The government has secured backing from members of the Small Business Econbomic Forum to takes steps to improve payment times.
The forum, which includes representatives from business groups, banks and government, is encouraging more people to sign the Prompt Payment Code in a bid to deal with one of the biggest problems faced by smaller companies.
Surveys from the likes of the Federation of Small Businesses and the Forum of Private Business have revealed that late payments hamper smaller firms ability to prosper.
The code currently has in excess of 1,000 signatories, which represent around 60% of the UK supply chain, who have agreed that payment terms should be made clearer and there should be a more robust complaints procedure available to those that suffer because of delayed invoice settlements.
Business minister Mark Prisk, who chairs the Forum, said that large firms had a responsibility to make sure suppliers were paid on time.
"These payments are vital to businesses in the supply chain which rely on contracts with larger firms to thrive and need confidence that they can plan for the future without worrying that payments will be late," he said.