Brussels, 7 July 2022 More than half (56%) of Belgian invoices in the business sector are not paid on time. According to business data specialist Altares Dun & Bradstreet based on its own Payment Study* of 183,600 companies. The smallest Belgian companies pay 'on time' in 46.9 percent of cases. Among the largest companies, this is only 12.4%.
Altares Dun & Bradstreet conducted research into business payments in 14 European countries. Denmark is the most virtuous country, with 90 percent of the companies collect their invoices on time. In Ireland entrepreneurs wait the longest for their money. There, less than a third (32.7 percent) of the companies pay within the agreed term.
Of the 14 countries surveyed, Belgium is in the top three of companies making the fastest progress in terms of payment amount. In 2019, 39.8 percent of companies paid on time - 4.2 percent less than today. At the front of the list is neighboring Netherlands with a 5 percent increase. Yet there is still room for improvement: a quarter (25.8%) still pay late there.
Large and small companies
On a European scale, a big difference is noticeable between the payment behavior of large, small and micro enterprises. The large Belgian entrepreneurs most often exceed the payment term, only 12.4% of them fall within the term. Micro enterprises are in the lead: almost half of them (46.9%) pay their invoice nicely on time. Among small companies, that comes down to about four in ten (36.7%). By way of comparison: in leader Denmark this is still 90 percent.
Joris Peeters, Chief Data Scientist at Altares Dun & Bradstreet: "Large companies often enforce longer payment terms and are in a position of power where they can better get away with a violation. Yet the entire economy would benefit if they, too, adhered to payment agreements without exception. This would improve the liquidity position of the business world, which generally leads to more investments."