Business rates

Difficulties paying business rates

Please contact us immediately if you are finding it difficult to pay your business rates.

Please quote your business rates account reference in all correspondence – your account reference is 7 or 8 digits long and starts with a 3, and you can find it on your business rates bill or any letter we’ve sent about your business rates.

We will do our best to help and provide advice. We will try to help you by:

  • adjusting your instalments and agreeing a different payment timetable
  • checking if you could qualify for any relief on your business rates

If you do not pay your business rates on time, we will send you a reminder letter. After we have sent you two reminders, if you continue not to pay on time you will lose the right to pay by instalments and we will send you a summons for a liability order hearing at the Magistrates Court.
We will charge you £83 for the court costs involved in this process. You do not need to attend the hearing unless you disagree with your liability.
If you ignore your summons and the court grants a Liability Order against you, we can take the following enforcement action to recover your business rates debt.

Enforcement agents acting on our behalf
We can instruct an enforcement agent to seize your goods to sell, in order to clear the outstanding debt.
The enforcement agent can then auction the goods to pay the bill, and the enforcement agent’s costs incurred. The costs for this can be substantial – download a list of costs below.

NDR Enforcement Agent costs from April 2014 (PDF 6.8KB)

If the enforcement agent is unsuccessful in collecting your arrears, we may take further proceedings against you.

Committal Action
If you are a sole trader and our enforcement agents are unsuccessful in collecting any money that is outstanding, we can then apply to the Courts for your committal to prison for up to 3 months.

If you are a sole trader, we may instigate bankruptcy proceedings against you.
You will be liable for the costs incurred in this process. This will be a minimum of £800 and rises steeply beyond that.
This means:

  • your business will be closed
  • your personal bank accounts may be frozen
  • you may lose your home

If you are a Limited Company, we may instigate liquidation proceedings.
This means:

  • you will not be allowed to be a company director
  • the official receiver will wind up your company
  • your personal bank accounts could be frozen
  • you may lose your home
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