News

Aug 15th

BUSINESS GUIDE NO.1: THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR CUSTOMER

green-door-debt-recovery-customer

At Green Door Debt Recovery Solicitors, we emphasise to all our clients the importance of them knowing exactly who their customers are.

We regularly come across cases in which our clients have been dealing with the business under a trading name but are totally unaware of the true legal identity of the owner of the business with which they are trading. It could be that the business is run by a sole trader, it could be a partnership, or indeed it could be a limited company. If you do not know at the commencement of a trading relationship who in fact you are dealing with, it will not be possible for you to obtain a full and accurate picture of the financial stability of your customer. Also should the relationship break down and recovery action be required you will not know who to take that action against. If you wish to discuss any particular case please contact either Philip Boulton or Angela Shaw at Green Door Solicitors on 0161 836 9970.

Before you commence trading with any business, we suggest you use the following checklist;

  1.  Do you know the exact name and the trading style of the business with whom you are going to do business? Types of business include amongst others limited companies, partnerships and sole proprietors.
  2. If your potential customer is not a limited company, do you know the names and personal addresses of the proprietors or partners? If not, then we suggest you ask a direct question to your potential customer and obtain this information in writing.
  3. Have you seen any headed paper or other documentation that verifies the information regarding ownership of and legal status of your potential customer?
  4. Use credit references to check potential customers’ details and credit status.
  5. Consider talking to other suppliers of the business to obtain references.
  6. Obtain written orders for all goods supplied and ensure that the details on those orders match those you were given earlier regarding business name and trading style.

TOP TIPS

  •  Ensure you know the exact name and legal status of the business you are supplying. If the business is a sole trader or partnership, ensure that you have full personal details including private addresses of the owners of the business. Do not forget that proprietors or partners of businesses are personally liable for the debts of that business.
  •  If you are extending a significant amount of credit to a limited company then seriously consider obtaining personal guarantees from directors or senior members of staff. This is particularly important when dealing with limited companies. Green Door Solicitors can assist in this process. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss this option.
  •  Do not be afraid to push for all the information you need. If your potential customer is reluctant to supply the information then you should consider the reasons for such reluctance.

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Testimonials

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  • I am a clinical psychologist and medical expert witness. I have been in private practice for 20 years and although I have strict terms of business, on occasion I experience great difficulty receiving payment from referring agents. As a sole practitioner this requires me to spend a great deal of time chasing payment and obviously has an adverse effect on my cash flow. Recently a firm of personal injury lawyers refused to pay my fees as their client absconded, despite the fact that the firm had agreed in writing that they would be responsible for my fees and not their client. Green Door were extremely helpful and managed to extract my fees from the lawyers within 2 weeks. They were professional, supportive and kept me informed at all times. It made a huge difference having someone on my side and I have since learnt that many medical experts faced with this situation, admit defeat and waive their fee as they can’t face the battle alone. I highly recommend this service.

  • We have been using Green Door debt recovery solicitors for the last 2 years to help with our debt recovery and we find them to be a very organised and professional company. Angela and the team are always happy to help, they have a good success rate and the No Win No Fee policy is great.

  • In mid 2010 I sold my small café business to Mr A and Mr B. We agreed to take payment in instalments over a period of time. At first, the instalments were received on time but at the end of February 2012 an instalment was missed. The contract stipulated that any monies outstanding after 10 working days rendered the entire balance, in this case just over £23,000, was due immediately. I made contact with Angela Shaw on 21st March 2012 and she explained very simply the debt collection process. Feeling confident that Angela understood the situation, and that Green Door were going to fight tooth and nail for me, I decided to ask them to act on my behalf. Although both Mr A and Mr B were legally in debt to me, morally it was very much Mr A that owed the money. I would of course have taken the money from Mr B but I really wanted it to come from Mr A, as the debt was morally his. During the process I was kept informed of progress until I got “the call” on 20th April 2012. The entire sum – £23,160 recovered from the right one… Mr A, in just under 1 month!

    What a result!

  • I have been really pleased with your service. You have managed to recover debt that I thought wasn’t possible, your charges were fair and explained upfront and you did exactly as you said by keeping touch and letting me know if there was a chance to recover the debt or whether it was a waste of time. It has also made me review our own credit control procedures, hopefully we won’t have any further problems but if we do I’ll definitely be in touch.

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Dr. Sarah Mackenzie Ross

Clinical Psychologist