When a client doesn’t pay

Consultants rarely get paid 100% upfront. In most cases, consultants take a small deposit, then invoice at key milestones. But what do you do if a client doesn’t pay?

Tips for managing deadbeat clients

  • Send the invoice again with a reminder. It’s possible someone lost track of it.
  • Charge interest on overdue accounts — for best results, mention that in your contract.
  • Refuse to deliver further work until you’re paid.
  • Send a demand letter, giving the client a chance to pay. Note that you’ll take further action if the invoice is not paid.
  • If the demand letter is ignored, file in small claims court. It’s inexpensive and relatively simple.

Remember that, regardless of whether they want to use your work, the client still needs to pay you.