Notice of default: what, why, and how?

Has your customer still not paid your invoice? Has there been no response to previous reminders? Then it is time for a notice of default. In this article, we explain exactly what this is and how you can send one yourself.

notice of default


What is a notice of default for?

This official letter to your client contains a final demand to pay an outstanding invoice. With it, you give them the ultimate opportunity to settle the payment within a certain period of time. In short, it is the last step before you proceed to collect the invoice through legal measures.

Along with unpaid invoices there are other possible reasons for sending a notice of default. Consider, for example:

  • solving a problem
  • paying an outstanding amount (e.g. the balance of an invoice)
  • a contractual obligation that is not complied with

What does a notice of default look like?

It is best to send a notice of default to the debtor by registered letter. This way, you can prove that you have sent the letter. We advise you to also send your message by post and e-mail so you can be absolutely sure that your client will receive it.

ingebrekestelling opsturen


A legally valid notice of default contains these things:

  1. the words 'formal notice’
  2. the date
  3. the debtor's address
  4. the obligation that has not been met
  5. your request to resolve the problem, for example by paying the outstanding invoice
  6. the period within which the problem must be solved before you take further action
  7. your address and signature.

Would you like to know what a notice of default looks like?

download example of formal notice


Did the debtor fail to respond to previous reminders and are they still not responding? Then it is time to use the Unpaid procedure:


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File notice_of_default_template.docx42.35 KB