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How can you protect yourself from returned checks?

As you begin your business venture in Georgia, you will need to consider the methods people may pay you with. However, as credit and debit cards move to the center stage, more and more business owners don’t know how to protect themselves from some of the risks still associated with checks.

One major issue with checks is the possibility that they might be returned. Entrepreneur suggests that there are a number of ways to make sure a check won’t be returned, starting with always asking the customer for some form of identification. It’s preferable if you can check a photo ID, but just being able to compare the address and signature of the card information with whatever is written on the check can help you eliminate a possible return. You should also keep an eye out for potential alterations or signs of fraud, like water spots or changes in the colors on the check itself.

Look carefully for payroll and double-endorsed checks as well. Never accept them. Pre-dated or post-dated checks should not be accepted either. Additionally, keep your eyes peeled to see if the checks have a low number, since that indicates a new account. New accounts are more likely to have checks returned. Establish a waiting period as well. This way you will know your customer’s check has been cleared before you issue any potential refunds.

Spotting problematic checks before they are returned can be tough at first, especially for those who aren’t used to working with checks. However, once you know what signs to look for, you can save yourself a lot of potential trouble just by keeping a watchful eye out.

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Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

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