How can I get client to pay his invoice?

 I am an independent worker and a client has not paid an invoice for €3,500, despite it now being more than 30 days old. What can I do?

26 June 2019
By Connexion journalist

A simpler and relatively cheap way of getting outstanding invoices paid under €4,000 has been introduced.

It allows the procedure to be carried out by a bailiff (huissier de justice).

You have to make sure the date by which payment must be made was added to the relevant invoice. The law states that payment must normally be made within 30 days of receipt of a product or service. This can be lengthened, if both parties agree, to a limit of 60 days.

You can receive compensation of €40 for a late payment and interest.

This rate is set by Europe, is different for each country, changes regularly and varies according to circumstances. You can find rates at

If no payment is forthcoming after you have tried your best to contact the debtor, the bailiff recommends you send a letter by registered post to warn that you will take legal action if you do not receive payment.

You can then enlist the help of a bailiff via their website It costs €14.92 to put all the details of your case online.

A bailiff will send a registered letter to the debtor, giving him a month to reply, in which time he will hopefully agree to enter into negotiations.

If successful, the bailiff will then pass on the sum to you, minus his charges – €30 for the writ of execution, plus fees relative to the amount.

For example, it would cost just under €100 to recover €500 and just over €300 for the maximum amount of €4,000.

If this does not work, you can ask the bailiff to send your dossier to a Tribunal de Commerce.

This will again cost money to the creditor.

You can ask a company to reclaim unpaid debts for you.

The Portail Auto-Entre-preneur estimates it will cost between 10% and 30% of the debts you wish to recover.

You can go directly to a judge to ask for an order to pay, but you will have to pay a bailiff to serve it and may need legal assistance, which you will also have to pay for.

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