Being an entrepreneur can be a lot of fun. But there are also some things you can almost bet on: you’ll probably hate your taxes and sooner or later, you’ll have a debtor that will “forget” your invoice. When that happens, you need to be prepared! That’s why it’s a good idea to know the name of a trusted debt collection agency before you need them. Not sure what you need to look out for when choosing a debt collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau)? Let us help you out with this article!
Read reviews and ask around
Just like you wouldn’t ‘just’ buy a sofa without reading the reviews or visit a city without checking out the reviews of its sights, you can’t just decide to hire an agency on the spot. Always read their Google reviews or reviews on trusted websites, such as Trustpilot. Look for lots of reviews over many months/years – and obviously you want to see as many five star reviews as possible! If that still makes you doubt, it’s also a good idea to ask around. You probably know other entrepreneurs and there’s a very big possibility they’ve dealt with debtors that weren’t paying their bills too.
Choose an agency for your sector
Of course it’s possible to find debt collectors that don’t really specialize in anything. But many do! So that’s why it might be a good idea to look around for an agency that specializes in your area of expertise. For instance they don’t work for major corporations, but only for small business owners. Check out if there’s any agency that really fits your company.
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Compare the top agencies
Have you found a few agencies you like? Then you can compare them based on their success rate, their pricing and more. Or just choose based on your gut feeling! Good to know: a decent debt collection agency won’t charge you for their services, usually they use ‘no cure, no pay’. This means that your debtor gets charged a percentage/fee on top of what they owe you, and the debt collection agency only gets paid if they’re successful in retrieving your money.
Save the number of the agency you’ve chosen
Of course we hope you never have to call the debt collection agency you’ve chosen. But just in case: make sure you have their name and number written down. A good agency can even help you with other things if needed. For instance, if you rent out a second home and your renters are unreliable, they can help you with the termination of your rental agreement (Dutch: ontbinding huurovereenkomst). You never know when you might need to contact them to hunt one of your clients!
Of course, you might just decide this is all too much hassle. You can always wait it out – you never know your clients are all angels and all pay in time. We sure hope you never have to call a debt collection agency!