A banking and finance survey from the Forum of Private Business (FPB) found that 23% of members saw late payments increase over the past 12 months, compared to just 3% who indicated that matters were improving.
In addition, the average length of the delayed payment has been increasing, according to a third of members.
Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB, said that "upwards of £30 billion remains tied up in late payments, costing a typical small business 130 hours a year to chase and meaning that a third are forced to seek external finance to cover the gaps in cash".
While the late payment situation is growing worse for limited company contractors, the number that describes it as a serious problem has remained static, as the improving economy has eased the pain.
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