56% of Belgian entrepreneurs paid invoices late

Reading Time 5 minutes | Written by Michiel Scheepens | June 22, 2023

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Brussels, June 22, 2023 – 56% van de Belgische ondernemingen betaalde haar facturen in 2022 niet op tijd. Dat blijkt uit cijfers van bedrijfsdataexpert Altares Dun & Bradstreet. In Noord-Europa betaalden alleen de Engelse (57.2%) en Ierse bedrijven (66%) minder rekeningen binnen de overeengekomen betaaltermijn. België staat daarmee in de top drie laatbetalers in het rapport van Altares Dun & Bradstreet.

Belgian companies barely changed their payment behavior in 2022. A year earlier, 44% of entrepreneurs also paid neatly on time. However, a slight difference is visible compared to 2019: back then, only 40% of entrepreneurs paid within the agreed deadline.

Large business owners pay later

Altares Dun & Bradstreet's analysis also looked at whether a company's size affected the payment amount. The data show that only 18.8% of large businesses paid invoices on time in the last quarter of 2022. The smallest businesses (45.2% on time), small (39.2%) and medium-sized businesses (33.3%) fared just slightly better.

Financial and service sectors in the lead

Payment trends also varied by sector last year. The financial sector leads the way, with 52.4% business owners who stayed within the payment deadline. Following in second place is the services sector, where 49.5% were on time. If we compare Q4 2021 to Q4 2022 here, that's even a drop of 8%. Agriculture-forestry-hunting and fishing closes out the top three fastest payers in 2022 with 49.1%.

Payments in the mining industry (34.6%) and transportation (35.8%) were less smooth. Suppliers in the manufacturing industry also saw payment terms as a challenge, with only 37.2% being on time.

Barry de Goeij, Data Scientist at Altares Dun & Bradstreet: "Traditionally, large companies were often able to negotiate longer payment terms from their suppliers, especially if they were SMEs. The relevant legislation was further tightened in February 2022, addressing a number of loopholes to further increase payment terms. This means that trading parties can no longer contractually fix terms of more than 60 calendar days. Macro and microeconomic factors always affect payment behavior among business owners, but despite the rules in place, there is still a lot of work to be done for many companies."

Download here the full study.

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Michiel Scheepens

Marketing Leader Benelux

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