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

All councils follow a similar process when a business either cannot or will not make payment towards their business rates. In our experience in the event that you wish to dispute business rates or due to falling on hard times cannot afford to make the necessary payments it is always best to simply pick up the phone and speak with somebody at your local council. You can find contact details on our make a claim pages.

Please note that when speaking with your local council that so long as you are upfront and honest you will usually be offered flexibility if you cannot make a payment.  Individual situations will of course vary but councils are in no rush to see local businesses go to the wall.

Failure to make payment in a timely fashion will usually result in the following process being taken against you and your business:

  1. If you miss an instalment a reminder notice will be issued.
  2. If the reminder is paid within the time specified, and future instalments are paid on time, no further action will be taken.
  3. You should note that simply paying later in the month will not always avoid recovery you should endeavour to pay on the due date shown on the bill.
  4. If a reminder is paid and a subsequent instalment is missed, a final notice will be issued which cancels your right to instalments and requires payment of the whole balance in full.
  5. The final notice requires payment in full within 7 days. It is not enough to just pay enough to get your instalments up to date.
  6. If the final notice is not paid as required, a summons to appear before the Magistrates Court will be issued and costs of £65.00 will be incurred
  7. At the Magistrates Court we will apply for a liability order which will incur an additional £40.00 costs.
  8. The liability order gives us the power to instruct the bailiff to seize your goods. The bailiff can then auction the goods in order to pay off the debt, and any fees that may have been incurred by the bailiff. You will be charged for any visit made by the bailiff.