A trade debtor is a customer who you have invoiced for a sale of your goods or service but has not yet paid you.

Your trade debtor appears on your balance sheet under current assets and includes VAT (if you are VAT registered).  

trade debtors

An Example of a Trade Debtor

Mark runs a recruitment business and places a candidate with a Company at a fee of £2,000 plus VAT which will be paid 30 days after the candidate starts work.

The income of £2,000 will be shown as a sale but because Mark must wait for payment his balance sheet will show a trade debtor of £2,400 (£2,000 plus VAT).

Why are Trade Debtors important

Cash is the lifeline of any business – it means that bills and salaries can be paid otherwise it will simply won’t be able to continue. Regularly reviewing who owes you money is critical to your businesses survival, as well as chasing up payments from your trade debtors.

Anita is a Chartered Accountant, turned blogger and creator of the ever popular free Go Self Employed Email Mini Course, which has been completed by hundreds of attendees all over the UK. Using her 10 years experience in accounting, tax and operations for Small Businesses, Anita is on a mission to make finance simple for the self employed, so they can stop stressing about tax & finances and focus on building profitable businesses which will give them the lifestyle they dream of.