The period agreed between the parties may not exceed 60 days net or 45 days end of month. For periodic invoices (which group together several operations carried out during the same month for the same customer), the maximum period is 45 days net.
Controls oblige companies to mobilize their administrative and financial management to respond to administrative controls since, in the context of a control relating to the payment period, it is necessary to carry out a tedious but essential task of tallying all payment delays identified by the administration. In this context, it will be appropriate for the controlled company to:
Ensure the accuracy of the count made by the administration and
Check, for each late payment, whether there is a valid justification (for example: dispute over the conformity of the services rendered or the goods delivered).
No. As soon as the administration detects late payments, penalties may be incurred even if other invoices are paid before their due date so that the average payment period complies with the legal maximum periods.
Yes. Neither the regulations nor the administration make exceptions for claims within the same group of companies. Sanctions may be pronounced in the event that the only time overruns correspond to intra-group settlements.
The regulations on payment deadlines provide an important repressive mechanism for companies that do not respect contractual and legal deadlines. Thus, professionals who do not comply with the provisions on payment deadlines are liable to an administrative fine, the maximum amount of which is 75,000 euros for a natural person and now two million euros for a legal person (compared to 375,000 euros before the adoption of law no. 2016-1691 of December 9, 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life, known as the “Sapin II” law).
Yes, in addition to the financial penalty, a "name and shame" system has been put in place. This method consists of publicly naming companies with questionable practices in this area by publishing a list of the worst payers on the DGCCRF website.
These publicity measures could be reinforced within the framework of the PACTE law. Indeed, the text voted on at first reading in the National Assembly contained an amendment imposing on companies sentenced to an administrative fine to publish the decision, at their expense, in a journal of legal announcements.
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