New legislation* has been introduced extending the remit of the Small Claims Procedure to include certain business claims. Businesses can now file claims against other businesses in respect of goods or services purchased up to the value of €2,000. Claims cannot be made in respect of debts, personal injuries or breach of leasing or hire purchase agreements.

When introducing the new rules, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform noted that small businesses have been particularly affected by the current economic crisis and often have a legitimate claim against another business or vendor in relation to a contract in respect of goods or services purchased.

This extension of the Small Claims procedure will give businesses the opportunity to choose the most economic legal route to pursue a small claim, either by the current Civil Bill Procedure, or the Small Claims Procedure.

The new rules came into effect on 11 January 2010.

*S.I. 519 of 2009. The new Small Claims procedure amends District Court Rules (Order 53A of the District Court Rules 1997).