Anyone ever billed an agency for late payments as a freelancer? Wondering how it went and about the legalities. I’ve had more than a couple of agencies be late from as little as 3 days to as far as 15 days over net30 terms. Just getting tired of it and can’t find any answers online. Thanks!

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In all my years at agencies, I never was able to get an invoice paid anywhere near net 30 unless I did a multi step “warn finance ahead of time, remind constantly, and justify why this invoice was so special all the way up the chain” process. It was so painful. I generally just told folks to expect 60-90. It’s just the way it’s set up. The processing time (invoice entered, sent to purchaser for approval, put in some sort of billing jacket to be signed off by account, back to finance who cut checks only on certain days. And in the cases where a client was being billed? Oh boy, the client technically has to have paid us before we pay you. Or at least been invoiced-see, again, that billing sitting on an AAEs desk because there’s an issue with it that has nothing to do with you but yet it sits...)

So, all this to say, don’t take it personally and know that complaints to the person who hired you are aimed at a person with no control over it. If you call
AP and ask them, they might give you a guesstimate on when it might go out...if it’s in the later part of the process.

It needs to be written into your contract, a late fee of $xxx after 30 days increasing after 60 days, etc., or a percentage of the bill, whatever, but no one will agree to pay a late fee of it’s not in your contract. If you only signed the agency’s contract, they probably didn’t include anything about a late fee so it’s best to make them sign yours too. But yeah, so many agencies only pay contractors after the client pays them, it’s like months later, like we don’t have rent and mortgages to pay.

Yep and sometimes for small biz clients my gut tells me early on they might try to pull something - I make it clear ahead of time I will hold the working files until recurve the final payment. Passive aggressive insurance, Corporate America style. You only own that work after you pay for it 🤟

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