During most business transactions, customers are expected to pay when the goods are purchased or the services rendered. Some companies allow customers to send payment after the fact, and others allow customers to make installment payments over time. This works well most of the time, and few businesses have issues with a large number of nonpaying customers. However, when customer payment problems arise, businesses must take the proper steps to receive payment. One of the first steps is often a letter to demand payment.
Put your name or the company's name, address, contact information, such as phone number and email address, and the date on the top right side of the page. You can use company letterhead centered at the top of the page instead of typing your information, but you must still include the date on the right side.
Place the customer's name, address and account number, if applicable, six lines from the top of the page, on the left side.
Give the amount the customer owes in the first paragraph. Start the letter with a statement such as, "This letter is to request payment in the amount of (blank)." Tell the customer the date he was supposed to have sent payment.
Tell the customer the date by which she must send you payment. State if you are wiling to accept a smaller payment or work out a payment plan.
Tell the customer the consequences of continued nonpayment in the second paragraph. This include fees, interest-rate increases, lawsuits or sending accounts to collection agencies.
Thank the customer for his business and for his timely attention to the matter in the last paragraph. Invite him to contact you with questions. Type your full name and your job title at the bottom of the page. Put your signature above your typed name.
Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.