Payment of business rates

Ways to pay:

  • Direct debit
    You can set up a direct debit instruction online at any time
    Direct debit instruction
  • Online payment
    Use our online payment service to pay by debit or credit card. Payment can be made using MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron, Maestro, Solo and JCB
  • Telephone payment line
    Use our 24-hour telephone payment line 01423 556174
  • Bank transfer
    Payment should be made to sort code: 62-31-10, bank account number: 00000000, quoting your business rates account number as the payment reference

Requesting a refund

If you have received a bill confirming your account is in credit, you can request a refund using our online form.

Refunds are made via bank transfer. Please ensure that you have your bank details to hand before completing this form.

Refund request form

Having difficulty paying?

Please contact us if you have difficulty paying your business rates.

We will:

  • check your account and make sure you're receiving any reductions you're entitled to
  • discuss payment options - we may be able to offer alternative payment dates or extended payments to help you

Help and advice

Other organisations that may be able help deal with debt, or provide advice and support for your business, include:

What can happen if I don't pay?

Payments are due on or before the date specified on your bill. If you don't pay on time, recovery action will be taken and you'll have to pay the costs of this.

If you have any difficulties paying your business rates don't wait until recovery action has started before contacting us or you will pay costs.

Reminder notice/final notice

A reminder notice can be issued at any time after a payment becomes due. Only one reminder notice will be issued in a financial year. If you fall into arrears again, the full balance of your account will become due.


If you do not pay the amount shown on the reminder notice you will receive a Magistrates Court summons. Summonses are issued to all those named on the bill and costs are added to the account. Costs will NOT be cancelled. At the court hearing the council will apply for a Liability Order to recover the outstanding debt, including the summons costs. You will be charged an additional amount for the Liability Order. To avoid the issue of a Liability Order you must pay your outstanding council tax in full plus the summons costs. A Liability Order will be obtained for the amount of the summons costs if they remain unpaid, even if you have paid the rest of your debt.

If you have received a summons and are not able to pay the full balance, we can consider an offer of payment based on your circumstances. We will still request a liability order from the Magistrates Court and this may incur further costs but no further action will then be taken if your offer is accepted and you keep to the agreed payments.

Payment plan request form

Liability order

If a liability order is granted, it will allow us to collect the outstanding amount from you by:

  • removing goods from your premises, or registered address
  • applying for your bankruptcy or a winding-up order
  • making an application for your committal to prison

You'll usually incur additional costs for this action, and these can be substantial. Please see our recovery protocol for more information on the actions we may take.

  • Enforcement agent visits
    We can collect the outstanding debt by sending an enforcement agent, formerly known as a bailiff, to your property. The agent will be instructed to remove goods to the value of the debt. If an enforcement agent is instructed, it will cost you £75. If the agent then visits your property, you'll be charged a further £235 plus 7.5% of any balance above £1,500. If goods are taken, these will be sold at auction, and you'll have to pay additional fees for this
  • Bankruptcy
    We can apply to make you bankrupt. The first stage is to issue a statutory demand. If you don't pay it, a bankruptcy petition is served. The bankruptcy process, which is carried out at the county court, can cost over £1,000 which you must pay. This can result in you having to give up any possessions of value and, if you're a homeowner, the interest in your home
  • Committal
    If the enforcement agent has been unable to find enough goods to pay off the debt, gain entry to your property, or agree a suitable payment arrangement, we may apply to the magistrates' court for your committal to prison. If found guilty, you can be sent to prison for up to three months. This process can involve significant costs, which will be added to the amount you have to pay

If a liability order has been granted you should settle the outstanding balance in full. This is the only way to ensure that further action is not taken. If you are not able to pay the full balance, we can consider an offer of payment based on your circumstances. No further action will then be taken if your offer is accepted and you keep to the agreed payments.

Payment plan request form

Enquiries form