Business rates summons

If you owe business rates and have not paid what has been requested on a reminder or final notice we must be fair to everyone who pays Business rates by collecting the money that is still outstanding by issuing a summons, the Council has a legal obligation to take further action against both non payers and those who are paying late.

The summons is a court document informing you of the date and time a liability order hearing is to be scheduled. It is at this hearing that a representative of the council will request that the magistrates’ court grant a liability order against you for non payment of business rates.

The summons will show clearly the amount the council say you owe, including summons costs of £130.00

If you pay the full amount shown (including costs) before the hearing date you do not need to attend court or tell the council and no further action will be taken.

See how to pay your business rates for details about how to make a payment.

Payment difficulties

If you are having difficulties paying the full payment, you must contact us as soon as possible with your proposed payment arrangement. All payment arrangements must be made with the agreement of the council, that way we can enter a formal arrangement onto your account and make sure no further action is taken as long as you keep to the payment arrangement.

You do not need to attend court if you have agreed a payment arrangement.


On the date of the hearing the magistrates will be asked to grant a liability order against you which gives the council the right to , if needed:-.

  • Arrange for a bailiff to collect payment, or take belongings to the value of the debt outstanding. This will incur additional costs.
  • Take action to make you bankrupt if you are a sole trader or in the case of a company apply to have the company wound up.

After the court hearing we will write to you confirming the magistrates have granted a liability order and what you need to do next.

If you wish to speak to one of our trained recovery officers who may be able to help you in making an arrangement or advising you on any possible entitlement to a reduction then you can contact us.

Please have your business rates reference number to hand as you'll be asked for this before we can speak to you in detail about your account.

Disputing a summons

If you disagree with the issue of the summons, you must contact us clearly detailing your reasons, but please bear in mind that disputing the  summons because you have paid late or are awaiting the decision of an appeal against liability or rateable value is not grounds for a summons to be cancelled.

Please do not ignore the summons as this will lead to further action being taken against you and further costs being added to the amount you owe.

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