Percentage of UK small businesses that are usually paid late for invoice
Percentage of UK small businesses that are usually paid late for invoice

Delays in payments hold back SMEs

14 July 2017

The level of late payments affecting UK SMEs has reached £266bn, according to research conducted by YouGov on behalf of supply chain finance provider Crossflow Payments

The startlingly high figure comes despite a UK law being introduced in April requiring large businesses to report their payment terms. Businesses with an annual turnover of at least £36m or 250 employees are required to report on their payment practices, policies and performances twice a year, and publish them via an online government service. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

The first reporting will be required by November 2017.

There was a record 5.5m private sector businesses in the UK at the start of 2016, according to government figures, of which 99.9% were SMEs – those that employ fewer than 250 staff. These SMEs provide employment for 15.7 million people, and have a combined annual turnover of £1.8 trillion: 47% of all private sector turnover.

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