Payment period for large companies for SMEs from 60 to 30 days – FM.nl


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Old payment period of 60 days is halved.

From 1 July 2022, large companies (ie companies with a balance sheet total of more than EUR 20 million, a net turnover of more than EUR 40 million and / or 250 or more employees) must have accounts for small and medium-sized enterprises (all companies , which are not “large companies” (hereinafter referred to as “SMEs”), are required to pay within 30 days, thus halving the old payment period of 60 days, which affects the business operations of many large companies.

The new payment term only applies in the commercial relationship between large companies as debtors and SMEs as creditors (just like the current rules on 60-day maturity). The legislature aims to offer more protection to SMEs, including the self-employed.

If a large company pays an invoice sent after the end of the term, business interest (8%) falls due over the period by which the term has been exceeded. The right to business interest arises automatically after the expiration of the payment period of 30 days and can be asserted within five years. Any collection costs can also be recovered from the defaulting party. If the commercial interest is not paid, the SME can initiate a case in a civil court in order to be paid after all.

If an SME is not paid on time by a large company, this can be reported anonymously to the Consumer Payments Reporting Center of the Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM). Until January 25, 2023, ACM will collect and record all reports to determine how often large companies exceed payment terms. The result of this will then be evaluated to determine whether state supervision will be introduced. At present, ACM does not take any direct action based on these records.

The new law also applies to foreign entrepreneurs if they trade in the Netherlands. Therefore, if large foreign companies trading in the Netherlands wish to use a longer payment period than 30 days, they could achieve this by declaring another law (such as the law of the country where the company is established) applicable to the agreement. The SME with which the agreement is concluded must, of course, agree with this.

The law firm Osborne Clarke recommends the following method for implementing new legislation:

1a† Is your company a ‘big company’ and do you trade with smaller parties? Identify which Contracting Parties qualify as “SMEs” (companies with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than EUR 50 million or a balance sheet total of less than EUR 43 million).
1b. Is your company an ‘SME’ and do you trade with larger companies? Map out which contracting parties can be described as ‘large companies’ (see above).
For example, make a list of all your existing contracting parties that you know fall under the definition of ‘large company’ or ‘SME’ (depending on the position of your company). Are you in doubt? Contact e.g. Chamber of Commerce.

2. Is there a payment obligation from a large company to an SME? In that case, a payment deadline of 30 days from 1 July 2023 applies.
This is often the case when an SME is a supplier of certain goods or services to a large company.

3. Contract entered into from 1 July 2022? Include a payment period of 30 days.

4. Contract that runs after July 1, 2023, but was entered into before July 1, 2022? Adjust the payment period to 30 days.
Payment terms are often included in general (purchase or sale) terms. Take a good look at it and adjust it (if necessary).

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