The government has announced a package of measures to ensure small businesses get paid on time.

Under the proposals large businesses could be fined for failing to pay smaller suppliers on time as
part of a robust package of measures.

The measures include:

  • proposed new powers for the Small Business Commissioner to tackle late payments through
    fines and binding payment plans
  • company boards to be held accountable for supply chain payment practices for first time
  • the introduction of a new fund to encourage businesses to use technology to simplify invoicing,
    payment and credit management.
  • The government has also announced that responsibility of the voluntary code of best practice, the
    Prompt Payment Code, will be moved to the Small Business Commissioner.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said:

‘The vast majority of businesses pay their bills on time, with the amount owed in late payments halved
over the last five years. But as a former small business owner, I know the huge impact a late payment
can have on the ability of a small business to plan, invest and grow.’

‘Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and through our modern Industrial Strategy we
want to ensure the UK is the best place to start and grow a business. These measures will ensure
that small businesses are given the support they need and ensure that they get paid quickly – ending
the unacceptable culture of late payment.’

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