How to claim for unpaid invoices through the small claims court

Cashflow is the lifeblood of any firm. Massive multinationals run a diverse portfolio of brands in different sectors to make sure they always have cash coming in. These firms run credit control teams who are targeted to collect a set amount each month and they have solicitors on tap ready to send out demand letters when debtors fail to pay their invoices. For small firms or those who freelance, these resources are a pipedream but we’ll show you how to claim for unpaid invoices with some certainty that your debtor will pay up.
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Small claims

The fact that you don’t have an army of solicitors ready to send out Final Demand letters probably means that your bills aren’t astronomical. If that’s the case, you can use the small claims court to chase down debtors who aren’t paying up.


Around 2 million small claims are made per year in the UK. A small percentage of these actually make it to court because the threat of legal action is often enough to get overdue invoices paid. Cases only go to court when there’s a dispute and neither side will back down. If you’re owed money and you need it to maintain your business, you’re within your rights to fight for it.


Sending a debtor to the small claims court can cost just £27 if you're claiming a small amount. That’s surely within reach of anyone who’s owed money. This figure means that your bill will need to be significantly bigger to warrant the time and effort this action will take. Claims can be anything up to £10,000 and your costs will also be covered if you win the claim.

Money claim online

To get this type of action underway, go to gov.uk/make-money-claim-online where you can complete the application form. This is a simple process that takes about 30 minutes. You’ll save time if you’ve got your debtor’s information to hand.

Unpaid bill

You’ll get nothing if your client has no money so you have to be cautious. Working out a payment plan with them is often the best way of recovering your money. It’s easy to take an unpaid bills personally or see if as a slight on your professional reputation but don’t lose sight of the fact that you just want to be paid.

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