Large UK businesses must now report every six months on how quickly they pay their suppliers.
Reports must be made within 30 days of the end of each six month reporting period. Qualifying businesses which have a 31 December year end should therefore make their first report by 30 July.
9 key facts
- Reports must be made via the Government's online reporting service (there is no requirement to publish the information on a business' own website).
- Only large businesses are required to report. A business is in scope for a financial year if, on its last two balance sheet dates, it exceeded two or all of the following thresholds: 1) £36m turnover; 2) £18 million balance sheet total; 3) 250 employees.
- Large companies that have one or more subsidiaries must only make a report if they meet additional group thresholds (see paragraphs 15 to 22 of the Government guidance).
- Each company or LLP that is in scope must report on its own figures – reports cannot be made at a group level.
- Only UK-registered businesses are required to report.
- Businesses must report in relation to all contracts for the purchase of goods, services or intangible property (including intellectual property). Contracts for financial services, and contracts that do not have a significant connection with the UK are out of scope. Contracts between different members of the same group are in scope.
- The information that must be reported includes some statistics (for example, average time taken to pay suppliers) and some narrative (for example, a description of the standard payment terms of a business).
- Anyone can view published reports and download a spreadsheet summarising all of the reports that have been made to date.
- It is a criminal offence by a company, and each of its directors, if the company fails to publish a report (with the requirement information) within the 30 filing period. Knowingly publishing a misleading, false or deceptive report is also a criminal offence. Both offences are punishable by a fine.