Am I entitled to receive payment for the late fee charges?

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Am I entitled to receive payment for the late fee charges?

I have a labor only business, I emailed an invoice for a customer dated 07/31 with a clause on the bottom stating that all invoices are to be paid within 30 days or a late fee of 10 will be added. I did not receive payment. I then sent a reminder email stating there would be a charge if the check was not received by 08/29, to which I did not proof read and that is the wrong date. On 8/19 I sent an invoice for the late charge. I received payment for the original invoice on 08/26. They are now saying that they will not pay the late charge because of the date on my email. The email was just a reminder and the invoice is the correct dates, am I still entitled to payment?

Asked on August 28, 2019 under Business Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You are only entitled to late fees IF the customer agreed before hiring you to the late fees: for example, if there were late fees in the service agreement or contract. If there was no agreement prior to hiring you as to late fees, you cannot impose them later by putting them on an invoice, since that would not have been part of what they agreed to--it's not part of the contract between you and the customer, and you cannot unilaterally (on your own) impose new or additional terms. If you want to get late fees, make sure it's part of your contract/agreement with the customer.
Even if it had been part of the initial agreement, bear in mind that if they won't pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue them to get the money. It is doubtful whether it is worth suing for the amount involved.


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