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Collect Unpaid Invoices as a Contractor

As a contractor, you may run into other contractors or customers who either pay late or don't pay at all. Even with payment arrangements in place as a preventive measure, such as asking for half of the amount upfront, your business can still face issues when it comes to obtaining the full amount. Similarly, an owner may withhold funds from an independent contractor.

So, what can a California contractor do if not paid promptly? You can take legal action in both cases. If the debt is not very large, you can sue in a small claims court. For larger debts above the small claims court limit, you will have to go through either the municipal court or superior court.

The entire court process can often be time-consuming and costly. However, there are alternative contractor recourses for non-payments in California that you can pursue instead of having to go through the court system, especially if there is an arbitration clause in place.

Alternatives to the Court System for Collecting Payments

At Business Consumer Alliance, we can help you collect from a customer or resolve any dispute arising out of a contract by using our courtesy letters and arbitration program.

For both services, we’ll take care of the paperwork for you. The process is simple, without all the formalities of the courts, and without the assistance of a lawyer. We've designed both processes to be as convenient as possible for you — neither one requires you to leave your home or office.

Courtesy Letters

Our courtesy letters are designed to bring to your customer's attention the unpaid invoice that's past due for services rendered. In most cases, a reminder from a third party is enough to compel them to pay. Although we're not a collection agency, our letters have been extremely effective.


If you have to pursue legal avenues to collect, our arbitration service is recognized by the courts as a legal alternative to litigation. Essentially, it’s a legal process outside the court system that doesn’t require lawyers or legal knowledge. An arbitrator (typically a private attorney) will hear the dispute and issue a written decision which can, if necessary, be entered as a judgment in a court of law.

While the courts recognize arbitration, you won't have to deal with all of the legal fees and court costs with this method. Additionally, the process is private, and both the proceedings and decisions will not end up on your credit report or in public records.

Benefits of Our Services

  • Unlike collection agencies, who keep a huge percent of the balance owed, we don't keep any portion of it. The full amount collected goes straight to you.
  • Most customers who receive our courtesy letters respond quickly.
  • Saves you money by avoiding expensive attorney fees and court costs. As most business people know, attorney fees alone will often exceed the amount of what you are trying to collect.
  • Arbitration proceedings are private and decisions of an arbitrator will not appear in public records or on your credit report.
  • Disputes are resolved quickly. Unlike lawsuits which can take years to resolve, arbitration can be concluded in a matter of months.


Alejandra Marquez, Owner
Infinity Copper Plumbing, Inc.
We love the service that BCA provides regarding the courtesy letters. It saves us time from having to deal with a customer that isn't being cooperative and/or meeting the contract guidelines.

Dale Hendrix, Office Manager
Plateau Pest Solutions
We would like to say that BCA has been doing an excellent job with helping us with our outstanding customer balances. Plateau Pest Solutions highly recommends BCA to any business owner in need of support to make their company become more successful and efficient. We give BCA a five star rating. Thanks for all your help.

Contact us for more information

If you prefer to speak with someone, call and one of our friendly staff members will be able to answer your questions.


Benefits of Becoming a BCA Member

BCA has over 25 years of experience providing services to businesses to help them grow. One way we achieve that is through our membership program designed to help you save money and protect your business.

The perks of membership, such as courtesy letters and arbitrations services, are free. These are just two benefits of being a member, though. You can also take advantage of benefits such as:

  • Free legal advice and access to an attorney: If you need any legal advice or have any legal questions, you will have access to an attorney who can assist you.
  • Customer feedback program: This program, also referred to as our review aggregation, will help your business improve your online reputation. It allows customers to leave feedback for your business. This program is custom-tailored for all of our businesses so they can achieve the best results and attract more customers.
  • Business advice and HR assistance: If you need business advice such as best practices to follow or HR assistance, our team is available to help with those issues as well to ensure you stay compliant.
  • Advertising opportunities: To help you attract more customers and have greater visibility, we also offer members advertising opportunities through our Sponsored Listing Program.

Join the Membership Program at BCA

If your business is currently facing a situation where a customer won't pay for building work, or you are trying to figure out how to get paid as an independent contractor in California, join our membership program at BCA.

We have served a wide variety of businesses and help them achieve self-regulation and growth through services such as our courtesy letters and arbitration.

Simply fill out our membership form to get started, and we will get back to you quickly.