I need to take action to recover a bad debt, what should I do?

Whilst it’s tempting just to go to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk and issue a claim through Small Claims it’s important that you only do this as a last resort. You need to be able to show the court that you have already taken reasonable steps to get your money – including making a formal request for payment making it clear that you will commence legal action if you don’t receive payment within a reasonable period – usually 7 days.

The claim procedure is straightforward enough but if you’re not used to it then it can be a bit daunting, Read More…

Posted under Finance and Accounting

Posted by Alec at 2:05 pm, April 5, 2008

What weight can my van carry?

Probably not as much as you think, is the short answer.

Firstly ignore all the figures published by the manufacturer except for the all-important GVW or GVM (Gross Vehicle Weight or Gross Vehicle Mass) and the axle weights.

The only way of knowing what weight your van can carry is to fuel it up, top up the oil and the screenwash bottle, load it up with the stuff you normally carry with you – straps, ropes, blankets, sack truck, tools, maps, laptop, sandwiches, etc and drive to the nearest public weighbridge and have the van weighed with you in it. Read More…

Posted under Keeping It Legal

Posted by Alec at 12:18 pm, April 5, 2008

What are Late Payment charges?



The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 gives you the right to claim interest and compensation for late payments.

This is a statutory right – your customer doesn’t have to agree to it, you don’t have to inform them in advance that you intend to charge them if they pay late and you are not permitted to agree in advance to waive late payment fees unless a suitable alternative form of late payment penalty is agreed.

For invoices up to £999.99 you can charge £40 PER LATE INVOICE. For invoices of between £1,000.00 and £9,999.99 you can charge £70 PER INVOICE. You can also charge interest on a daily basis, currently at a rate of 13.5% per annum. Read More…

Posted under Finance and Accounting

Posted by Alec at 9:50 am, April 5, 2008

Do I need an Operator’s Licence?

*NOTE: From December 4th 2011 ‘small trailers’ towed by a vehicle under 3.5 tonnes and used for hire or reward are no longer exempt from operator licensing. Therefore, if your vehicle combination is used for carrying other people’s goods for hire or reward (e.g. couriers and hauliers) and the maximum allowable weight of your vehicle and trailer together exceed 3,500kg then you need a standard O Licence.

An operator’s licence (‘O’ Licence) is needed if you use a goods vehicle (or a goods vehicle and trailer combination) with a total allowable weight of over 3.5 tonnes to carry goods in connection with any trade or business.

If towing a trailer the maximum plated weight (ie the maximum loaded weight) of both the trailer and the towing vehicle and the trailer must be taken into consideration EXCEPT in the case of trailers weighing up to 1020kg unladen.

What does that mean to a courier? Read More…

Posted under Keeping It Legal

Posted by Alec at 10:34 am, April 2, 2008