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What happens if you do not pay your business rates

Why not sign up today for paperless business rates tax bills? Did you know it costs us around 50p to send a bill through the post? You can make your life easier, save paper, and save us money by signing up to paperless bills. It's easy to sign up and only takes a few minutes.

Recovery of unpaid business rates

The law says you must pay business rates by the due date. If you fail to pay, we will take action to recover what you owe.

If you cannot afford to pay your business rates bill, please complete a general enquiry form to let us know. We may be able to help.

It can take several days for payments to reach us, so please allow enough time to make sure each payment is with us by the date it becomes due. 

View more information on how to pay business rates.


What if I have applied for relief or awaiting the outcome of an appeal?

You must still pay the amount on the bill we have sent if you are waiting to hear from us about a rate relief application, or are in discussion with the Valuation Office Agency about the Rateable Value for the property. Once the decision has been made, you will get a new bill that takes into account any changes. 


Missed or late payments

We will issue a reminder setting out the instalments that are late or unpaid. You must pay the amount due within 7 days.

If you have received a reminder and have already paid, please contact us straight away by emailing

If you are late with a business rates payment more than once in the same financial year (1 April to 31 March) we will issue a Final Notice and you will lose the right to make future payments by instalments. If this happens you must then pay the full year's balance within the next 7 days.

If you do not pay the total amount shown on a reminder or Final Notice within 7 days, we will issue a summons. The cost of £58.50 for the service of the summons will be added to your debt. You can stop the recovery proceedings by paying the full amount on the summons before the date of the hearing.

If you have received a reminder or final notice because you have forgotten to pay your instalment why not set up a Direct Debit to pay your business rates.

View more information on how to pay business rates.

Pay business rates set up a Direct Debit


Further action

If a summons is issued and a Liability Order is granted for non-payment of your Business Rates, we can take various actions to recover your debt.

Summons and Liability Order hearings

Business rates enforcement (bailiffs)

Bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings

Charging Order

Committal to prison

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