The consequences of a company not paying its bills in France

Unpaid bill consequences

Whenever a company issues a bill, there’s a risk of the client not paying. As such, there are pieces of legislation in place to make sure that unpaid bills don’t affect the cash of companies too much.

How much time do people have to pay their bills?

When 2 professionals sign a contract, they’ve got a 30-day time limit to pay their bill. If the contract involves receiving a good, the countdown starts the moment the paying party receives the product. If a service is rendered, it starts when the service is performed.

What happens if they don’t pay within this time-limit?

When making a contract, it’s possible to include a penalty in case the client doesn’t pay in time. The contract can also include additional damages to pay if the payment isn’t done in time. Of course, the judge will take this into consideration if you ever file an order for payment.

Furthermore, as an additional incentive to pay, DGCCRF (General Direction of Competition, Consumption, and Cheating Punishment) will publically publish the verdict. Since this can have a disastrous effect on the reputation of the company, both to clients and partners, companies have a very strong incentive to pay up.

As such, while the law does protect you somewhat from companies not paying you, remember that you can minimize your risk even further with the clauses of the contract!