Small businesses claiming unpaid invoices

The unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruptions between businesses, and those waiting for invoice payments have been left in the lurch.

The UK Domain, the online business resource submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Small Business Commissioner (SBC), to reveal the locations and business sectors most impacted by unpaid invoices in the private sector.

Between December 2017 and 8th of July 2020, there were 429 complaints made relating to unpaid or late invoices.

Furthermore, the data revealed the business sectors that were most affected by late or unpaid invoices.

The highest percentage of invoice claims were from Business services’ (23%).

According to the Small Business Commissioner, ‘Business Services’ is any service that supports commercial activity. This could include advisory services, reprographics, design, promotions, HR advice, Health and Safety, marketing, consultancy and recruitment.

However, due to the relatively high number of cases in the consultancy, recruitment and marketing areas of business services, the Small Business Commissioner has subsequently begun recording complaints in these areas separately to enable them to drill down into this sector.

The Small Business Commissioner said: “In a service-based economy, it is perhaps unsurprising that business services feature highly for the receipt of complaints”.

Following closely behind were those in the Construction and Engineering (14%) and Retail sectors (10%).

Consumer, Financials and Recruitment (1%) on the other hand, were the sectors with the lowest amount of claims to the SBC.

The regional data pinpoints the locations where businesses had the most trouble collecting their overdue invoices.