What are the late invoicing rules for businesses?

A woman uses her laptop to find out what the legal time limit for invoicing is.

Worried about late invoicing because you forgot to send one to your client? Learn how long you have after a transaction to send them a bill.

You must invoice a client after providing a product or service to get paid. After all, no customer will be offering you their money without proof. But what if you forgot to send one and the transaction happened two months ago? Is there a time limit on invoicing a customer?

Read on and learn how late an invoice can be issued to your customer and remain valid so you still get paid.

Is there a time limit on invoicing a customer?

Technically, there’s a time limit on how late you can write an invoice for a customer. But the grace period for collecting outstanding debt is usually very long. In some jurisdictions, you may be able to bill clients even after several years.

However, the exact time limit on how late an invoice can be issued and remain valid depends entirely on local laws and regulations. Relevant business authorities can tell you the time limit for invoicing in your location.

How to handle sending late invoicing properly.

These long time limits mean that you can still write an invoice, even after several months. But you shouldn’t just send it without warning — the customer may have forgotten about you and could think you’re trying to scam them.

It’s best practice to send supporting evidence with the invoice, like pro forma documents. Additionally, you can email or call about the upcoming late invoice to refresh a client’s memory about your services before you hit send on the actual invoice email.

Can clients refuse to pay late invoicing?

In general, clients cannot refuse to pay late invoices if they have received goods or services as agreed upon in the contract or agreement. Late invoicing doesn’t absolve them of their payment obligation. However, please note that clients may have grounds to negotiate or dispute late fees or interest charges if they were not clearly outlined in the initial agreement or if there are valid reasons for the delay, such as incomplete or unsatisfactory work. It’s essential for businesses to have transparent invoicing practices and clear terms and conditions to minimize disputes related to legal time limits for invoicing.

Although the legal time limits for invoicing are usually forgiving, you should send invoices within 30 days to maintain a steady cash flow. Electronic signatures can help you keep track of your invoices. Requesting digital signatures is fast, so you can do it before forgetting about the invoice.

Use tools to track and prevent late invoicing.

To manage and prevent late invoicing, businesses can use various tools, such as dedicated invoicing software and accounting systems. These solutions offer automated features like invoice tracking and reminders, allowing companies to stay organized and have more efficient invoicing processes while minimizing any delayed payments.
You can also make invoicing a smoother experience by getting signatures electronically.

You can quickly sign documents online and request signatures on computers or mobile devices. You can also track signature requests to ensure you get paid on time.

Discover helpful ways to work with invoices and secure electronic signature technology.