Measures against late payment in commercial transactions: comply with the 30-day payment deadline in order to be eligible for subsidies of more than €30,000
Substantial changes have recently been implemented in Law 3/2004 (Late Payment Law) establishing measures against late payment in commercial transactions between companies and between companies and the Administration. Thus, the obligatory period for payment to suppliers will be 30 calendar days, extendable up to a maximum of 60 calendar days, if this is reflected in the contract between the parties.
This, added to the new features incorporated by the Crea y Crece Act and the amendment of the General Subsidies Act, means that compliance with this deadline is now a mandatory requirement for all companies wishing to access subsidies of more than €30,000.
Last December saw the entry into force of the latest regulatory changes to Law 3/2004, which establishes measures to combat late payment in commercial transactions.
The general objective of this directive is to promote greater transparency in determining and complying with payment deadlines in commercial transactions. To this end, the legislation includes a series of measures to prevent excessively long payment periods in commercial transactions between companies and between companies and the public sector.
This law therefore aims to combat late payment of monetary debts and abuse, to the detriment of the creditor, by regulating payment periods in commercial transactions involving the sale of goods or the provision of services between companies or between companies and the Administration.
Determination of the time limit for payment
Article 4 of the aforementioned Law thus establishes that the payment deadline to be met by the debtor shall be 30 calendar days after the date of receipt of the goods or provision of the services. This payment period may be extended, if so agreed by both parties by means of a contract, although in no case may it exceed 60 calendar days.
In addition, suppliers must send the invoice or equivalent request for payment to their customers within 15 calendar days of the date of actual receipt of the goods or provision of the services.
Amendments to the Law on Subsidies
Following the approval of the Crea y Crece Law, the General Law on Subsidies has been amended, introducing a new section which prevents companies that fail to comply with the payment deadlines established in the Law on Late Payment from obtaining the status of beneficiary or collaborating entity for subsidies of more than €30,000. In other words, compliance with the deadlines set out in this regulation will be a mandatory requirement for all companies -regardless of their size- wishing to access subsidies of more than €30,000.
In addition, the definition of eligible expenditure is modified so that expenditure incurred by a beneficiary undertaking in its commercial operations will be eligible only if it has been paid within the above-mentioned time limit. Otherwise, they will not be considered eligible expenditure.
The method of accreditation of compliance with this requirement will be determined by the specific regulations of each call for applications and by the funding body in question, and may be claimed from the time of application until final certification after the execution and justification of the project for which the application is made.