What happens if I don't pay my business rates on time?

Instalment payments are due on or before the due date shown on the bill.  If the payment is late, the recovery cycle will start:

  • On the first occasion that an instalment is missed a reminder notice will be issued.  If, following receipt of a notice, your instalments are not brought completely up-to-date, a summons may be issued for hearing at the Magistrates' Court. In this event you may be liable for legal costs, which may be substantial. 
  • If notices are issued on any two occasions during the financial year and a third default occurs, even though instalments may have been brought up-to-date each time, the right to pay by instalments will be lost and the full balance will become payable and may be recovered by issuing a summons for the hearing at the Magistrates' Court (as above). 
  • Where payment of the outstanding rates, together with costs, is not received before the date of the hearing, the Magistrates may grant the Council a liability order and additional costs will be awarded. 
  • If a suitable arrangement is not made when the liability order is granted, the Council will take steps to recover the outstanding debt.  This may involve the use of bailiffs which would incur additional and substantial costs.