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Chadia Lombre’s Story in De Morgen

Our Freelancers in Beligum member Chadia Lombre was featured in an article in the Flemish newspaper De Morgen with a heavy testimonial about having to wait a long time to get paid. Read the full article here.

Survey Results: Late Payments Among Freelancers

The article related to the survey we did in April-May 2023 with Accountable and openthebox regarding late payments. The results were quite shocking. Here is a summary of the findings:

  • 6 out of 10 freelancers are not paid on time.
  • In 1 out of 3 cases, a client pays after the deadline, and in 16% of cases, they even need at least one reminder.
  • A quarter of freelancers are waiting for at least €5,000 in payments.
  • This has an impact on the financial stability of freelancers, especially considering that the majority (52%) work for 5 or fewer clients.
  • Some of the overdue payments can also be attributed to the freelancers themselves. Freelancers often seem “too trusting” or “too good” in their collaborations with clients.
  • For example, 6 out of 10 freelancers do not establish clear payment agreements and terms in a contract.
  • Only 10% of freelancers dare to ask for an advance payment upfront.
  • 1 out of 3 freelancers explicitly say they trust their clients entirely on their word and therefore do not enter into legal contracts or ask for advances
  • 47% of freelancers are unaware of the financial health of the clients they work with.

Actions to Ensure Timely Payments

What you can do as a freelancer to ensure you get paid on time (and reduce stress if you have to wait for an invoice to be paid):

  • Have a financial buffer
  • Spread your income. Diversify your client base so that you don’t depend on just one client
  • Use job matching agencies like GIGHOUSE or payrolling services like Tentoo. They will pay you first and then chase the money from the client for themselves. Read more about them on our Partner Offers page here.
  • Ensure you have watertight contracts. Mind that a lack of a clear agreement might have impact on your professional liability.
  • Send your invoice as soon as possible, and chase the payment immediately if late, use an accounting tool like Accountable to get automatic notifications reminding you about deadlines.
  • Check the financial health of the company beforehand using tools like Openthebox.
  • Ask for an advance payment, especially from new clients. If it’s a no-go, consider not entering an agreement. However, we are aware that some (larger) companies and organisations might not have a system in place to deal with advanced payments. Then a solution can be to check with other freelancers working or who have worked there if they have been paid correctly.

Not getting paid?

What to do if you are not getting paid? Read our blog post on what steps to take here.

Other mentions

Next to the article in De Morgen; the late payments of freelancers in Belgium were also featured in Business AM, L’Echo and Nextconomy .

Find the articles here:

Read the full articles for more insights.

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