FREE Demand Letter Template

If you plan on taking your client to Small Claims Court, sending a Demand Letter is your first step. Sometimes all it takes to get your client to pay is the threat of legal action, so simply sending a demand letter may move them to action. Depending on your unique situation and your willingness to roll up your sleeves, this may be an intermediate and less costly step worth taking before you retain a collection agency or lawyer.

Dear [CLIENT],

According to our contract dated [DATE], you are required to pay for my services upon [XX] days upon receiving an invoice. My last invoice was sent to you on [DATE].

As of today, payment is now [XX] days overdue. This amounts to a breach of contract. Please make your payment no later than [DATE]. If you fail to respond, I will be compelled to pursue legal action or other measures.

Attached for your ease of reference are copies of our contract, email correspondences, and other documents confirming the [completion/delivery] of my services and your obligations under the terms of our contract.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.



Important Notes

  1. It’s vital that you keep the tone professional and unemotional. While it may be temporarily satisfying to make your feelings known to your client in writing, bringing emotion into the equation puts a debtor into a defensive mindset and lowers the chances they will pay you without a fight.

  2. You may have a lawyer friend who doesn’t specialize in collections and is willing to sign and/or write a Demand Letter for you. Think twice before you take that friend up on their offer. Once you’ve had someone outside your own company make an attempt to collect, any collection agency or lawyer will consider that a “first attempt.” Once an unsuccessful first attempt has been made, collection agencies and law firms will consider it a more difficult account. Many will refuse to handle the account at that point and others will charge a much higher rate.

  3. You can email the Demand Letter if you want, but if there’s a chance you might follow through and take your client to Small Claims Court, make sure you send a copy via certified mail with return receipt requested. If you end up going to Small Claims Court, you’ll need this to prove your client received the letter.