The new National Payment Transparency Register will record how long it takes companies to pay small business suppliers.

The small business ombudsman has established an online payments register to record how long companies take to pay their suppliers.

Kate Carnell said the aim of the National Payment Transparency Register was to promote best practice in business-to-business payments.

The register will evolve as it collects new data – but, right now, most suppliers are being paid within 14-40 days.

Some multinational companies, though, are including payments terms of 60-120 days in their contracts, according to Ms Carnell.

“Cash flow is king to small business; late payments can be the difference between success and insolvency,” she said.

“Overseas experience has demonstrated that faster payments through supply chains will free up cash flow and stimulate investment, jobs and growth.”

Ms Carnell called for businesses to sign up for the register and publically record their commitment to ethical payment practices.

She also encouraged small business suppliers to let the ombudsman’s office know if the terms on the register are not being met.

Ms Carnell is also keen to receive feedback about companies that reduce their payment terms.

“The register is under ongoing review and development. We hope it will become a reference point to encourage and promote improved payment time performance,” she said.

Establishing the National Payment Transparency Register was one of the recommendations of the Payment Times and Practices Inquiry, which published its final report in April.