What to do if I just started a small business and I have a company that doesn’t want to pay the invoice?

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What to do if I just started a small business and I have a company that doesn’t want to pay the invoice?

They said they are researching the hours they talked to me when I was in the office. Their bookkeeper had asked me to not invoice all the hours if worked more then 55. I was asked to bank the extra hours. Now that we are separating and they are questioning the final invoice which includes the banked hours they are not wanting to pay. Is the bookkeeper liable at all to pay the invoice since she is the one that was acting on the companies behalf? And with HR there is a lot of research that is involved. Can they really tell me that they will only pay me for times and dates that they feel i was in the office? I am a consultant not an employee.

Asked on September 27, 2012 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You must be paid as  per the agreement (oral or written) between you and the client; that is, whatever you were supposed to  be paid for (e.g. only time you met with them? all time in their office, whether meeting with someone from the client or not? all work time? all work and travel time? etc.) is what they must pay you for.

That's the law. Practically, if they will not voluntarily pay you, you will have to sue them for the money. To sue them and win (recover money), you will need to 1) prove the terms of the agreement and 2) prove the hours. You can do this with your testimony, with signed agreements, with timesheets or invoices, with emails or text messages, etc. You will have to be able to prove it by "a preponderance of the evidence"--that is, that it is more likely than not that things are as you say.


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