1. Overview

You can make a statutory demand to ask for payment of a debt from an individual or company.

Anyone who’s owed money (the ‘creditor’) can make a statutory demand. You don’t need a lawyer.

There are other ways to get back money you’re owed that might be quicker and cheaper than making a statutory demand. You can also ask the court to enforce any previous court orders about money you’re owed.

When the individual or company that owes you money (the ‘debtor’) receives a statutory demand, they have 21 days to either:

  • settle the debt
  • reach an agreement to pay

If your debtor can’t settle or make an arrangement, you can start:

When to serve the statutory demand

You have 4 months to deliver (‘serve’) the statutory demand. If you try to serve it after that, you have to contact the court named on the statutory demand to explain why it’s late.

You can’t usually make a statutory demand to collect unpaid debt that’s over 6 years old. You may need to get legal advice if you think your debt is affected by the time limit.