What happens if I don't pay my business rates?
What happens if I don’t pay my business rates?
Business rates bills are sent out with 10 monthly instalments on them. Payment of each instalment must be made on or before the 1st of each month. Please contact us if you would prefer to pay over 12 months.
We will send you a reminder notice if your instalments are not paid by the 1st of the month. If you do not bring them up to date within seven days and then keep them up to date in future, you will lose the right to pay by instalments and the full amount for the year will become due and payable immediately.
If you do not pay the amounts as requested, you will be sent a Summons to appear in the Magistrates Court and this will include additional court costs, in addition to the business rates you already owe.
If you receive a Summons and do not pay the full amount, including the court costs, before the court hearing, the council will apply for a Liability Order to be issued, which gives the council further powers to recover the outstanding debt.
The council can employ enforcement agents (previously known as bailiffs) to collect payments from you. We can also start Bankruptcy or Liquidation proceedings against you or your company. We can consider making an application to the Magistrates for your committal to prison for non payment.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay your business rate bill, you should contact us immediately so that we can offer you help and advice. We will try and make a suitable payment arrangement with you after considering your circumstances.
Even if a payment arrangement has been agreed, the council will still apply for the Liability Order at the Magistrates Court, but we will not take any further recovery action as long as you make payments in line with the arrangement that is made.