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What happens if you do not pay your Business Rates

Reminder and Final Reminder Notices

Reminder notice -  If you don't pay your Business Rate instalment by the date it's due, you'll get a Reminder notice giving you seven days to bring your account up to date.

If you pay the instalment in full within seven days and make all the other payments on time, you won't hear anything further.

Final Notice - If you ignore the Reminder, the Council will send you a Final Notice. You will lose your right to pay by the instalment method and full payment will then be due within 7 days.

  • The Council won't send any more reminders

  • The Summons and Liability Order Hearing will follow

  • You will lose your right to pay by instalments

  • The Business Rates balance becomes payable in full



The Council can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Liability Order to be granted. You'll receive a Summons informing you about this through the post .The Summons will tell you the date and time of the hearing and the full amount payable, including costs of £60.00 for the issue of the Summons. If full payment including costs is made before the hearing date the court will be informed and no further action will take place.  


Court Hearing

The Council will make an application in the Court for a Liability Order to be granted because you have not paid as required. If you feel your Liability for Business Rates is incorrect please contact the Business Rates team before the hearing date so that your account can be checked.

Please note that the Magistrates cannot take into account appeals to the Valuation Office Agency regarding rateable value appeals. The Magistrates will grant the Liability Order based on your Liability to pay Business Rates. You will incur a further £35.00 costs totalling £95.00 in full. If you still dispute your Liability,  you can put your case to the Magistrates. Otherwise, your attendance at Court is not required.


 Liability Order

This gives the Council further powers to collect Business Rates.


Enforcement Agents

From 6th April 2014 certificated bailiffs will now be known as Enforcement Agents. If a liability order is passed to an Enforcement Agent you will incur extra statutory costs.

These costs are:

  • £75 when the liability order is received by the Enforcement Agent. At this stage you should pay in full or if you're having difficulty paying ask to make a payment arrangement.

  • £235 (+ 7.5% of the original debt over £1,500.00) if the Enforcement Agent needs to visit you if you don't make or keep to a payment arrangement.

  • £110 (+ 7.5% of the original debt over £1,500.00) if the Enforcement Agent needs to visit you with the purpose of taking control of your goods (removal, selling) because you have not paid.



The Council can apply to the County Court to have your company wound up or to make you Bankrupt. This is very serious and may lead you to be liable for Solicitors costs and insolvency fees.