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What Happens if I Don't Pay? - Business Rates

This page contains information about what will happen if you do not pay your Business Rates.

If you are having problems paying your Business Rates then please Contact us immediately.

What are the steps taken if I do not pay?

If a Business Rates instalment is not paid then the following steps will be taken by the Council.

  1. Reminder - Reminder letter sent
  2. Final Notice issued  You may receive this notice under certain circumstances but not always. This notice stops your right to pay by instalments and requests that the full balance remaining on the account is paid within 7 days.
  3. Court Summons - If payment is not received following the Reminder and/or Final Notice then a summons will be issued and the person liable will have to appear at a designated Magistrates Court. Further cost will be incurred due to the court costs. There is no need to attend court if you accept that the Business Rates is due.
  4. Further Steps - At the court hearing the Council will ask for the Magistrates to issue a liability order. This will enable the Council to take further steps to recover outstanding Council Tax. See how the Council recovers unpaid Business Rates in the section below. 

How the Council recovers unpaid Business Rates

The council may take the following methods when recovering Business Rates


The debt is paid off in a number of instalments

Enforcement Agent

We may send your debt to an Enforcement Agent for collection. This will mean you will have to pay their fees, which can be high.

Any payment or arrangements for payment will have to be made directly with them and not the Council. Once the debt is passed on, we will not ask for it to be returned unless there are exceptional circumstances. They have the power to remove your goods if they don’t get payment in full or a suitable payment arrangement.

If you have any queries about bailiff action, please then contact the Enforcement Agency.

Bankruptcy or Winding up proceedings

The Council can commence bankruptcy or winding up proceedings against you.


The Council can take the debtor back to court and if proven that the debtor has shown ‘wilful refusal’ or ‘culpable neglect’ to pay their Council Tax they may be imprisoned.

If you receive a committal warning you must contact us to arrange to clear the debt.

If committal action is taken you have to appear before the Court to answer why you shouldn’t be sent to prison for non-payment.