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-   -   Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees? (https://www.englishforum.ch/business-entrepreneur/236006-guidelines-freelancer-charging-late-fees.html)

ltheurer 23.06.2015 10:56

Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
I'm a freelancer working in Switzerland as a single-person enterprise (Einzelfirma). I've completed a project for a customer and have provided them with my final invoice. The customer has paid all invoices punctually for the past 4 years. Payment of this invoice, however, is now nearly two months late.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in my contract with this company regarding the assignment of late fees. Does anybody know if there is a national standard or law for this? If so, what is the percentage of the invoice total that can be charged?

Thanks!

fatmanfilms 23.06.2015 11:06

Re: Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ltheurer (Post 2409208)
I'm a freelancer working in Switzerland as a single-person enterprise (Einzelfirma). I've completed a project for a customer and have provided them with my final invoice. The customer has paid all invoices punctually for the past 4 years. Payment of this invoice, however, is now nearly two months late.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in my contract with this company regarding the assignment of late fees. Does anybody know if there is a national standard or law for this? If so, what is the percentage of the invoice total that can be charged?

Thanks!

Getting paid is a bonus, you will likely loose the client if you start to add interest, 2 months late is not very late from my experience.

ltheurer 23.06.2015 11:12

Re: Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 2409215)
Getting paid is a bonus, you will likely loose the client if you start to add interest, 2 months late is not very late from my experience.

I have already lost the client, as they have a new company policy about not working with contractors. Ah, well.

Two months late is VERY late in my experience for the German part of the country.

newtoswitz 23.06.2015 11:58

Re: Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
Standard interest rate is 5%:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a104

The default is from the point when they receive a formal reminder. (a102)

But I don't know if there is a default period for payment - that would normally be stated in the contract and on the invoice.

I would send a formal notification, by registered post, re-stating the terms of payment and that they are in debt and you'll have to reluctantly take things further if they don't pay within X days.

ltheurer 23.06.2015 12:06

Re: Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newtoswitz (Post 2409259)
Standard interest rate is 5%:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a104

The default is from the point when they receive a formal reminder. (a102)

But I don't know if there is a default period for payment - that would normally be stated in the contract and on the invoice.

I would send a formal notification, by registered post, re-stating the terms of payment and that they are in debt and you'll have to reluctantly take things further if they don't pay within X days.

This addresses my question perfectly! Thanks so much for the information and link!

fatmanfilms 23.06.2015 12:41

Re: Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ltheurer (Post 2409220)
I have already lost the client, as they have a new company policy about not working with contractors. Ah, well.

Two months late is VERY late in my experience for the German part of the country.

I have waited 3 to 9 months from more than 1 company in Zurich.

Mica 23.06.2015 18:06

Re: Guidelines for a freelancer charging late fees?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newtoswitz (Post 2409259)
But I don't know if there is a default period for payment - that would normally be stated in the contract and on the invoice.

Just a follow up on this point:
Art. 75 CO: "Where no time of performance is stated in the contract or evident from the nature of the legal relationship, the obligation may be discharged or called in immediately."
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...index.html#a75

In other words, the invoice would be instantly payable. However, you will need to send them a payment reminder to put them into default (and only from then onwards will you be able to claim default interest).


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