How can I collect money owed for work completed?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

An award-winning small business attorney in New York City, Nina is a sought-after professional speaker and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She is the go-to counsel for knowledge economy and creative companies, delivering legal services and educational resources that save them time, money, and aggravation.

Posted on March 11, 2015 in Business Transactions

Q.:  I recently started a janitorial cleaning business. Our first job was subcontracted from another cleaning business. We completed three months of work and have yet to receive any payments. Two months ago I met with the cleaning contractor owner to come to an agreement. We signed a promissory note detailing a down payment and monthly payments to pay off the balance. I still haven’t received any money. They will not answer any phone calls. How can I collect money owed to me?

A.:  Luckily for you, you have something in writing (the promissory note) that may support your case to collect money owed.  Unluckily, and as I touch upon in my legal guide on making clients pay, if you’ve stopped providing services and they’re not returning phone calls, you may have to go to court to collect money owed to you.

If the amount is under $5000, speak with a small claims attorney about how to take legal action against the cleaning contractor who has breached your agreement.  You want to make sure that the agreement in the promissory note is spelled out clearly and that there can be no legal qualms with the language of the note.  If you had a clear agreement, you may well have a compelling case in a small claims court to collect money owed to you.

Here are more law questions about handling business customers and how to collect money.

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