Company won’t pay freelance: ask the expert

I am a freelance graphic designer and I was asked to complete an urgent assignment in Paris, leaving the same night, and working three complete days. On my return I invoiced straight away. Two weeks later I am now told that the company cannot pay me unless I am either a Limited Company or using an Umbrella Service. They did not make either myself or my colleague aware of this before we undertook the assignment. In fact, I would have turned it down. It is not in my interests to become Limited or in fact use an Umbrella service. What should I do?

The firm must pay you, as a contract has been formed, and you have completed the work. They cannot dispute you haven’t done the work because they are agreeing to pay you. Also, they openly admit they didn’t state beforehand that they only paid via umbrellas and limited companies.

You need to remind them that you never agreed to that, and that the firm cannot change terms either during or after the contract is complete. If they still don’t pay then you need to follow correct process: start by using a credit collection agency (Safe Solutions are good). If that fails then use a letter before action and then the small claims court via Moneyclaim Online.

You should ensure that before you go legal that you have all the evidence necessary to win, and also take professional legal advice. As always with these things the devil is in the details. Typically in a clear cut case the firm won’t allow things to go to court and using a credit collection agency will solve it.

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