The government launched the complaint handling service of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) to ensure fair payment practices for small businesses. Paul Uppal was appointed to the role of Small Business Commissioner.

As Commissioner, Paul Uppal leads an independent office aimed to empower small businesses. The Commissioner and his team handle complaints about unfair payment practices and provide advice to small businesses on payment issues including how to take action if a payment is overdue.

Paul Uppal’s priorities are reflective of his 20-year experience as a small business owner in the real estate sector, where he saw how even sound businesses could struggle when faced with a culture of late payment by customers.

“Running your own business can be a very lonely experience and my priority will be ensuring small firms feel supported as well as helping to create an overall impression that business isn’t necessarily cut throat.


In fact, successful businesses are built on integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and trusting relationships and I want to highlight that Britain can be the best place in the world for new entrepreneurs to establish and grow their own businesses.”

The Small Business Commissioner urges small businesses affected by late payment to use the service and promises to take action to tackle the worst examples of supply chain bullying.

The UK is gripped by a poor payments crisis. Did you know:

  • a third of payments to small businesses are late
  • the average value of each payment is £6,142
  • 20% of small businesses have run in to cash flow problems due to late payments
  • if small businesses were paid on time, this could boost the economy by an estimated £2.5 billion annually

Regulations came into force in April 2017 requiring large businesses to publicly report the average time they take to pay their suppliers. This allows suppliers, including small businesses, to make informed decisions about who they do business with. Firms can check when large businesses pay their suppliers on GOV.UK. So far over 200 of the UK’s largest businesses have submitted payment reports.