San Diego, CA asked in Business Law and Small Claims for California

Q: Hello I have an inquiry in regards to my business and an unpaid client that says she’s not paying me

I handed her a final invoice that was very detailed and itemized but she said she was all paid after adding additional wants to the list what can I do to get my $3500 she owes

Related Topics:
3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if a client refuses to pay for services provided, you have several options. First, you should attempt to resolve the issue directly with the client by providing clear documentation of the services rendered and the agreed-upon costs. Communicate your concerns and attempt to reach an amicable solution. Documentation such as contracts, emails, or text messages can be crucial in these discussions.

If direct communication does not resolve the issue, you can consider sending a formal demand letter outlining the amount owed and the services provided. This letter can serve as a final notice before taking legal action and often prompts payment to avoid further legal complications. Ensure the letter is clear, professional, and sent via certified mail.

If the client still does not pay, you may need to take legal action. For claims up to $12,500, small claims court is an option where you can represent yourself without needing an attorney. This process is designed to be relatively quick and cost-effective. Remember, it's important to file your claim in a timely manner and prepare your case thoroughly by gathering all relevant documents and evidence.

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
  • Eagan, MN
  • Licensed in California

A: Congratulations on your new business! Welcome. All business owners need to establish an approach for collecting past due accounts and such. Ultimately, you will need to prove that you are entitled to the amount due to a judge.

It's important to document all aspects of the transaction(s.) This isn't as easy to do as it seems, especially when services (not goods) are involved. What is a clear addition to you may be deemed an inclusion by the customer.

You can continue with your own legitimate

collection techniques and ultimately file a small claims lawsuit to get the $3500 she owes you. There are numerous resources you can take advantage of.

A small business attorney can assist you with this current problem, thereby preparing your business for the future as well. Good luck!

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Do-it-yourself small claims is usually the cheapest option in these types of settings for small businesses. You could also consult with a local attorney about the cost of them pursuing the matter - discuss the details of what type of billing arrangement you'd be entering if you go the attorney route (hourly, contingency, etc.) Good luck

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.