sending bills out to customers for services rendered.what are the statute of limitations on this?

i have a chimney sweeping service business in iowa and i have recently found some invoices that were not sent out by my former office person.Some bills are 4 years old and some total up to several hundred dollars.I would like to send out with a 10-20% “late billing discount” Is this legal and or ethical?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Business Law, Iowa


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's both legal and ethical, although I'm sure that like most people you understand that it isn't the best way to do business.  At the same time, you did the work, and you earned the money on those invoices.

I'm not an Iowa lawyer, but my research suggests that the statute of limitations -- the time you have to sue -- on an unwritten contract, is five years, so you're not too late.  You can get firm advice on this, and how best to set up your "late billing discount", from an attorney in your area.  One place to find a lawyer is our website,

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