Can I charge a $10 late fee for a $96 tuition before services are rendered?
I charge $96 for each month's service. Payment is due on the 1st. I also charge a late fee of $10 on the 10th and a late fee of $20 on the 20th. Does NH have a cap on late fees?
If you set it up that way and the customer is made clear of your policies, I don't see any reason why you can't. As with any type of contract, if the customer, client, consumer, is fully aware and understands completely what they're signing up for, you can build your pricing as you see fit (for the most part!). Obviously, there's a limit before it turns into "crazy" terms/conditions where you're blatantly taking advantage, but you're nowhere near that :)
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Annie, do you have any documentation on this? If not, I believe New Hampshire is similar to Massachusetts where if there is no written contract, you may charge up to 10% in interest on payments that are past due. One of the toughest challenges small businesses face is collecting payment from client's that won't respond to them. I recommend always having a contract in place, especially if the services are ongoing and will be offered each month. Having a written agreement will eliminate any miscommunication on when payment is due and you will hopefully not have to apply a late fee.