Recovery of business rates

How the council recovers rates from its businesses.  Advice and information for business owners.

Why have you sent me a reminder/summons?

By law, the council must send a reminder if your instalments are not paid on time. If you do not bring them up-to-date within 7 days, you lose the right to pay by instalments, and you will be sent a summons including court costs as well as your business rates.

If pay on the first reminder and you fall behind again then you will receive a second reminder and if you do not bring them up-to-date within 7 days you lose the right to pay by instalments and you will be sent a summons including court costs as well as your business rates.

You will not be sent any further reminders after the second reminder if you fall behind again then you will receive a summons including court costs as well as your business rates.

If you receive a summons and do not pay in full before the hearing, the council will apply for a ‘liability order’. A liability order gives the council the right to use enforcement agents at which point there will be further costs added to your account or to start bankruptcy/liquidation proceedings, or to ask the Magistrates Court to commit a person to prison.

If you have received a summons and want to talk to us about it, use this form to request a call back or email.

Council Tax and Business Rates - administration and collection

What if I can’t pay the amount on the reminder/summons?

If you are having difficulty paying, please contact us at the business rate office and we will try to come to an arrangement for payment with you.

Please contact us via the Contact the council page.

Telephone: (01482) 394748


You have sent me a summons and I want to make an arrangement to pay it off. Why do I still have to pay the costs?

By law, costs are payable when a liability order is obtained. Once a summons has been issued, the only way to stop the council from asking for a liability order is to pay the full amount before the hearing. Even when an arrangement is made, the council still has to obtain a liability order, but we will not take any of the actions which it allows us to take as long as you keep to the arrangement we have made with you.

For information relating to enforcement agents please refer to the council tax page.

I'm having financial difficulties, who can help me?

Change your payments

If you cannot afford to pay your council tax bill monthly, you could pay weekly, every two weeks or spread your monthly payments over the full year.

Check if you can receive a reduction

Your business may qualify for business rate relief depending on factors such as what your organisation does, where it is located and the rateable value of your business property. Find what business rates relief your business may qualify for and how to apply.

Free impartial debt advice

There are also a number of independent organisations who can provide useful advice and information for people who are experiencing financial problems.

Take a look at organisations that can offer financial and debt advice.

Can I request a hold on recovery action and additional fees?

Read about the new, statutory scheme called ‘Breathing Space’ which is designed to provide people with debt problems the right to legal protection from creditors for a limited period of time.

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