The Importance of Knowing your Customer

Many clients come to our firm seeking help to get paid on outstanding invoices and contracts.

A common question for new clients to ask is: do I have to pay if the defendant turns out not to have assets and our answer is yes – we charge our rates as stated to you up front.

This question, when asked, shows that the business of the client is operating blindly – if you are hoping your lawyers will take a leap of faith on the fact that your customer has assets, but is just refusing to pay you – then you don’t know your customers and you should.

Credit applications are very important tools to ensure that you know who you are dealing with and including on them an authorization to perform periodic credit checks on systems such as Equifax is even more important, particularly if payment slows or cheques start bouncing.

Similarly, know if you’re dealing with a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship – ask the question and then spend the $ 20.00 to do a corporate search and ensure the information is accurate.

Having the information about your customer before you provide them with products and/or services can save you a lot of money in the long run – after all, you’re in business to get paid, not to chase your money.

Our firm can help you set up a legal (because there are some things you cannot ask) credit application and guide you in what checks you need to take care of to protect your business – it’s less expensive to use our firm on that type of work, than to retain us to sue someone who you don’t really know.

Inga B. Andriessen, Senior Lawyer
iandriessen@staging.andriessen.ca

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