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If you don't pay your Business Rates you will be sent a reminder followed by a final notice, and if you still don't pay we'll take you to court.

As long as you pay within seven days nothing else will happen. If you then don't pay the next step will be to issue you with a summons.

If you bring your account up to date but fail to pay again, a final notice will be issued and you will have to pay the full balance outstanding and you will lose your right to pay by instalments.

If you can't pay, don't ignore the issue, contact us immediately to discuss an alternative arrangement. If you think you have been charged wrongly, contact us.

Summons and court hearing

If you don't pay, a summons will be sent to you, summoning you to court. Costs will be added to the unpaid business rates.

You can avoid court, if you:

  • pay the full amount shown on the summons, including court costs, before the date of the hearing; or
  • contact us before the court hearing to arrange a payment plan covering what you owe

At the hearing we will ask the magistrate to issue a liability order which will give us more power to take further action against you to collect the money you owe. You do not have to attend the hearing, but if you do the magistrate will ask you if you have a valid defence against the issue of the liability order.

If the liability order is granted, we can then pass the debt to our enforcement agents (or bailiffs) to collect the money you owe. You will then incur substantial extra costs and there is a risk that goods may be taken away.

If the enforcement agents don't succeed, we can apply to the Magistrates Court to begin proceedings to make you bankrupt or liquidate your company. Again, this will mean more costs for you.

If you are a sole trader, we can commence proceedings to commit you to prison for non-payment, you will be summonsed to court to attend a means enquiry where you will have to explain to the Magistrates why you have not paid.

Business Rates Section

Council Offices
SG13 8EQ

01438 242876