What Options Does Your Business Have if You Have Not Been Paid by a Customer or Client?

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As a business owner, you spend a great deal of time and effort providing services, labor, materials, and/or equipment to complete a customer’s project. You expect to be paid for your services and it can be devastating to your business if you are not paid. Unfortunately, in today’s world, payment disputes are becoming very common in every industry. As a business owner, what can you do to obtain payment for the money that you are owed?

1.)    Send a Demand Letter

You are likely more interested in growing your business and providing quality work than spending hours on email and the phone calls chasing down payment. Sending a demand letter can be an effective way to put the other side on notice that you are serious and intend to invoke your rights. This begs the question: what is a demand letter?  This short letter lays out the facts, makes a specific demand for payment, and in more serious cases threatens a lawsuit. Hiring an attorney to draft and send a demand letter on your behalf invokes an extra level of seriousness that you are aware of your rights and intend to be compensated for your hard work.

2.)    Mediation or Arbitration

Litigation is expensive and is generally a last resort for many parties because it takes away from what you are owed and can potentially hurt a business’s reputation. Sometimes mediation or arbitration is the better way to end a conflict. Mediation is generally a more informal process whereby the mediator obtains relevant information and assists the parties in reaching an agreed upon outcome. Whereas arbitration is more formal, allows each party to present their case, and renders a legally binding decision that can be transformed into a judgment. Depending on the nature of your business and type of services you perform, adding a mediation or arbitration provision into your contracts may be a useful tool.  However, it’s not always the best option so speak with an experienced attorney before deciding whether to incorporate these provisions into your contracts. 

3.)    File suit for Breach of Contract

Sometimes litigation is inevitable, and you will need to file a lawsuit and go to Court to resolve the dispute. This form of dispute resolution is lengthy, costly, and often becomes very complex. However, sometimes it is the only way to assert your rights when dealing with a party unwilling to negotiate and furnish payment. We typically recommend exploring alternative avenues before filing a lawsuit; however, you must be prepared to launch a Court battle if necessary. 


The biggest mistake that we see is the absence of a written contract.  It is essential that you conduct business with a written contract.  REMEMBER, it must be a well written contract with provisions that are drafted to protect you and your business.  Not all contracts are good contracts.  Make sure you have a well written contract that provides you with the right options and best chance to recover your payment in the event of a dispute. 

McCormick Law & Consulting assists many entrepreneurs and business owners to avoid, resolve and litigate disputes in your business.  We are here to assist you in developing the right course of legal action to protect your business and seek the best outcome possible.

Client Reviews

We are proud to have more than 100 five-star reviews across Google, Avvo, and other platforms.
  • Being a first time business owner, you want to make sure you're making all the right decisions. Choosing McCormick Law & Consulting, along with Emma and Taylor, made the process so easy! Emma understood right away what my primary concerns were, and was able to execute everything in a very timely manner! She was extremely easy to talk to and she took the time to explain everything to me, settling my nerves with taking this next big step. Taylor made the process of making it all official completely stress free.
    Crystal G.
  • McCormick Law & Consulting was integral in the creation of our non-profit. We promised our 12 y/o son that we would keep fighting cancer for kids like him but we couldn’t have kept that promise without John McCormick and his team. We were hooked at our first meeting when John simply asked “ Tell me about you son.” McCormick Law and Consulting took care of all the legal work while allowing us to focus on our mission. John and his team continue to be a great resource and supporter of D-Feet Cancer The Dalton Fox Foundation. We couldn’t have asked for better legal representation. Thank you McCormick Law & Consulting.

    William F.
  • I definitely could have created my new business, Davis Wealth Management LLC, but boy that would have been a mistake. Because business formation is not an area in which I practice, I had no idea where my blind spots were, and let me tell you there were plenty. The knowledge I received from the firm is invaluable.

    John McCormick and his firm are very reasonably priced and quickly and efficiently assisted me in creating my new business. It was completely turn key; they did everything for me.  I can't recommend their services enough. Also, huge shoutout to Taylor who kept me informed every step of the way!

    James D.
  • I highly recommendMcCormick Law & Consulting! My Father and I live in two separate states and the properties he needed legal services for are in Virginia. I reach out to Taylor on two separate occasions and she was very responsive and professional. The first time we used their services it went so smoothly that by the time I needed their services again I knew I could just send over the necessary documents, pay my invoice and rest assured it would all get taken care of. They eliminated the stress that comes with handling some else's affairs and I so appreciate that.
    Heather C.
  • From the the very 1st conversation with their office it was clear they would be responsive to all my questions and any support with my business. They are relatable and make their customers feel comfortable with any questions and or concerns that might arise while using their services. I am happy to have found them to support me with my small business needs!
    Lisa N.
  • I can't say enough great things about the professional team at McCormick Law & Consulting! We really had no idea of who to trust and who we could count on for quick and professional service in the Hampton Roads area for getting our new business up and running smoothly and the Team at McCormick Law & Consulting really knocked it out of the park with us!
    Jerry G.
  • I had the good fortune of working with McCormick Law on a business sales contract. I sent them the initial draft provided by the buyer along with a few notes about my specific concerns. They carefully went through the document and provided meaningful additions and corrections that better protected my interests. Thanks to Bobby and John for their personalized attention.
    Arthur B.
  • Mr. McCormick and his entire team were amazing! They assisted me in a legal matter concerning a business dispute. Mr. McCormick is highly experienced, ethical, dedicated, and was prepared to fight my legal matter in court if necessary. I thank the entire team for believing in me and would highly recommend them to anyone!!
    Jeanette L.
  • We used McCormick Law to start up another LLC and it was a great experience. I have used other lawyers and attorneys in the past and I experienced delayed responses and it was what I have come to expect.From the first interactions with Robert and his team, I was surprised to how responsive they were. I even mentioned to my new business partner that this was not normal and I was very happy.Needless to say I will be using McCormick Law for all of my business needs in the future.
    Colton S.
  • I utilized this firm for help on a real estate matter. I felt comfortable with the advice I received and am happy to continue doing business with them and referring others to the practice. Everyone I engaged with was welcoming and made the process very easy.
    Christian S.
  • John and his team were great to work with. They provided advice for starting my business and set everything up in an efficient and timely manner. I will definitely recommend them to others!

    Elizabeth H.
  • I contacted McCormick Law firm to register my moving service in NC. They did an outstanding job. Completed the process way sooner than I expected. Thank you, Taylor.

    Steve T.

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    McCormick Law, PC d/b/a McCormick Law & Consulting and Driving Defense Law is a boutique law firm located in Norfolk, Virginia & Raleigh, North Carolina, that seamlessly serves clients throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Whether you are a new or existing client of the firm, McCormick Law, PC, cannot represent you on any new matter until the firm has made a determination that there is no conflict of interest and that it is willing to accept the new engagement. The testimonials on this website reflect the real-life experiences and opinions of our clients. However, the experiences are personal to those particular clients, and may not necessarily be representative of all clients. We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all clients will have the same experience. Your outcome may vary.

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