Small companies in transport and distribution are some of the worst affected by late payments, according to new research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance.
Some 76 per cent said they had to deal with late payment issues – the third highest of all industry sectors after manufacturing and legal. And 28 per cent they were dealing with non-payment issues.
Overall some 63 per cent of small businesses are dealing with late payment issues.
Hitachi found that the commonly held belief that the big firms pay small firms late appears to ring true. The research found that the smallest businesses (those with an annual turnover or less than £1 million) were those most at risk of serious non-payment. They were most likely to have invoices paid more than a month late (26 per cent) and most likely to have bad debt risks from non-payment (25 per cent). In total 20 per cent of the UK’s smallest businesses said they were living with non-payment for 20 per cent of their invoices.