When do I have a legal obligation to pay my suppliers?

There is a regulation against late payment and regulating when I have a legal obligation to pay my suppliers. This period is set at a maximum of 30 calendar days for business-to-business payments; however, it can be extended to 60 days if the parties agree.

Therefore, any agreements whereby a customer imposes payment deadlines of more than 60 days on its suppliers are null and void.

Note. However, the period of time referred to in the preceding paragraphs counts from the time the customer receives the goods or services, not before. Therefore, if it is agreed that the buyer has a period of time, not exceeding 30 days, to verify and accept the goods or services, the period for payment is counted from that verification.

Rights. In the event of a delay of more than 30 or 60 days (depending on the agreement between companies), it allows the supplier to claim interest for late payment as soon as the agreed or legally established payment deadline is met (if no interest has been agreed, it can claim the interest that is officially fixed every six months; 8% in the first half of 2021).

Whatis the reality? Some companies continue to impose longer payment periods, but we must bear in mind that the courts have reiterated that the maximum period of 60 days is imperative, and that any agreement fixing a longer period is null and void:

The courts have ruled.

  • That the payment period does not start to run from the date of the invoice (the general rule is that it runs from receipt of the goods or services).
  • Another clause that stated that payments due in August would be carried over to 10 September for "holidays" has been annulled.
  • A covenant extending payment deadlines to the 10th and 25th of each month has been annulled, provided that they extended the payment deadline beyond the maximum 60 days provided for by law.

Negotiation. If any of your customers try to impose payment terms longer than those established by law, warn them that such agreements are null and void.

A rule is in the pipeline that will impose penalties on companies that negotiate payment terms longer than 60 days.

At Confialia, business advisors always attentive to offer you the best service.