Can I charge a business late fees after 30 days of non-payment for freelance services?

UPDATED: Mar 23, 2016

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Can I charge a business late fees after 30 days of non-payment for freelance services?

Hi all,

I am a freelance doing Web and Print design, and a client is over 40 days late
since he’s viewed the last invoice. Can I charge a late fee after 30 or so many
days? If so, what’s the legal limit for that ?

Thank you.

Asked on March 23, 2016 under Business Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may charge late fees IF--and only if--that was part of the agreement ahead of time: that is, the customer must have agreed to pay late fees before you did the work. You cannot impose late fees after the fact. The easiest and best way to do this is to include late fees in the your service agreement. 
A common and enforceable late fee is 1.5% of the outstanding per month late (pro rate for partial months).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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