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Protecting businesses against late payments

Each year across Europe thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are negatively affected by late payment. To protect European businesses against late payment, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive (EU) 2011/7 on combating late payment in commercial transactions between public authorities and businesses or between businesses. In the post-coronavirus recovery period it plays even bigger role as an effective tool to protect businesses across Europe.


Main provisions of the Directive

  • Public authorities have to pay for the goods and services that they procure within 30 days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days.
  • Enterprises have to pay their invoices within 60 days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and provided it is not grossly unfair.
  • Automatic entitlement to interest for late payment and €40 minimum as compensation for recovery costs.
  • Statutory interest of at least 8% above the European Central Bank’s reference rate.
  • EU countries may continue maintaining or bringing into force laws and regulations which are more favourable to the creditor than the provisions of the Directive.

Read more

Late payment directive

Late Payment Directive 2011/7/EU - FAQs


Downloadable materials

Downloadable materials