Engaging Mercantile Agents

For small businesses with limited resources, engaging a mercantile agent can save you time and money. Mercantile agents can get better results when chasing overdue accounts, because they have the time and experience collecting debts that you don’t.

The challenge is finding a reputable mercantile agent to assist you.


·         Ensure the mercantile agencies you research collect unpaid debts for small businesses. Choose an agent with experience collecting debt for the size and type of business you run.

·         Understand who will be working with you: will there be a collector allocated to work with you and understand the way you run your business?

·         Highly regarded mercantile agents are often connected with Lawyers who specialise in debt collection. Find out what access to legal resources the agencies have.

·         Find out how long their collectors have been working there: longevity of service is indicative of good business practices within the debt collection industry.

·         Ask for a couple of references, ideally from other businesses in your industry that have used their services.

·         Find out how many years the mercantile agents have been in business.


Costs & Services

·         Request information about the costs. Most mercantile agents charge a percentage of the amount they collect, just check if different rates apply, for example, some may charge a higher percentage for older accounts, which often are more difficult to collect.

·         Will the mercantile agents review your terms and conditions and offer you recommendations to improve your collection rates and reduce your costs of recovery?

·         Ask if skip-tracing services are included in the package. Most mercantile agents will offer basic skip tracing services and only charge if they have to engage external resources.


Engaging a mercantile agent can be great for your business, and doing the research to find the right agency is well worth the investment of your time. Click here to read more.

If you have dipped your toe in the water previously and felt it didn’t work, ask yourself if you engaged with the right mercantile agent for your business.

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