Find out more about the opportunities and challenges of exporting to The USA

With the Euler Hermes Country Report

You can read the full report below, but we’ve provided a summary here to give you some insight into what you can expect.


Collecting in the USA

Payment Culture

The payment culture of US domestic companies is becoming increasingly uncertain and, in the absence of a clear framework on late payments, payment terms remain more of a contractual issue. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), the term we use to explain the likely receipt of payment, is not as bad as in some other countries. Payments in the US normally take place within 28 days, though delays of 5 to 10 days tend to be increasingly imposed by large companies who may negotiate agreements on their terms, rather than yours.

Court System

The court system is complicated in that it has a county, state and federal structure where protection methods are not recognised. No simplified proceedings are available to settle the simplest case. As a result, significant delays and costs have to be expected, while actually enforcing a payment may be difficult. 

Insolvency

When the debtor becomes insolvent, collecting debt becomes a complex task. The bankruptcy system remains pro-debtor and making a company insolvent is not generally a way to obtain payment. In practice, bankruptcy reorganisation is resource-draining and rarely results in general unsecured creditors receiving any money.

 

Availability of financial information

Obtaining financial information on private companies is a difficult and costly exercise in the US. It is possible to purchase financial information from specialised providers, but it is also recommended to obtain a detailed credit application, and if possible a personal guarantee when granting credit in the United States.

Regulatory environment 

The United States has a federal structure consisting of fifty states and one federal district (Washington, D.C.), each characterised by specific rules and specific courts. Disputes are normally settled at the state level through State and County Courts of general jurisdiction, but Federal District and Regional Courts would have exclusive jurisdiction over matters falling under the scope of application of federal law (international trade, federal claims), or when the dispute involves parties located in different states and a balance of over USD 50,000.

Read our full report to better understand the nature of collecting payments in the United States.

Our export finance experts are happy to help make exporting easier, discuss your ideas and offer finance solutions tailored to your company needs.

Download the USA Country Report here

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