Writ of Control | Top 10 Picks on How to Have A Successful Enforcement Experience Against a Business
We often see users of High Court enforcement services stumble over the same problem and that is suing the right person to then enforce against.
You might think that it was a pretty obvious fact to sue the name of the person who owes you money and in some ways, you would be right. But when it comes to the law on this point there are a few things we want to offer you as a way to avoid stumbling around when you get to the door of the debtor to try and enforce your judgment. These points apply to all types of judgments for all types of enforcement so here are our Top 10 Picks on How to Have a Successful Enforcement Experience |
For business debts, the starting place is to ensure you know the name of your customer right from the time they fill out their Customer Application Form, or you send them a quotation. Check the name given against Companies House to see if in fact they are a limited company or check their website for their business information.
If a customer is in fact a limited company, ask them to confirm this, and ensure issue your quotation or your invoices to the limited company.
On your customer application form or in your conversations with your customer ask them if they trade from their registered office, or do they have other trading addresses. Make a note of all the trading address information they give you. It will be particularly useful to have this if you have to enforce a judgment against one or more of those addresses.
If your company customer trades in another name, such as Bloggs Builders Limited trading as “Bloggs Builders and Decorators”, then make sure you have that on your file as again it becomes useful information if you want to issue a legal claim to recover what you are owed.
If your customer is not a limited company, then ask your customer about the set of your business. You can do this through a general conversation as part of the sales call, or through a Customer Application Form which you ask the customer to fill in – nowadays usually online.
Design your customer onboarding process so it handles the set-up of a customer in any of these types |
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Unincorporated Association i.e., the local Tennis Club
Ensure that the information you collect from your website or other records is run through a credit check particularly where it’s a company and they can be given a credit score before you start to do business with them.
If you find your customer is a partnership such as Fred and Mary Bloggs t/a Bloggs Builders, then make sure you invoice Fred and Mary Bloggs t/a Bloggs Builders on the invoice and not just Bloggs Builders. Ask Fred and Mary if they trade from home and note that on your file. Check you have their home addresses. Also check if they have a trading address so this is recorded as well.
If you find your customer is a sole trader such as Mary Bloggs then make sure you invoice Mary Bloggs at her business address but also ask for her home address. If it comes to the point of enforcing a judgment against Mary then both addresses can be added to the High Court Writ of Control, and attendances can be made at both the business and home address to look for goods that can be taken into legal control.
Be smart about getting this information. When you are still in the process of closing a sale, this is the best time to get all the information you need about your customer to protect yourself against a default on the account. Update your website and your internal processes to ask for confirmation of this information so it is in your records should you need it.
Issuing a money claim online, or even a regular county court claim is relatively easy, but it can all unravel at the enforcement stage if the debtor wants to get out of paying you.
Business Debtors can apply to set aside a judgment at a very late stage if you have sued them in the wrong legal name and that is a hassle you just don’t need.
So, take a moment to review your process for selling to and setting up a new business customer. If you include our experience from enforcing thousands of business judgments over the years, it will save you time and trouble in the future.
If you need any help on how to improve your approach to onboarding a new customer, including designing your onboarding process for customers, issuing letters before action, and enforcing a judgment we can help you strengthen your current process.