‘Tis the season to be wary…
At this time of year, many of our clients are starting to wind down in the lead up to the holiday period – or perhaps more realistically, madly trying to get everything done before the annual Xmas/New Year shutdown.
Past experience has shown us that there is a tendency for some opportunists out there to take advantage of the holiday period to serve a formal demand close to, during, or that will expire in the holiday period. This usually occurs by mailing the demand in the week prior to Christmas.
Given that some demands, such as a Creditor’s Statutory Demand for Payment of Debt and payment claims under the Building and Construction Security of Payment Act, are subject to strict statutory compliance periods, it is important to ensure that you are not caught out by a demand that arrives during the holiday period. The consequences of missing a time limit to respond to these types of formal demands, are serious and restrict your ability to dispute the demand or negotiate a settlement of the sum in dispute.
We suggest the following steps to help safeguard your business:
- Review your accounts payable in the lead up to the holiday break. Are there any accounts that are outside trading terms? Are there any creditors that are likely to issue a Statutory Demand or Payment Claim at the end of the year as a way of applying pressure?
- If you are shutting down over the holiday period, make sure you communicate this to customers and suppliers. It can be as easy as a simple message in your email signature.
- If your registered office is located at a professional services firm, have you checked whether they are shutting over the holiday period and, if so, for how long ? Have you made enquiries about what steps they are taking to monitor the receipt of your mail in that period?
Don’t allow the New Year to get off to a bad start. – A few simple steps can save you a lot of time, heartache and money.
For those of you who use our office as your registered office, please note that we will close at 5:00pm Friday 20 December 2013 and re-open at 9:00am Monday 6 January 2014.