How to Put Yourself Out of Business


Recently I was asked the question, "If you fail to specify a 'pay by' date for a client, at what point, if any, can they legally be considered delinquent for failing to pay?"

No more fundamental question on "The Business of Law®" can be imagined. Every engagement to provide professional services should begin with a written agreement on services to be provided in order to be enforceable. And one of the terms of an engagement agreement is fee; another is payment date. No jurisdiction of which I'm aware will enforce an "agreement" that lacks designation of fee. Another element, however, is due date. Some jurisdictions may supply this missing element with "reasonable" since it's not a major omission. But, then, you get into what is reasonable. Under most commercial circumstances, this means 30 days after billing or receipt, whichever is later.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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