Invoice finance: nullifying the ban on invoice assignment contract clauses
- Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
- Part of:
- Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Act and Business enterprise
- 6 December 2014
- Last updated:
- 9 August 2015, see all updates
This consultation has concluded
Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
Detail of feedback received
We received 20 responses to the consultation. These mainly came from:
- business representative bodies
- invoice financiers and law practitioners
We also had some responses from large businesses in the retail and construction industry. A full list of respondents is available in Annex A of the summary of responses.
This consultation ran from
We’re asking for views on our proposals to nullify bans on invoice assignment terms in business to business commercial contracts.
Invoice finance allows a business to give the right to future payment to a finance provider in exchange for a loan up to the full value of the invoice. It can provide a vital source of finance if a business has to wait a long time between completing a job and receiving payment.
The ban on invoice assignment is often part of a more general ban on an assignment clause in the contract to stop a supplier from sub-contracting. As a result, a business’ access to invoice finance is often unintentionally restricted.
In December 2013, we published our discussion paper Building a responsible payment culture. This asked whether removing contractual barriers to selling invoices would be helpful to small businesses by increasing their access to different finance options. The majority of respondents agreed that it would be helpful.
We announced in the government response that we would legislate to remove these barriers to financing. Clauses 1 and 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill provide the broad legislative power to do this.
We propose to introduce a regulation that would nullify any bans on invoice assignment terms in business to business commercial contracts. We want to know your views on our proposals, the draft regulations and the costs and benefits of the measure on both companies and the invoice finance market.
Ref: BIS/14/1232 PDF, 240KB, 19 pages
Draft Statutory Instrument: Business Contract Terms (Restrictions on Assignment of Receivables) Regulations 2015
Ref: BIS/14/1232/AN1 PDF, 181KB, 2 pages
Ref: BIS/14/1233 PDF, 982KB, 47 pages
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Published: 6 December 2014
Updated: 9 August 2015
- Added government response.
- A summary of public responses has been added.
- Consultation closing date corrected (from 16 to 11 Feb 2015).
- First published.