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What happens when you do not pay?

This describes our recovery process if business rates is not paid on time.

Business rates is normally paid over 10 monthly instalments but you can request to pay over a maximum of 12 months. Bills that are issued later in the year offer a smaller number of monthly instalments. The Credit Control section is responsible for the billing and collection.

If you are having difficulty paying your business rates it is important that you contact us for assistance on 01205 314413 or email us on However the following advice may help you:

Once an instalment has been missed

A reminder notice will be issued requesting payment within 7 days to avoid further action being taken. If you cannot pay the amount outstanding then you should contact us immediately. We will do our best to help you. Sometimes the amount can be reduced, for

Example, if you are entitled to relief and have not already claimed it.

If you fail to pay the reminder notice

Your monthly instalment facility could be cancelled and court action taken for the full remaining balance outstanding for the year. A summons will be issued and you will have to pay additional costs of £85.00 if the case proceeds to court. If you cannot pay the summons in full before the hearing date or wish to discuss the matter you should contact us immediately. In the majority of cases we will be able to reach an agreement with you, but we still have to obtain a court order. If you think the debt is wrong then please let us know straight away. Do not wait until the hearing.

Court Hearing

We will ask the court to issue a "Liability Order" against you. The court will issue this order if it is satisfied that the debt is outstanding and has been duly requested by law. The court will not be able to consider offers of payment. You have to discuss this with us.

Once the Liability Order has been issued

We have the legal duty to enforce the Liability Order and will use a range of recovery methods shown below:

  • We can pass the Liability Order to the enforcement agent to collect. The enforcement agent will seek to obtain full payment or take control of  goods owned by the debtor. These goods are then sold and the proceeds raised go towards paying your debt. The enforcement agent will charge you additional costs. Once the debt has been passed to them you must negotiate payment with them. 
  •  We employ Bristow and Sutor and their contact details are shown below:

Bristow and Sutor
Bartleet Road
B98 0FL

Tel: 0330 390 2010

  • We can apply to make you bankrupt if you owe more than £5000.00. This could mean that your home and assets could be sold to pay for your debts and the costs of taking this action.
  • We could apply to the court to send you to prison for a period of 90 days

It is important that you do not ignore the debt. If you cannot pay the debt you must contact us immediately. It will not go away!