Payment deadline in a commercial transaction - why is it important?


On April 28, 2013, the act on payment terms in commercial transactions entered into force. The main purpose of the act is to combat a serious problem for many entrepreneurs - blockages in payment transactions in economic turnover. Why is the payment deadline so important?

Who do the provisions on payment terms apply to?

The scope of the Act covers not only public entities, but also entrepreneurs. The provisions apply to commercial transactions to which the exclusive parties are:

  • entrepreneurs within the meaning of the provisions of art. 4 of the Entrepreneurs' Law,
  • entities conducting the activities referred to in Art. 3 of the Entrepreneurs' Law,
  • entities referred to in art. 3 sec. 1 of the Act of January 29, 2004 - Public Procurement Law,
  • freelancers,
  • branches and representative offices of foreign entrepreneurs,
  • entrepreneurs from European Union member states, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states - parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation.

Payment deadline - the most important regulations

In a situation where the parties to a commercial transaction (with the exception of a public entity which is a medical entity within the meaning of Article 4 (1) (2) to (4) of the Act on Medical Activities), provided for a payment term longer than 30 days in the contract, the creditor may demand statutory interest after the expiry of 30 days, counted from the date of performance and delivery to the debtor of an invoice or bill confirming the delivery of goods or performance of a service, until the date of payment, but not longer than until the payment due date.

On the other hand, if the payment date is not specified in the contract, the creditor, without a summons, is entitled to statutory interest after 30 days, counted from the date of performance of the payment to the date of payment, but not longer than until the payment date.

The most important change is the provision that the payment term specified in the contract may not exceed 60 days, counted from the date of delivery of the invoice or bill to the debtor, confirming the delivery of the goods or the performance of the service, unless the parties agree otherwise and provided that the arrangement is not socially inconsistent. - the economic purpose of the contract and the principles of social coexistence, and is objectively justified, taking into account the property of the good or service.

What interest for the creditor?

In commercial transactions (excluding transactions in which the debtor is a public entity), the creditor, without being summoned, is entitled to interest specified in Art. 56 par. 1 of the Tax Code. As a rule, they may be higher, provided that such an assumption has been made by the parties to the transaction. To accrue interest, the following conditions must be met:

  • the creditor has performed his performance,
  • the creditor has not received payment within the period specified in the contract or in the summons.