If you choose to make a career out of freelancing, it's an unfortunate reality that you'll eventually encounter a client who won't pay what they owe. You can guard against deadbeat clients by starting with a clear scope of work and a solid contract, and by learning when to say "No." But what do you do when you've held up your side of the bargain and your client just won't pay up? Here are some of the best resources we have found to deal with client nonpayment.
If your client is dragging their feet or running behind on their bookkeeping, they might just need a firm, but friendly nudge. If that's the case, Just Tell Julie. Julie will act as your "accounts receivable virtual assistant." She'll call your client on your behalf, politely remind them of their overdue invoice and ask for payment. Simple, right? You'd be surprised how well it can work!
If you have tried communicating with your client, referred to your signed contract, and it has become clear that you are at a crossroads and they have no plans to pay you, you can turn to Indepayment for help. Indepayment is a debt collection service specifically for freelancers and independent workers. Hearing from a collector can remind your client that your business is legitimate, and your services have value. Sometimes that's enough to coax those dollars out of their wallet. Otherwise, the blight on their credit score might do the trick.
If you have tried everything to no avail, and are still determined to collect payment from your client, it may be time to bring in the big guns. There are some talented folks right here in Portland who are qualified and ready to help you.
A law firm built by and for creative talent, Inspiration Spaceship concentrates on effective legal representation that protects and supports creative endeavors. They're also Scopic's go-to for all our own legal services.
At Work Made for Hire, Katie Lane helps freelancers and creative businesses handle their legal problems and negotiate like rock stars.