Business Debt Service - June 2019

Advice NI Business Debt Helpline provides advice on self-employed cash flow issues

In this case the client was a self-employed sole trader who contacted the Business Debt Service as he was experiencing difficulties meeting his supplier payments.  The client was a joiner and had been trading since 2012.  However due to now paying his suppliers in full, as opposed to 30-60 days credit which he had done previously, he made the difficult decision to give notice to his full-time employee.

After speaking to the adviser it was apparent that there were no debt issues in this case, just a lack of cash flow.  After the client had paid rent, electric, HMRC, Insurance and immediate payments for materials, he had no funds left to pay himself and his staff until sales were made. This put the client under a lot of stress and even though his business was viable with orders on the books he could see no alternative but to reduce his work force.

The Business Debt adviser worked alongside a Welfare Reform adviser at Advice NI to determine that the client may be entitled to Universal credit, and that his income was maximised.

In addition to this, the adviser put the client in touch with the Federation of Small Businesses, which enabled him to open a FSB business current account provided by the Co-Operative Bank. This gave the client free everyday banking, in addition to an overdraft facility.

The client was delighted as his cash flow improved. This allowed him to compete with bigger businesses and demand up to 120 days’ credit. In addition, the client was able to retain his full time employee.

You can contact the Advice NI Business Debt Line in confidence and for free on 0800 083 8018 or by emailing