Small Businesses: Billing

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 23rd April 2018.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to encourage the payment of invoices by large firms to small businesses within 30 days; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The government is clear that large companies should lead by example in paying their suppliers promptly and fairly, and believes that 60 days is the maximum acceptable payment terms in the vast majority of cases. The Prompt Payment Code sets best practice in payment standards and commits signatories to undertake to pay suppliers within a maximum of 60 days, in all but exceptional circumstances, and to work towards adopting 30 days as the norm.

Government is supporting businesses, particularly small businesses, throughout the supply chain - the Public Contracts Regulations ensure public sector buyers require 30-day payment terms be passed down the supply chain. At Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced that BEIS will launch a call for evidence to assess what further steps and intervention may be needed to ensure small businesses are not subject to unfair payment practices.

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