Non-payment of business rates

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your business rates please contact us to see how we can help.

To find information on what happens if you don’t pay your business rates please view our further information:


Further information

If an instalment is not paid by the due date:

  • a reminder notice will be issued;
  • the reminder will show the amount required to be paid to bring your instalments up to date;
  • you will have seven days to make the payment or the right to pay by instalments will be removed.

Once instalments have been cancelled:

  • a further seven days will be given to pay the full balance otherwise further recovery action will be taken;
  • at this stage bringing the account ‘up-to-date’ will not be sufficient to prevent legal action being taken against you;
  • if this happens you will receive a summons to appear before the Magistrates Court.

If you pay the full amount owing including all costs before the date of the hearing no further action will be required.

You should contact the council immediately upon receipt of the summons if you cannot pay in full. However, making an arrangement to pay will not prevent the matter going to court, and will not prevent further costs.

You do not have to attend court if you are not disputing that you owe the debt.

If you believe a Liability Order should not be made against you, you should seek legal advice to see if you have a valid defence. Please consult a solicitor in plenty of time before the date of the hearing.

If the debt remains unpaid, the council will apply for a Liability Order.

  • If you haven’t made contact with the council and agreed a repayment plan you only have a further seven days after the hearing before the debt is passed to an enforcement agent to collect.
  • If any of these options fail or are not appropriate, the council may start insolvency proceedings against you or apply for your committal to prison.
  • Any action taken against you after the hearing, particularly by an enforcement agent or at a committal hearing, will incur substantial further costs payable by you.

You should therefore make every effort to pay in full before this happens.

If you fall behind with an agreed repayment plan, the council will seek to recover the debt by any of the above means without further notice.

The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1990 PART III Regulation 7, allows for the court to make an order for reasonable costs incurred in the application.

  • A Non-domestic Rates Summons is £55 plus £10 for the Liability Order.
  • A Committal Summons is £245 plus a further £105 for a Warrant of Arrest.
  • A liability order received by an enforcement agent (bailiff) for collection incurs a compliance fee of £75 and an enforcement fee of £235 for a visit by an enforcement agent.

Contact us


0300 3030164

Or write to:

Hewson House
Station Road
DN20 8XB