Business Rates - billing and recovery of unpaid instalments

We send out annual Business Rates 'demand notices' (bills) in March each year.

The demand notice asks you to pay your business rates over ten months, starting on 1 April and ending on 1 January. 

To avoid getting a reminder, or a summons, you must pay your instalments by the due dates shown on your demand notice.

Want to pay over 12 months instead?

You'll need to request this. If we get your request before April you'll automatically be given 12 months to pay.

If we get your request after April, we can still spread your charge over the remaining months in the financial year.

Please email us at or telephone our customer services team on 01530 454499.

What if I miss a payment?

If you miss a payment we'll send you a reminder and you'll have a further seven days to pay your demand notice.

If it's not paid you'll receive a summons which will cost you more.

If payment of the reminder is made within seven days, you can continue to pay monthly. 

If your payment is late again, you'll get a Final Notice which has to be paid in full within seven days to avoid a court summons. It tells you how much you owe and tells you when a Magistrates Court hearing is to be held.

At the Court hearing we'll ask the Magistrates to grant a Liability Order, which again will cost you more. This order, once granted by the Court, allows us to take further recovery action to clear the debt. This can include:

  • Payment by arrangement - we will discuss and agree an appropriate payment plan with you
  • Instructing an external enforcement agent to recover the debt on our behalf. This could mean that you will need to pay even more to the enforcement agent (bailiff)
  • A prison sentence. You could be sent to prison for up to 90 days for not paying your Business Rates
  • Insolvency proceedings

If you are having difficulty paying your business rates you should contact us as soon as possible. We can offer help and advice. Don't wait until it's too late!

Enforcement agents - rules and fees

On 6th April 2014 'bailiff' law changed. Bailiffs are now known as 'Enforcement Agents' and the existing rules, procedures and the fee structure all changed.

For each level of action by the enforcement agents, a specific fee is added. The new fee stucture sets a different fee for each stage of the new debt collection process. The stages are:

Stage 1 (Compliance) - £75 fee added to the debt

Stage 2 (Enforcement) - £235 plus 7.5% on debts greater than £1,500

Stage 3 (Removal of goods) - £110 plus 7.5% on debts greater than £1,500

Find out more.

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Last updated: Mon 18 May, 2020 @ 12:59