What happens if I don't pay?

What happens if you don't pay a business rate instalment at the correct time.

Business rates are payable in monthly instalments. If you are billed before the financial year, we will automatically give you 10 monthly instalments but we can extend this to 12 by request. If you are billed within the financial year, you will be given as many monthly instalments as possible up to February. We can extend these to March by request. Your bill details the amounts you must pay and the dates they are due.

If you do not pay an instalment at the correct time, you will receive a reminder. If you don’t pay the amount on the reminder within seven days, you will have to pay the whole amount of business rates that you owe for the year.

If you do pay the reminder amount but then miss payments again, we will send you a second and final reminder. If you still do not pay, we will not send you another reminder and you will lose your right to pay by instalments. You will then have to pay the full amount that you owe.

If you do not pay the full balance, we will start legal proceedings and apply to the magistrate’s court for a liability order against you. The summons costs for this action will be £161.50. If the court grants the liability order, you will have to pay £22.00 on top of the £161.50.

The liability order allows us to:

  1. employ enforcement agents to seize goods to pay for your debt
  2. start insolvency proceedings against you
  3. make an application for your committal to prison for a maximum of three months (if the enforcement agent is unable to recover the debt)

If you pay what you owe, from the date we receive payment all action and costs will stop.

If you are not able to pay in full, you should contact us immediately, as we may agree an arrangement for you to pay what you owe.

Read more about business rates and bankruptcy.

Ways to contact us about business rates.

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