Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in Benin
Fast and reliable debt collection in Benin - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in Benin is easily accomplished through the following method.
Debitura is an expert in debt recovery services in Benin. Our team of skilled professionals provides a range of services, such as managing accounts receivables, issuing debt collection notices, performing pre-legal and legal debt collection, and carrying out enforcement court proceedings. We are well-versed in Benin debt collection regulations, ensuring that we deliver efficient and effective solutions that aid enterprises in recuperating their outstanding debts.
We provide continuous support from the beginning to the end.
Tailored approach to collections.
We have a team of over 500 international debt collection experts.
Achieve a success rate of 87% whilst keeping costs at a minimum.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in Benin
If you have a financial claim against a business or customer in Benin, we can help you. We have helped hundreds of other businesses recover debt in Benin.
It can seem impossible to collect a debt in Benin. Language barriers, different laws and customs, and distance all make it very hard.
Using a collection agency that knows the laws and customs of the debtor's country makes it easier to get money back that is owed to you.
At Debitura, we always try to help you get your money back while still being friendly with the person you lent it to. Our PR efforts are always fair, but we will be firm if we need to be. If you want to understand the whole process of debt collection in Benin, keep reading this guide. But if you would rather have a law firm do it for you, we can help with that too.
Debitura can help you get your money back from someone who owes you money. You can start by uploading your claim. We will look at it and give you some options within 24 hours. We use a people-oriented approach with the latest tech-driven solutions to drive results and provide better contact management. This comprehensive method gets you the results you need while preserving customer relationships. In addition, our network of debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers and vendors are cherished relationships that allow us to get the job done. We value each of these relationships, no matter how small or large they might be.
Begin collecting your outstanding debt in Benin without any cost today. Just create a free profile, and upload your case within only 2 minutes.
During the initial 3 months, we use our effective pre-legal recovery method to collect your debt. We follow a no-cure-no-pay approach, which means you only pay if we're successful.
If your claim remains unpaid during the pre-legal phase, we will connect you with three local debt collection attorneys who will provide you with quotes.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in Benin
Do you have a lot of debt in Benin? Do not worry; we can help you get paid by your Beninese customers.
In Benin, the person who owes money is called "the debtor." The person who gave the money or invoice is called "the creditor." If the original creditor collects the debt, this is called "first-party collection." If the creditor gives the debt to someone else to collect, this is called "third-party collections."
- Most of the time, few small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are able to meet their promises. Before agreeing to any credit deals, it is crucial to do your research and ask for collateral from the buyer. This is something that they can use to guarantee the payment. While a debtor may request a grace period of up to one year, late payment interest is generally around 5%.
- The courts in Benin are usually independent and honest. But sometimes people bribe the judges or lie to them. There are some new laws being made to help with this.
- When people try to get money from a company that owes them money, sometimes the company doesn't have enough money because the person who owns the company has been using the company's money for themselves. This is called 'diminishing assets.' It makes it hard to get the money you're owed.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
The payment terms usually state that payments are due within 30 days, but in practice, payments usually occur within 60 to 90 days.
Common payment types in Benin
Bank transfers are a popular way to pay for things in Benin because they are quick, safe, and supported by a growing number of banks both inside and outside the country. Sometimes it is necessary to check whether a bank is safe before sending money through it, as the person who is owed the money needs an up-to-date invoice in order to get permission from the Ministry of Finance to collect the money. This rule has been put in place by the Central Bank to help prevent money laundering.
Checks can be used as proof that someone owes you money. The check shows that the debt is real and not disputed. This can help move things along quickly in court or even lead to a criminal case if necessary.
Main corporate structures
In Benin, there are many different types of companies. The two most common are SARL and SA.
- A Limited Liability Company (SARL) is a company where the people who own it are not responsible for any debts the company has. The minimum amount of money needed to start a SARL is around EUR 150. A SARL can have one partner who owns all of the shares, or it can have multiple partners.
- Public Limited Companies (Société Anonyme, SA) have either a General Director or a Board of Directors. SA entities are often used by larger companies because they offer rules and protection to the shareholders. The minimum capital required for a SA is CFA approx. EUR 15,200.
- Another type of company is called a Sole Proprietorship. This is when one person registers to do business. Usually there are some things that this person is not allowed to do, but sometimes people do them anyway. For example, Sole Proprietors are not allowed to have an importer card, but sometimes they find a way to get one anyway.
- An economic interest group (GIE) is not a company. It is a legal entity that helps people do business together. A GIE can be created without money and it does not make money itself. But this type of organization is rare in Benin.
The debt collection process in Benin
The debt collection process in Benin usually happens in more than one step. The picture below shows the standard way to collect debt in Benin:
1 Upload your claim:
If you want someone to help you get your money back, you need to find a debt collection partner. You can upload your claim to their website. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 quotes from local partners in the African country that is related to your case. This is free - no strings attached.
2 Amicable collection:
The collection process usually starts with sending the person who owes you money some friendly reminders. We will try to reach them in different ways, like through email, text, or letter. The goal is to get them to agree to pay the debt, or at least start a payment plan. If we are successful and we collect your debt, you will only have to pay a small success fee. With Debitura's no-cure-no-pay solution, there is no risk!
If you still have not received payment from the debtor after trying to work things out, it is time to look at what to do next. We will look at how much money you are owed, the chance of getting paid and other factors to help you decide what to do. There are three common next steps:
If the amount of money you are owed is less than 2.000-5000€, it might not be worth it to take further legal action. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance", where we will keep trying to contact your debtor and try to reach an agreement.
B: Legal collections:
We suggest starting paperwork for big claims. The paperwork will be different depending on how big your claim is and what it is about. Generally, it will take about a year and a half to finish the process.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you are owed money from has said they owe you money, or if there is a court order saying they owe you money, you can go to the bailiff's court. The court will help you get your money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in Benin.
Amicable collection in Benin
At Debitura, we offer a 100% risk-free and efficient process for Amicable collections. To get started, simply submit your claim and we will begin within 24 hours.
We will contact your debtor in Benin using all available methods, including email, text messages, letters, phone calls, and social media.
The goal of this process is to either:
A) get the debtor to pay the full amount, or
B) get the debtor to agree that they owe money and start a plan to pay it back
If the person you are trying to collect money from disagrees with your claim, you cannot try to resolve it amicably. You must go directly to legal collections.
Late Payment Interest
There are laws that allow creditors, or people who you owe money to, to charge extra money if you do not pay them on time. The OHADA Treaty is a set of rules that Benin has agreed to that governs sales between businesses. This Treaty covers things like creating a sales contract, what each person involved in the sale agrees to do, and what happens if someone does not do what they agreed to do.
If you pay late, you have to pay more money. This extra money is called "interest." The Central Bank decides how much interest people have to pay. It is usually around 5%. But sometimes people agree to pay more than the legal amount of interest in their contract.
Get started with
amicable debt collection
Upload your claim and get started with our 100% no-cure-no-pay collection solution.
Legal collection in Benin
If the person you owe money to does not pay you back during the first phase or if they dispute your claim, we will give you 3 free quotes from our local debt collection attorneys. In the legal phase, our local attorney will reach out to your debtor and try to negotiate a payment. Our partners can also go to court and get a payment order via the legal system in Benin. This payment order can then be used to force the person you are owed money from to pay you back via enforcement court.
There are three different types of courts that handle commercial cases. The first court is called the Trade Tribunal. If the person is not happy with the result of the first court, they can go to the Trade Court of Appeal, which is the second court. The Supreme Court OHADA is the third and final court. This court only handles cases that involve a law from the OHADA Treaty. For all other cases, the Supreme Court of Benin takes charge.
All proceedings start at the Trade Tribunal. There are two options to get money from someone who owes you money: (i) an ordinary or emergency writ of summons, which asks the debtor to go to Trade Tribunal for a trial and ruling, and (ii) an injunction to pay, which is a simplified recovery procedure for when the debt is due immediately. In the second option, the creditor has to ask the president of the court for help. The president will tell the debtor that they have to pay. The creditor will give this message to the debtor. The debtor can say that they do not agree within 15 days. If the debtor does not agree, they can go to Trade Tribunal.
The Trade Tribunal is the court that decides if someone broke the trade rules. If someone does not agree with the decision, they can go to the Trade Court of Appeal.
The Civil Law in Benin comes from the French Civil Law. This means that the rules in the Civil Code are still based on the French Code. However, over time, some things have changed because of decisions made in court cases and because of local customs. Otherwise, most of the law is still inspired by the French Civil Law.
The laws in Benin have changed since 1960 when the country became independent. The laws are based on the colonial legislation of the French Law.
Benin's judicial system is made up of the following:
- The Courts of First Instance are responsible for common law matters. This includes criminal, civil, commercial, social and administrative law. They act on cases which can then be brought before the Court of Appeal if the decision is contested.
- There are two types of courts: the Tribunal de Première Instance (Cotonou, Porto Novo and Parakou) and the Tribunal de Second Instance. The law says that there should be 28 courts, but only 14 are working now.
- The Courts of Appeal is the court that people go to when they want to appeal the decision from the Court of First Instance.
- Benin has three Courts of Appeals: Abomey, Cotonou and Parakou.
- The Court of Appeal also includes two courts which have different types of cases than other courts: The Joint Appeals Chamber and the Assize Court.
- The Supreme Court is the highest court in Benin. This court hears appeals from lower courts in administrative, civil and criminal matters. There is only one Supreme Court in Benin and it is located in Porto Novo.
- The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the state. This court is responsible for matters relating to the constitution and the judging of the constitutionality of laws and regulatory acts.
- The High Court of Justice hears cases of people who are accused of crimes against the nation by the president or government officials.
There are certain important points that have changed judicial life because of the reforms in this area of the law.
This law is about making it easier for people to access the courts and get help with their legal problems. It also makes it possible for some court procedures to be done online instead of in person.
- The Assize Courts have been stopped and Criminal Chambers have started in all first instance areas. We use these areas to judge people who have done something bad that is not a crime, but still requires the person to move away from the locality where the event happened. Today, the offenses will be judged in a short amount of time. This is near the time when the offense was committed and in the place where it happened. The Criminal Chambers at the level of the Courts of First Instance has allowed for two judges in criminal matters.
- The Commercial Courts in the cities with special status (Cotonou, Porto-Novo and Parakou) are responsible for hearing cases involving businesses.
- The Commercial Court of Cotonou is up and running. This court is a test to see if it is easy for people to use and if everything can be done without using paper. The Commercial Court is a special court for businesses. This court is flexible and the decisions are made calmly. The infrastructure for this court is almost finished and the first employees will start soon.
Making sure businesses have access to a variety of services is important. The law on the modernization of the justice sector will help with this by dematerializing procedures for small and medium claims chambers, like the courts of first instance. This means that when a decision is rendered, it can be enforced more quickly and without having to pay a registration fee.
Our goal has two parts: to make it easier for people to get around, and also to help businesses connect with each other.
- The last innovation is the electronic directory of securities. This means that people do not need to go to the Court to register their security on the collateral provided by their debtor. He can now do it at home by filing a request. The formalities are done online as well as the payments. In terms of formalities, it is the registration, the possible modifications as well as the cancellation of the guarantee to allow to save time and then, it is a completely secured system which allows to provide all the information as well as all the services in this field. It is a small revolution that has been carried out and that foresees all that is envisaged to be done with regard to the dematerialization of the services of the Judiciary.
- Another important thing in the judicial system of Benin is the start of hearings at the CRIET.
A special court, called the Court for the Repression of Economic Crimes and Terrorism (CRIET), was created.
The CRIET is a special court that has the legal means to fight against issues like impunity, corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and cybercrime.
Benin has agreed to a plan with the United Nations called the Merida Convention. This plan is to get rid of corruption. Benin has made laws against corruption, but there is no one in charge of making sure these laws are followed. The CRIET was created to stop corruption. It is doing a good job with great results.
After one year of being open, the CRIET was reviewed and made stronger. This means that it now has two levels of jurisdiction. Additionally, more staff were hired and a law was passed on public governance. This law makes it so that people who break the law will be held responsible for their actions.
The Common Court of Justice and Arbitration is the last place to go for countries who have signed the OHADA Treaty. This court is in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. There are nine judges who work there. They are elected to work for seven years, but they can be elected again.
Powers of the CCJA
The CCJA gives advanced warning before the Uniform Acts are put into place. They also settle disagreements between states about how the Treaty should be interpreted or used.
The CCJA is responsible for all matters relating to the application of the Uniform Acts, except for decisions applying criminal sanctions.
The CCJA has taken over responsibility for cases that used to be handled by the national Courts of Cassation. This helps make sure that judges in the OHADA area have a common understanding of the law.
The Court of Justice and Arbitration is a court that hears appeals from lower courts. It is the last court to hear a case before it goes to a higher court. The court also decides if the law was applied correctly in the lower court.
Different lawyers charge different prices for their services. To make sure you are getting the best deal, we recommend that you get quotes from multiple attorneys. You can do this quickly and easily by using Debitura.
Get started with
legal debt collection
Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Debt enforcement in Benin
If you have written proof that the person you are trying to get money from owes you money, or if a court has ordered them to pay you, you can go to the bailiff's court in Benin to get your money.
In Benin, you do not need permission to start enforcing a final decision in commercial matters. You only need to get the copy of the decision that says you can start enforcing it. To get this copy, you have to pay a registration fee of 4%. After you have the copy, go to the person who owes you money and give it to them. Tell them they have eight days to pay the amount that is written in the decision.
If the debtor doesn't do what they're supposed to, the creditor may take their stuff, money that is owed to them by other people, money in their bank accounts, shares or securities, fixed assets, or salaries.
The person who owes money may try to stop the seizure by going to the Trade Tribunal. But if the complaint is not successful, the person who lent the money may go ahead and sell what was seized or collect the money that was seized.
The process of getting money back and how much it will cost varies depending on your case. You can upload your case onto the Debitura website to get 3 quotes from different people within 24 hours.
Get started with
Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in Benin
If the person you lent money to cannot pay you back, there is a final stage you can initiate. This is called an insolvency procedure. The goal of this procedure is to take the things that the debtor owns and give them to the people he/she owes money to, following a set order of importance.
- Out-of-court proceedings are not available in Benin.
- Restructuring the debt is decided by the court, based on an expert report assessing viability.
- The first type of restructuring is preventative settlement, which is only available to those who are not insolvent and must include a composition offer detailing how the financial situation will be improved.
- The second type of restructuring is administration, in which the debtor files a declaration of cessation of payments and submits a composition proposal within 15 days.
- If neither improve the situation enough, liquidation occurs and all debts become immediately due.
Creditors are paid according to priority rules out of proceeds from selling assets until there are insufficient funds left for some creditors who then receive proportionate shares instead if their full claim amount.
Our analysis concludes that the risk of doing business in Benin is medium. Based on this medium score, we recommend being careful providing credit and considering charging upfront payment or using credit insurance when trading if you don't know the customer in Benin well. If possible, provide a short credit period or even better upfront payment. The medium risk score is based on the following factors:
The economic risk in Benin
Economic risk in Benin is high (5 out of 6). An economic risk of 5 out of 6 is pretty average in Africa.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of Benin is 17,79 bn. USD (2021), growing by 6,6% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, Benin ranks #118 out of 183 countries and has a medium-sized economy.
Having a view at the growth rate, it is ranked #53 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered a fast-growing economy.
GDP per capita is 1428 USD, ranking Benin number #146 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in Benin is low compared to the rest of the world.
You get a more detailed idea of GDP and economic growth in Benin in the table below:
Another critical driver for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You get a more detailed idea of monetary KPIs in Benin in the table below:
The inflation in Benin was 1,7% in 2021 which is considered a very low inflation rate.
The interest rate for businesses is 6,25%.
The business environment risk in Benin
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in Benin is medium-high (4 out of 6), which is a relatively low risk score in Africa.
Economic freedom and rights has a big influence on the business environment risk in a country. You can see the critical facts for Benin in the table below:
As you can see in the table, the property rights index is 43 in Benin, which is considered quite low in Africa.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 55 in Benin, a pretty average score for a country in Africa.
Benin's overall economic freedom index is 60 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in Benin
The political risk in Benin is medium-high, with a score of 4/6. This is a relatively low political risk score in Africa.
The governance and political stability indicators are critical drivers for political risk. An overview of Benin can be seen in the table below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When doing business in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In Benin, the rule of law index is at -0,59 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Benin has, therefore, a very low rule of law index, which means it is often close to impossible to enforce your contracts. We, therefore, recommend avoiding credits and recommend charging upfront payment instead.
Other drivers for the medium-high political risks are the weak control of corruption, the very weak political stability index, and the very large shadow economy that is 48,28% of Benin's GDP.
The commercial risk in Benin
In Benin, the commercial risk score is 2/4, which in our model is a low score. This low commercial risk score is pretty average compared to the average in Africa.
The financing risk in Benin
We have calculated the financing risk to be 3/4, which equals a medium risk. A medium financing risk score is pretty average for countries in Africa.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. You can find the critical facts for Benin in the table below:
In Benin, the credit information sharing index is 0 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). The consequence of that number, is that the access and quality of credit information available in Benin is very low.
This makes it very difficult for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in Benin. Unless you have a strong relationship with your customers in Benin, we highly recommend charging payment upfront or using credit insurance.
Your legal rights as a creditor (and as a borrower) are 6 out of 12 and, therefore, weak.
The medium financing risk for creditors also impacts the high interest rate in the private sector of 6,25%.
Debt Collection in Benin: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
In Benin, debt collection usually happens in multiple steps. You can upload your claim to a debt collection partner, who will try to reach the debtor through various means. If successful, you'll only have to pay a small success fee. If not, the debt collection partner will evaluate your case and suggest next steps such as debt surveillance, legal collections or debt enforcement. There are different types of corporate structures in Benin and payments are usually made through bank transfers or checks. Late payment interest is generally around 5%.
The debt collection process in Benin involves three steps: pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Firstly, you can upload your claim to a debt collection partner. Secondly, they will attempt amicable collection through reminders and negotiations. Finally, evaluation is done to decide whether to continue with legal collection or debt enforcement through the bailiff's court. Debitura can provide assistance throughout the process in Benin.
In Benin, if a debt is disputed, a civil lawsuit is required. Legal actions require a local lawyer. Debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings are also available if necessary. Commercial cases are handled by the Trade Tribunal, Trade Court of Appeal, or Supreme Court OHADA. The Common Court of Justice and Arbitration is the last resort for countries who have signed the OHADA Treaty. Insolvency proceedings are a final option, but only available after preventative settlement or administration have been attempted. Creditors are paid based on priority rules out of proceeds from selling assets.
At Debitura, we offer a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal debt collection in Benin with a success fee between 10-20%. The cost for legal actions depends on your specific case and desired actions. We can provide you with 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in Benin to help you make an informed decision.
The duration of debt collection in Benin mainly depends on factors like the debtor's cooperation and the complexity of the case. If the case is resolved during pre-legal actions, expect the process to take 3-6 months. However, if legal actions have to be taken, the collection process will generally take 12-18 months.