From the archive: The payment terms debate

2 July 2007

Five years ago the EU was just getting ready to introduce new directives to improve supplier payment terms. The legislation allows all suppliers to claim interest on any invoice that isn't paid within 30 days.

At the time the survey found that more than 40 per cent of large European firms still paid their suppliers late. Would this still be the case today? Anecdotal evidence from research into an article that SM has been doing says that small firms are still struggling with firms who don't pay on time.

Will payment terms always be a source of antagonism between buyers and suppliers? How can buyers ease the burden on suppliers waiting for payment? Is it even the responsibility of the buyer?

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