Non-payment of Business Rates

If you don't pay your Business Rates we'll send you a reminder followed by a final notice in most cases, and if you still don't pay we'll take you to court.


If you don't pay your business rates on time we'll send you a reminder notice.

If you pay within seven days nothing else will happen. If you then don't pay the next step will be to issue you with a summons.

However if you bring it up to date but fail to pay again, a final notice will be issued and you will have to pay the full balance outstanding and will lose your right to pay by instalments.

If you can't pay, please contact us immediately to discuss an alternative arrangement. If you think you have been charged wrongly, contact us on 01279 655261 Ext 7223. But don't just ignore the issue.

Summons and court hearing 

If you don't pay, a summons will be sent to you, summoning you to court. Costs will be added to the unpaid business rates.

You can avoid court, if you:

  • pay the full amount shown on the summons, including court costs, before the date of the hearing
  • contact us before the court hearing to arrange a payment plan covering what you owe

At the hearing we will ask the magistrate to issue a liability order. This liability order gives us more power to take further action against you to collect the money you owe. You do not have to attend the hearing, but if you do the magistrate will ask you if you have a valid defence against the issue of the liability order.

If the liability order is granted, we can then pass the debt to our enforcement agents (or bailiffs) to collect the money you owe. You will then incur substantial extra costs and there is a risk that they may take goods away.

If the enforcement agents don't succeed, we can apply to the Magistrates Court to begin proceedings to make you bankrupt or liquidate your company. Again, this will mean more costs for you.

If you are a sole trader, we can commence proceedings to commit you to prison for non-payment, you will be summonsed to court to attend a means enquiry where you will have to explain to the Magistrates why you have not paid.

Contact us

Tel: 01279 655261 Ext 7223

Enquire via our online form

Write to:
Business Rates Section
East Herts Council
Pegs Lane
SG13 8EQ