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What happens if I don't pay my business rates?

This page has advice and information if you are struggling to pay your business rates bill. 

Are you struggling to pay your business rates bill? 

Please get in touch as soon as possible to let us know why you are finding it hard to pay your bill and what you think might help you to get back on track? 

Please call our Customer Services Team on 01572 722577  if you would rather speak to someone. We can then arrange a convenient time and date for an officer to call you back.

What happens if I don’t pay my business rates?

If you miss a payment we will send you either a reminder notice or a final notice.

If your payments fall behind or you are paying later than the date shown on your bill we will send you a reminder notice. This will give you seven days to bring your account up to date.

  • If you bring your account up to date and fall behind again we will send you a second reminder notice. 
  • If you don't bring your account up to date or you fall behind a third time, you will lose your right to pay by installments. The full year's rates will then need to be paid. 
  • If the amount you owe has changed since we sent your last reminder notice you will receive a final notice.
  • If you must pay the full year’s business rates and they are not paid within 14 days we will send you a summons to appear in court. Additional costs will be also added to your account at this point. 
  • If you are issued with a court summons and do not pay the full amount owed, including costs, before the court hearing date, we will apply for a liability order. This will again add more costs to your account. 

What is a liability order? 

A liability order is a court demand for you to pay the full amount of business rates you owe, along with additional costs. 

The liability order allows us to take a number of actions to recover the money that is owed. This includes the use of enforcement agents, bankruptcy proceedings and as a very last resort, a prison sentence.


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