Difficulty paying your business rates

If you are struggling financially and can't pay your business rates, you need to tell us straightaway. Call us on 0330 123 0081 or email brates@guildford.gov.uk.

What happens if you don't pay your business rates

  • if payment is missed, a reminder notice is sent. Only one reminder every year is issued. The missing amount must be paid in seven days or the whole balance in 14 days
  • if payment is not made, a summons is issued
  • if you cannot make the requested payment then let us know. If your circumstances are going to change then we can see how this will affect your account. It may be possible to make an alternative arrangement
  • if payment is made, but another is missed in the same year, a further notice will be issued. This is a cancellation notice. You can no longer pay in instalments and the whole balance must be paid in seven days

When will a summons be sent?

A summons for non-payment is sent if payment is not made within two weeks of getting a reminder notice. Or if payment in full is not made one week from the issue of a cancellation notice. A charge of £100.50 is made.

If payment of the full amount on the summons is made before the court date, the case is closed. 

If payment of the full amount is not made by the court date, then the council will apply to the court for a liability order. If the court agrees the charge is due and unpaid, the liability order will be granted. Further costs of £20, payable by the ratepayer, are charged. A liability order is a document that gives the council extra powers to collect the outstanding debt. These include instructing enforcement agents.