

Claims from £3,000 to £25,000 must be issued in a county court, while claims of more than £25,000 can be issued in the High Court. It's advisable to get legal advice about this - see choose a solicitor for your business.