How to Deal With Late Payment

Previously, we tackled the ways on how you would be able to identify the types of difficult clients, and how you would be able to fire them. We have discussed about a type of client who pays late, or refuses to pay for the project you have worked for. 

Asking a client to pay you is never wrong. However, you have to do it promptly, and professionally. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, because in the first place, you should have been paid without having to ask for it, right? If you are just starting as a freelance voice actor, you may experience this a lot. Do not worry though. The Voice Realm will help you survive this dilemma. 

Before asking the client for payment, you need to ask yourself some questions too. Have I done the project as agreed upon? What was our agreement regarding the payment? Will it be once I am done with it, or once I have delivered it? If you have answered all these questions and all  answers do not agree with the agreement, then you should start asking the client about your salary. 

What are the things that I need to consider before invoicing my client?

Consider reading the contract

The contract is probably the most important document that you need to read thoroughly before starting any voiceover project. Both parties need to sign a legal document that includes everything that a client and an employee needs to know about the job, like the payment system.  It is important that the document is legal, because this will serve as your protection when things go wrong. For example, if disputes will be made in the future, you can always use the contract as a reference.

Before asking a client for payment, you need to consider the deal that has been made in your contract. The agreement should include when you will send invoices, the days that you will be paid, how much will you be paid, when can you consider a payment late, additional fees, penalties, and the likes. You have to be very keen on these details because you might be accusing a client for not paying on time. Turns out, the client is still on the time frame, and you are just no reading the contract carefully.

The contract must have a clear indication about important matters such as the parties involved in the project. Another important thing that should be in the contract is the delivery date, and of course, the terms of payment, including details about penalties if ever original payment date is overdue. The passages on the contract must clarify who owns the intellectual property of the recording, or project, after the project is done; also a passage clarifying what should be done in case of a dispute. The best thing to do is consult a legal entity about the inclusions that should  be in the contract. 

Though the contract will not guarantee that the clients will pay you, it will definitely encourage them to pay you on time.


Consider how often, and what time of the month you sent an invoice

Sending them the invoice is a reminder that you have done your part of the project, and now it is time for them to do theirs, which is to pay. You need to consider the times you have sent your invoice. If the date in the agreement has come, you can always send an invoice without hesitating, because both parties agreed on it. For example, you and the client has agreed that the payment will be made within a month, or payments will be released within 7 to 30 days after finishing the project, it is totally okay to send them invoices from time to time until you get paid.

There is nothing wrong with sending an invoice on a weekly basis. If you plan to automate your invoicing, you can consider having it sent on Saturdays and Sundays. Clients will be reminded that they need to pay you for a job that you have done, if you consider sending your invoices weekly.  It is also advisable to send your invoices on the first day, and on the last day of the month.

If you are doing these things, and they are not responding, you should be alarmed, but do not panic. If you think sending invoices is such a hassle for you, you can also consider asking for payment in advance. However, this will be agreed upon between you and the client. You can actually ask for the 50 percent up front before starting with the project, and the other half once the project is done. This will give you a feeling of security, for this means the client is really going to pay, and they also have confidence in your output.

Consider if the client received your invoice.

If you have been sending them invoices and you are not receiving any response, it will not hurt if you would send them an email or call them, to make sure that they are receiving the mails. You can call them to check if you have the correct email address.

Consider providing the client with a detailed record of your work.

Besides securing a contract, you need to have a transparent record of your work. This will protect you if something unwanted happens, like if you would have to do some legal action regarding the payment matters. If you have precise and transparent records, you would have proof. You can use apps where you can keep your log ins. Do not delete the conversations that happened between you and the client. These things will serve as concrete proof that you have accomplished the work that they asked you to do.

What are the ways to ask for payment professionally?

Small business owners, and freelance voice actors like you should be firm, yet professional in requesting the late payment. There are many things that you can do to ask your clients for the payment in a professional manner.

Send an email.

Communication is very important in a small business. If you have considered everything that we have listed above, and still, they have not paid you, you can always send an email to your client.  It is never wrong to send a polite email telling them that the payment is past due. You can outline in your email the dues that they need to pay. You can also remind them that you will be charging fees for late payments, as agreed upon the contract. But when do you need to send a payment request email to a client? Besides sending a generic email of your invoice, you can always send an email requesting for payment, before, and after the payment’s due date. This is not rude at all. You just want to show them that you value your work.

How do you construct your email when asking a client for a payment? The first time you send an email, it should be friendly, concise, and informative. But, if you are writing the email when the payment is already late, you can shift from being friendly to firm, and then you should emphasize in the email that the payment is overdue. Also, do not forget to attach the invoice in your email.

Here are sample email templates that you can use:

You can use this template when getting an update for the first time.

Subject: Voiceover Work Invoice #825 Past Due

Hi The Voice Realm,

I hope you’re well. This is a reminder that Invoice #825 was due on Friday, January 31 and is now days overdue. I know I sent the invoice at a busy time and want to ensure you received it. Attached in this email is the original invoice.

Payment by check or pay by direct transfer is both acceptable. Please let me know if you have any questions about the invoice.

Thank you,

Patricia Lopez


This second template can be used to ask for an update when the invoice is weeks late.

Subject: Voiceover Work Invoice #825 Past Due

Hi The Voice Realm,

I hope you’re well. I’m contacting you in regards to invoice #825. I have previously sent an email regarding this matter. This is a friendly reminder that the payment was due on April 5th and is now two weeks past due. Please send payment as soon as possible by check or direct transfer.

As per our payment terms in the contract, you will be charged a late fee of 2% per month for overdue payment.

I’ve attached the invoice to this email for your reference. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Can you please confirm that you’ve received this email? Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Patricia Lopez


Call the client.

If they are not responding through their email address, you can always call them to reach out to them. When calling, you need to identify yourself, and talk to them calmly. You also need to talk directly to the person who is in charge. Be calm, and polite. Being angry will not help you sort out the issue immediately. Explain that the reason why you are calling is because you have sent multiple emails, but you are not getting any response. If possible, you can ask the person in charge to secure the payment over the phone.

If this is the first time that you have worked with this client, you can always double check the details that they have, like your card details, and email addresses. Be professional. Secure the date on when you can expect the payment to be in your card, and always thank the person you talked to.


If you have talked to them on the phone and came to an agreement that they would pay you at a specific time and date, and they did not comply, maybe, it is best to cut ties with them. You can also seek some legal advice to help you get your money. 

These are the ways that will help you deal with late payments from a difficult client.

Have you experienced dealing with late payments from a client before? How did you deal with it?



Previously, we tackled the ways on how you would be able to identify the types of difficult clients, and how you would be able to fire them. We have discussed about a type of client who pays late, or refuses to pay for the project you have worked for. 

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