2.5 million small businesses are affected by late payments every year, costing an estimated 286 million in man hours and nearly £3.6 billion per year. Small Business UK has issued five top tips to avoid late payment and control cash flow, including getting your terms and conditions right, and ensuring your customers are aware and signed up to them, checking the credit rating of your customers prior to doing business, and asking for a deposit or advance before supplying goods or services.