Small Business Money Claims – The Court Process

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As a small business owner it's never fun to be let down by someone or not be paid for a project you've undertaken.

I thought I'd use this blog to outline the process and what I had to go through to get money owned recently.

Letter before action
This is a straightforward letter sent by the business to the other business outlining the outstanding money owed and the evidence you have, that proves your actions and justification for wanting to be paid with a time limit for payment.

How much do I pay for small claims court action?
This is thankfully on a sliding scale, so depending on how much you're owned can start from £25.00 and go up to £5,000.00. If you're owed more than this, you need to be bumped up to a higher court level for action to take place.

Filling in the paperwork
The online process for starting action is very simple. Going through how much your owed, business contact details from both parties, timeline of events and type of evidence you have to prove you've done the project and communications from the other party to do with the project(s).

What happens next?
So you've filled in the initial paperwork and submitted to the court, the court then contacts the other party to inform them of the action you are taking and the money you are claiming for.
The other party has a given time limit to get back to the court with evidence to prove otherwise and if they wish to go further with the process. Then the waiting begins, with various bit of paperwork having to be filled in on other side and waiting for the court to communicate with both parties.

Timescale
To give you an idea. I filled in paperwork in February and the final judgement was made in the July (this was without having to go to court). So if you had to go through that process, this would have been a much longer process.

Judgement
So, you've finally been paid. The court will also have the judgement on file for 6 years and that a CCJ was in place and for what reason.

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