How to Chase an International Business Debt


When looking to recover debt owed internationally, businesses never consider how difficult it is to recover money from a customer who is not only in a different time zone to you but also has different laws and customs to abide by. Its not as simple as putting on your best Liam Neeson impression on the phone to a debtor. Here are the steps to take when looking to recover a business debt internationally.

Do Your Research

Recovering a debt internationally can be quite a taxing process for businesses that aren’t experienced in international debt recovery. By hiring a debt recovery service, they will research the history of the debt and any contractual issues that may be compromising payment. Expert debt recovery firms can also gather information about the debtor such as existing addresses,/contacts and identify key personnel who may authorize payment. This requires a lot of diligence and a lot of key information from the business that was in contact with the debtor. As a business you need to have as much information as possible about the international debtor i.e paperwork, signed contracts to have a chance at finding them. Valuable information such as invoices and lists of contacts will be very useful for the international debt recovery team you assign. 

Act quickly

Alot of businesses like to sustain a business relationship with an international business debtor without being stern and upfront. From the cases we have taken on. 80% of the time, the debtors have been given many chances by our clients which gives them enough time to disappear off the face of the earth or destroy any evidence of a business relationship. Businesses would benefit from getting in contact with an international debt recovery service as soon as possible as it will allow them to recover the debt owed swiftly and promptly. This in turn allows businesses to carry on with their services without worrying about a debtor who keeps them on a hook.  

Don’t be Cautious to Seek Legal Advice

Alot of businesses feel as that they don’t have enough knowledge on the international laws in terms of chasing debtors and are very reluctant to seek legal services externally. However studies have shown that it is more cost effective to seek legal counsel when chasing a debtor who is in a different country which has different laws and jurisdictions. It is vital for a business to know how to properly issue court proceedings against a debtor who is based overseas. By seeking advice, it allows your business to focus on business matters without hiring more staff to find a debtors overseas.

Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction

If you conduct business abroad, having these clauses allows you to control under which country’s law the contract falls under and which country’s courts can take legal action. We have a guide made by our expert international team which guides businesses on why your contract should specify jurisdiction if you do international business. It also gives advice on what to consider when choosing the law to apply to your contract. This is very important and it also shows other businesses where you stand within your international agreements.

8 June 2018