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Missed business rate payments

We appreciate that some people may have difficulty in paying their business rates on occasions. If you delay contacting us, things are likely to get worse not better. It is normally possible for us to help overcome temporary difficulties.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you miss a payment or pay late the council will use the following statutory recovery procedure.

  1. Reminder notice.
  2. Final notice.
  3. Summons.
  4. Liability order.

Reminder notice

A reminder notice will be issued to you giving 7 days to pay the outstanding amount.

Final notice

If you fail to pay the reminder notice in time, you will be sent a final notice. This requires payment of the full balance owing for the year within 7 days.

Summons

After a final notice is issued, if you do not pay the full amount in time, the council will arrange for a summons to be issued. This will incur court costs. The summons will require you to attend the Magistrates Court, but you will not have to attend if you pay the full balance plus costs, before the date of the hearing. 

If you agree you owe the money, but cannot afford to pay in full before the hearing, call the Recovery Team. Action will continue but you may be able to agree an extended payment arrangement.

If you have a query about your business rates, call the Recovery Team before the day of the hearing. The Magistrates Court cannot deal with benefit queries.

If you make an arrangement for payment with the council, you do not need to attend the court hearing. The summons will be heard in your absence and the council will apply for a liability order. This will incur additional costs. However, provided you make payment as agreed no further action will be taken.

It is important to deal with this immediately when the summons is received, do not wait until the day of the court hearing.

Liability order

A liability order enables the council to take a range of actions, including:

  • instruct Enforcement Agents to collect the money or remove goods and personal effects for sale at public auction

  • bankruptcy/insolvency proceedings

Contact us

Christchurch, East and North Dorset:

01202 634233

Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland:

01305 211980

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