Last checked : 10/12/2018

Late payment

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If your business has provided goods or services to a customer (in accordance with the terms of the commercial contract) and you haven't received their payment by the agreed deadline, you are entitled to receive interest and compensation on the payment you're owed.

This applies to all your commercial transactions with other businesses (including sole traders, providing that they are acting in the course of their independent economic or professional activity) and public authorities.

These rules and those in the following steps do not apply:

  • in the case of insolvency proceedings (including proceedings aimed at debt restructuring)
  • to compensation payments for damages (for example by insurance companies)

 

I am owed money by

 

Another business owes me money

 

A public authority owes me money

 

A consumer owes me money

You can't claim late payment interest in transactions with consumers. If you have an issue with a consumer the above rules do not apply. For more information on issues with consumers, see:

 

My business is based in an EU country and I am owed money from a business operating in the same country as me.

What are your rights?

If you have fulfilled your contractual and legal obligations and the client is responsible for the delay (that is, it is not due to circumstances beyond their control) you are entitled to claim interest for late payment and compensation for recovery costs.

When is interest due?

The interest is due from the day following the due date fixed in the contract.

If you haven't fixed a payment period in the contract, interest becomes automatically payable 30 calendar days after the client receives your invoice or payment request.

If you don't know when the invoice was received, you can claim interest 30 calendar days after you delivered your service and/or products.

If you send the invoice to your client before you deliver your service and/or product, the countdown starts only after delivery.

How much interest should be added?

You can charge the interest rate for late payment as agreed in the contract. If no rate was agreed, the statutory rate applies.

Statutory interest rates per country

EU country 1 July 2018 - 31 December 2018
Austria 8.58
Belgium 8.00
Bulgaria 10.00
Croatia 8.82
Cyprus 8.00
Czechia 9.00
Denmark 8.05
Estonia 8.00
Finland 8.00
France 8.00
Germany 8.12
Greece 8.00
Hungary 8.90
Ireland 8.00
Italy 8.00
Latvia 8.00
Lithuania 8.00
Luxembourg 8.00
Malta 8.00
Netherlands 8.00
Poland 9.50
Portugal 8.00
Romania 10.50
Slovakia 8.00
Slovenia 8.00
Spain 8.00
Sweden 7.50
United Kingdom 8.50

Use our calculator to find out how much interest you're entitled to claim.

 

Compensation for recovery costs

In addition to the interest due, you are entitled to claim a flat rate compensation fee of EUR 40 (or equivalent) for each invoice paid late (in certain EU countries the amount may be higher, calculated according to the value of the invoice).

If the costs you have incurred in recovering your debt exceed this value, additional reasonable compensation can be claimed (i.e. administrative costs, debt collection fees or costs to instruct a lawyer).

VAT

You charge interest on the gross amount of the debt (including VAT), but you do not pay VAT on the interest.

How to recover your debt

 

My business is based in an EU country and I am owed money from a business operating in a different EU country than me.

Contracts are governed by the law chosen by the parties involved. You should therefore check which law governs your contract.

If no specific choice was made when you signed the contract, the late payment rules are governed by the law of the country where creditor has his habitual residence.

This rule is the same for both the sale of goods and the provision of services.

If your contract is governed by the laws of non-EU countries, the following rules might not apply.

What are your rights?

If you have fulfilled your contractual and legal obligations and the client is responsible for the delay (that is, it is not due to circumstances beyond their control) you are entitled to claim interest for late payment and compensation for recovery costs.

When is interest due?

The interest is due from the day following the due date fixed in the contract.

If you haven't fixed a payment period in the contract, interest becomes automatically payable 30 calendar days after the client receives your invoice or payment request.

If you don't know when the invoice was received, you can claim interest 30 calendar days after you delivered your service and/or products.

If you send the invoice to your client before you deliver your service and/or product, the countdown starts only after delivery.

How much interest should be added?

You can charge the interest rate for late payment as agreed in the contract. If no rate was agreed, the statutory rate applies.

Statutory interest rates per country

EU country 1 July 2018 - 31 December 2018
Austria 8.58
Belgium 8.00
Bulgaria 10.00
Croatia 8.82
Cyprus 8.00
Czechia 9.00
Denmark 8.05
Estonia 8.00
Finland 8.00
France 8.00
Germany 8.12
Greece 8.00
Hungary 8.90
Ireland 8.00
Italy 8.00
Latvia 8.00
Lithuania 8.00
Luxembourg 8.00
Malta 8.00
Netherlands 8.00
Poland 9.50
Portugal 8.00
Romania 10.50
Slovakia 8.00
Slovenia 8.00
Spain 8.00
Sweden 7.50
United Kingdom 8.50

Use our calculator to find out how much interest you're entitled to claim.

 

Compensation for recovery costs

In addition to the interest due, you are entitled to claim a flat rate compensation fee of EUR 40 (or equivalent) for each invoice paid late (in certain EU countries the amount may be higher, calculated according to the value of the invoice).

If the costs you have incurred in recovering your debt exceed this value, additional reasonable compensation can be claimed (i.e. administrative costs, debt collection fees or costs to instruct a lawyer).

How to recover your debt

 

My business is based in an EU country and I am owed money from a public authority operating in the same country as me.

What are your rights?

If you have fulfilled your contractual and legal obligations and the client is responsible for the delay (that is, it is not due to circumstances beyond their control) you are entitled to claim interest for late payment and compensation for recovery costs.

When is interest due?

The interest is due from the day following the due date fixed in the contract.

If you haven't fixed a payment period in the contract, interest becomes automatically payable 30 calendar days after the client receives your invoice or payment request.

If you don't know when the invoice was received, you can claim interest 30 calendar days after you delivered your service and/or products.

If you send the invoice to your client before you deliver your service and/or product, the countdown starts only after delivery.

How much interest should be added?

You can charge the interest at the statutory rate.

Statutory interest rates per country

EU country 1 July 2018 - 31 December 2018
Austria 8.58
Belgium 8.00
Bulgaria 10.00
Croatia 8.82
Cyprus 8.00
Czechia 9.00
Denmark 8.05
Estonia 8.00
Finland 8.00
France 8.00
Germany 8.12
Greece 8.00
Hungary 8.90
Ireland 8.00
Italy 8.00
Latvia 8.00
Lithuania 8.00
Luxembourg 8.00
Malta 8.00
Netherlands 8.00
Poland 9.50
Portugal 8.00
Romania 10.50
Slovakia 8.00
Slovenia 8.00
Spain 8.00
Sweden 7.50
United Kingdom 8.50

Use our calculator to find out how much interest you're entitled to claim.

 

Compensation for recovery costs

In addition to the interest due, you are entitled to claim a flat rate compensation fee of EUR 40 (or equivalent) for each invoice paid late (in certain EU countries the amount may be higher, calculated according to the value of the invoice).

If the costs you have incurred in recovering your debt exceed this value, additional reasonable compensation can be claimed (i.e. administrative costs, debt collection fees or costs to instruct a lawyer).

How to recover your debt

N.B. If payments from a public authority are systematically late, you can also submit an official complaint to the European Commission.

 

My business is based in an EU country and I am owed money from a public authority operating in a different EU country than me.

Contracts are governed by the law chosen by the parties involved. You should therefore check which law governs your contract.

What are your rights?

If you have fulfilled your contractual and legal obligations and the client is responsible for the delay (that is, it is not due to circumstances beyond their control) you are entitled to claim interest for late payment and compensation for recovery costs.

When is interest due?

The interest is due from the day following the due date fixed in the contract.

If you haven't fixed a payment period in the contract, interest becomes automatically payable 30 calendar days after the client receives your invoice or payment request.

If you don't know when the invoice was received, you can claim interest 30 calendar days after you delivered your service and/or products.

If you send the invoice to your client before you deliver your service and/or product, the countdown starts only after delivery.

How much interest should be added?

You can charge the interest at the statutory rate.

Statutory interest rates per country

EU country 1 July 2018 - 31 December 2018
Austria 8.58
Belgium 8.00
Bulgaria 10.00
Croatia 8.82
Cyprus 8.00
Czechia 9.00
Denmark 8.05
Estonia 8.00
Finland 8.00
France 8.00
Germany 8.12
Greece 8.00
Hungary 8.90
Ireland 8.00
Italy 8.00
Latvia 8.00
Lithuania 8.00
Luxembourg 8.00
Malta 8.00
Netherlands 8.00
Poland 9.50
Portugal 8.00
Romania 10.50
Slovakia 8.00
Slovenia 8.00
Spain 8.00
Sweden 7.50
United Kingdom 8.50

Use our calculator to find out how much interest you're entitled to claim.

 

Compensation for recovery costs

In addition to the interest due, you are entitled to claim a flat rate compensation fee of EUR 40 (or equivalent) for each invoice paid late (in certain EU countries the amount may be higher, calculated according to the value of the invoice).

If the costs you have incurred in recovering your debt exceed this value, additional reasonable compensation can be claimed (i.e. administrative costs, debt collection fees or costs to instruct a lawyer).

How to recover your debt

N.B. If payments from a public authority are systematically late, you can also submit an official complaint to the European Commission.

 

Related topics

EU legislation

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