I can't pay my Business Rates

What happens when you can't pay your Business Rates


  • I can't pay my Business Rates, what happens next?
  • The Summons and Hearing
  • Enforcement Agents
  • Bankruptcy/Liquidation

I can't pay my Business Rates, what happens next?

Please can you contact the Business Rates team if you are having difficulty paying your Business Rates. We may be able to help. If you don't pay you will receive a Reminder Notice giving you seven days to pay.

Should you pay your instalment within that time you won't hear from us again as long as you continue to pay all your other instalments on time.

If you ignore the reminder we will send you a Final Notice. This means you lose your right to pay by instalments and you would then have to pay your bill in full within 7 days.

The Summons and Hearing

You must remember that at this point we will not sent any more reminders and that a Summons and Liability Order Hearing will follow. 

This means we will apply to the Court for an Order to be granted because you have not paid your bill and you will receive a Summons through the post. This will tell you the date and time of the hearing and the amount you need to pay including the extra cost of £60 incurred for the issue of the Summons.

Please contact us immediately if you feel your Business Rates are incorrect and before the hearing date so that we can check your account.

Please note Magistrates will not take into account appeals to the Valuation Office Agency regarding rateable value appeals. The Magistrates will grant the Order based on your liability to pay Business Rates. You will be charged an extra £35.00 bringing the total costs incurred by you to £95.00. If you still think this is wrong you can put your case to the Magistrates. Otherwise, you do not need to attend the hearing.

Enforcement Agents

If a Liability Order is passed to an Enforcement Agent you will incur extra costs. 

You will be charged £75 when the Order is received by the Agents 

An additional £235 (+ 7.5% of the original debt over £1,500) if they need to visit you if you don't make or keep to a payment plan. 

If Agents then need to visit you to take control of your goods you will be charged and additional £110 (+ 7.5% of the original debt over £1,500).


Should the Enforcement action not pay your bill in full we can then apply to the County Court to have your company wound up or to make you bankrupt. This is an extremely serious step and will mean that you are liable to further costs such as Solicitors and insolvency fees.

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