What happens if I don't pay my Business Rates?

If you find that you are having difficulty keeping up with your payments, call 020 7378 5941 as soon as you get into arrears. We will try our best to help you if we can.

Reminder Notice

You should ensure that the payment reaches us by the instalment date.

You will be sent a Reminder Notice if the payment is not received within 7 days of the due date. If you receive a Reminder Notice, you should make the requested payment immediately.

If you do not pay after Reminder Notice

If the payment is not be received within seven days of the date of the reminder, you will lose your right to pay by instalment.

If payment is not received after a further seven days, a summons can be issued.

Final Notice

If you make the payment requested in the Reminder Notice, but a subsequent instalment is not received by the due date, we will issue a Final Notice - this will be for the total balance outstanding for the remainder of the year.

You must pay this amount within seven days, otherwise you will be sent a summons.

You lose your right to pay by instalments.


If you do not make payment after receiving one or both notices, we will apply to the local Magistrates' Court for a Summons to be issued against you.

The issue of a Summons will also involve you incurring costs. These are incurred at the time the Summons is issued and must be paid in addition to the outstanding balance of your Business Rates.

What to do if you get a Summons 

We will be prepared to discuss a way you can pay the Summons. You can:

  • Return the form enclosed with the Summons, or
  • Contact the Business Rates Service.

Find out more about what happens after receiving a Summons. 

If you have any sort of query regarding the Summons, or you think that it has been incorrectly issued, please contact us immediately.

Liability order

If you do not pay the Summons, we will make an application to the Court for a Liability Order. Obtaining the Liability Order will mean you will incur further costs.

It also means we can instruct bailiffs to visit your property to collect the money outstanding - this, too, will incur further costs.

Failing to act at this stage could lead to a committal to prison.

To prevent any of the above actions being taken, please ensure that your Business Rates are paid on time.

If you do get into difficulty, contact us immediately.

Free debt advice

The National Debtline the Business Debtline and the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offer free debt advice. The Wandsworth Citizens Advice Bureau are located in Battersea and Roehampton.