Generally collection companies take a percentage of the money they collect as their fee. It's not financially beneficial to them or to the small business owner for them to take those kinds of debts where their overhead would likely exceed what they will ultimately recover. If someone owes you money, suing them in small claims is really the best and only way to go. If you obtain a judgment, the credit agencies will eventually pick it up and it will effect the debtor's credit. Consult local counsel.