- I heard that France has legislation about the lay out and content of your invoices. Is that true? Where can I find the rules?
- If a debtor in Germany does not pay, what is the easiest way to collect your money? They have a very fast procedure called “Mahnverfahren”, can we use that?
- Do we have a retention of title in Germany? If yes, are there certain rules that we have to take into account?
- I read a quote of one of your lawyers from Italy that “a bad settlement is better than a good verdict”. How do you know what is a good settlement? Can your lawyers help us with the negotiation?
- Is it as easy as in the Netherlands to recover (collections and legal) costs in the UK?
1. The Articles L.441-3 and following of the French commercial code require the following items on the French invoices: the names of the parties, their addresses, date of the sale or service provision, the due date of payment, the quantity, a precise description of the goods or services provided and the unit price excluding VAT of the products sold but also any price reduction applying on the date of the sale or provision of services and directly linked to this sale or service provision, the discount conditions applying (in case of payment prior to the due date) and the rate of the penalties. The articles R.123-237 and 238 of the French commercial code add some extra requirements such as the company number of the seller and the place of registration, and its statutory information (head office, legal form…). Herby an interesting link in French http://www.apce.com/pid857/factures.html?espace=1&tp=1.
2. Will follow a.s.a.p.
3. Will follow a.s.a.p.
4. We base this estimate on the particular facts of each case, such as the value of the claim, the costs of proceeding, how much time has already been spent on a case and what is the best possible result that we can get.
For example: you have a claim for €25’000.00, of which the debtor disputes €5’000.00. He then proposes to pay €20’000.00 within 7 days, without interest. We would advise to accept this offer, because the alternative, commencing proceedings in Italy, would entail the following:
1. We would have to wait for at least 3 months to obtain an order against the debtor;
2. When this has been obtained, we can commence initial proceedings;
3. Based on a possible judgment, we would then have to execute same.
These steps can take anywhere between 1 and 3 years, and even longer.
5. A) Much depends on what the parties have agreed in the contract and, in particular, which law applies to the contract. Under English common law, the courts will usually give effect to a contractual cost clause unless there is a good reason why not to. Extravagant and unconscionable amounts may very well constitute a good reason why not to allow them and, therefore, each case is assessed on its own merit. If nothing was agreed in the contract, then late payment legislation provides for default costs, which range from £40.00 to £100.00 depending on the size of the debt claim.