Sun. Jan 26th, 2020

These are the consequences of late payment

As if it were a virus, defaults attack differently depending on the size of the company. There are profiles that offer less resistance to this endemic evil of the Spanish productive fabric. By its nature, the autonomous is a group that delinquent attacks with more virulence. The autonomous is the worker most vulnerable in the market. Not charging on time for your work can be decisive to continue raising the blind daily.

Spain is a country with a high level of late payment. We speak not only of late payments between companies, but also of those perpetrated from public administrations. To give an example (the most extreme), if you are autonomous and the municipality of Jaén owes you an invoice, According to the ATA, the administration of this municipality will take up to 582 days to make the payment. It is the end of a situation extended to all sectors.

Spain is a country with a high level of delinquency among companies, but also that perpetrated from public administrations

The truth is that excessive and unfulfilled payment deadlines practically by default can cause a lack of liquidity of the self-employed worker, which in the most serious cases can lead to force close up shop. Specific, according to the Credit Risk Management Study promoted by Crédito y Caución and Iberinform, about 85,000 Spanish companies are at risk of closing due to the impact of late payment.


2019 has not been a good year for delinquencies and breaks a downward trend. From 2012 to 2017, the rate of companies that suffered significant defaults He had descended progressively. In 2018 and 2019, however, the trend is broken: one in three companies already suffers the effects of late payment. Autonomous and SMEs are, despite being the most rigorous payers, the most exposed to the contrary. On the other hand, large companies and local administrations are the ones that accumulate the most delays.


Specifically, companies listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange accumulate a debt of almost 80,000 million euros after the 60-day deadline established by the Late Payment Law, according to the Multisectoral Platform against Late Payment (PMcM). According to the latest data published by the National Federation of Autonomous Workers (ATA), 39.21% of the self-employed have suffered some default in 2019. Of these, 20% take more than six months to collect the invoices issued.

Although most usually charge between three and six months later (43%), a smaller percentage, a 5.34%, it may take more than one year in receiving the outstanding amount. What are the consequences for the autonomous group of non-payment or delay in the collection of invoices? A scourge that, according to the latest European Report of Payments of Intrum, worries 37% of companies and that 5% considers as highly problematic.

Consequences of late payment

· Loss of income: When a company does not pay its service provider or does it excessively extensively, its liquidity forecast suffers. The same is true in the case of the self-employed worker, whose smaller size makes his treasury depend on a smaller number of clients.

· Insolvency: The accumulation of uncollected invoices can result in a state of insolvency that, as if it were a spiral, blocks the self-employed person from their own capacity to comply with their suppliers. This is a profile whose access to sources of external financing that risk capital is much more limited (credits, etc.).

· Limit growth: Loss of income limits the growth capacity of the business. From any type of investment to the improvement of the activity through the hiring of new profiles that can generate a greater number of work and billing.

· Threatens continuity: The closing of the business is the fatal consequence of the lack of forecast payment of bills. The systematic non-payment of invoices is key to the continuity of many workers who do not have other financial resources with which to obtain the necessary credit to continue with the activity despite the default.

· Increase indebtedness: Unprotected by a Late Payment Law that although it establishes the limit parameters in the time of payment does not penalize its non-compliance, the autonomous must face the situation of default by own means, increasing the debt ratio.

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