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Billing late Fees or Not?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawn_Enforcement, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Lawn_Enforcement

    Lawn_Enforcement LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I have several clients that just dont understand the DUE DATES on the invoices I send them and some clients that Pay before I even bill them ...... Does anyone out there charge a late fee or just suck it up as long as they pay?

    Also when doing a major landscaping job do you ask for a deposit/ money down
    or hope they pay quick enough?

    thanks for your help
  2. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    If you are using a service agreement that finance charges should be explained in there.
    As far as landscaping, Get 50% up front. That way if they decide not to pay the rest for some reason you have all your materials paid for + some Labor cost.

    Hope this Helps!

  3. Lawn_Enforcement

    Lawn_Enforcement LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    thanks James I appreciate your advice
  4. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    If there is no penalty to being late than why should they pay on time? I have on every bill, " a $10.00 late fee will be applied for any payment made after the 15th of the month"

    I have only had to put it on 3 times. All have paid it and most absolutely hate the idea of "the lawn guy" having a late fee until I explain that this is my career and that if they don't pay me I don't pay my bills.

    You have to put that in there to have them know you are in business and not just some guy cutting grass.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,292

    We are in the process of doing a major landscape job on a resturant that includes irrigtion, patios, and much more. They definitely will not pay anything up front you have to get a line of credit at a bank and actually had to show proof before they would sign the contract. As work progresses they pay parts like they paid the irrigation part when we billed that part.
  6. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    I agree with you on the commercials, I was referring to residentials. On our commercials we bill when job is done but are required to pay 15 days of approved completion or be subject to intrest charge. This works well for us.

  7. Rcgm

    Rcgm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 326

    Watch your late fees guys. Do your research most states tell you what the late fees can't exceed like 1.5 percent . Every state is different but some of you charging 10 dollars a flat fee if it is more than the state allows you can be fined in the thousands.

  8. vadeere

    vadeere LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    I only bill intrest when they have become d!cks about it, but on the other hand it get attenion. Hell I have a bunch of money in a cd paying 24 percent intrest, the way I look at anyways.
  9. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    I think late fees also depend in how you word them on the bill.

    I put mine down as a finance/ office charge. The customer knows I have the charge because I have to take the time to go through my invoices and figure out which ones are late.

    I charge $7.00 or 2%, whichever is greater for this service.

    Just remember though I dont believe you can charge a late fee on the late fee if the customer is again over the time alloted to pay the bill.
  10. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,806

    i have a 15 day due date (bill once a month) and charge a late fee after 30 days of invoice date of $25. absolutely charge deposit on large jobs. i typically do at least 50% deposit. if you want less i would do aleast material costs.

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