Typically, a small claims demand letter is written in business format. You’ll usually need to include your full name and contact information as well as the full name and contact information of your intended recipient. You’ll typically need to sign and date the letter as well. Besides these basics, a demand letter should clearly state its purpose and make a request for settlement within a specific amount of time. To let the recipient know you are serious about taking action, you may also do well to inform him of what you plan to do if your demands are not met.
The first paragraph of a small claims demand letter should usually include a clear statement of who you are and what you want. You may introduce yourself by name and include other identifying information that relates your name to the recipient. If, for example, the recipient is a client of your small business, it makes sense to introduce yourself as the owner of the business. After introducing yourself, you may then state the purpose of your letter. For instance, you may state that you are writing about a financial claim you have against the recipient.
Your letter may also briefly review the details of the case. If, for example, the recipient owes you money for a shipment of products, you will likely want to include that in your demand letter. You may also do well to state the exact amount of money the recipient owes you, so there won’t be any misunderstandings later.
A small claims demand letter typically includes a specific demand as well as a deadline by which you want the action to be taken. For example, you may ask the recipient to pay the money you are due within a certain number of business days or by a specific date. After you have clearly stated what you expect from the recipient and the time frame you are allowing for settlement, you may follow up by writing what your next course of action will be if he fails to comply. For example, you may inform the recipient that you will pursue the claim in small claims court if he fails to pay by the deadline.
Sometimes small claims matters can be emotionally charged, but a small claims demand letter is supposed to stick to the facts and maintain a firm, business-like tone. You should typically avoid emotional explanations and threats. You may also do well to avoid adding in unnecessary information and details, as your words may be used against you in court.