What to do if you can't pay your Business Rates

If you are having difficulties paying your Business Rates please contact the Revenues & Benefits service as soon as possible so we can discuss any options available to you.

You should also check to see if you are entitled to any reduction on your bill. For more information please see reliefs and exemptions.

If you miss a payment

If you miss a payment, the following will happen:

First reminder

  • If we do not receive payment by the due date we will send you a first reminder, asking for you to pay your balance within seven days.
  • If you pay the amount due within seven days and all future instalments are paid on time, no further action will be taken.
  • If you don’t respond to the reminder, after another seven days a court summons will be issued and the full amount for the year will now be due, as you will have lost the right to pay in instalments. If we issue you with a court summons it will incur additional costs.

Second reminder

  • If having received a first reminder you pay the balance you owe, but miss another future payment, we will send you a second reminder notice.
  • If you pay the amount due within seven days and all future instalments are paid on time, no further action will be taken.
  • If you don’t respond to the reminder, after another seven days a court summons will be issued and the full amount for the year will now be due, as you will have lost the right to pay in instalments. If we issue you with a court summons it will incur additional costs.

Final notice

  • We will send you a final notice if either:
    • you miss a payment for a third time
    • you do not pay the full balance due as specified in a first or second reminder
  • Once a final notice has been issued you will lose the right to pay in instalments and the full balance for the year will be due within seven days. If you fail to pay the full amount within that time a court summons will be issued.

Court summons

  • If we issue you with a court summons it will incur additional costs.
  • If you pay the full amount plus the additional costs before the court hearing date no further action will be taken.
  • If you are unable to pay you should contact the Revenues and Benefits service immediately. You will not need to attend the court hearing. If a payment plan is put in place to help you pay the balance and some of the instalments are due to be paid after the court hearing date you will incur additional Liability Order costs, which will be added to the payment plan.
  • If you wish to appeal your liability for the charge you should contact the Revenues and Benefits service in writing. You need to give your reasons why you are asking us to reconsider your position.

Liability Order

  • On the day of the court hearing we will apply for a Liability Order, which gives us additional ways to collect the outstanding balance, including:
    • passing your debt to our enforcement agents which could lead to the removal of your personal or business goods
    • taking insolvency action against you
    • taking committal action against you, which could lead to a custodial sentence
  • If a Liability Order is granted we will issue a Notice of Liability Order, asking you to either pay the amount in full, or contact us to discuss alternative arrangements. If you do not respond within seven days the debt will be passed on to our enforcement agents.
  • As soon as your debt is passed on to our enforcement agents a compliance fee of £75 is added to your debt. If the enforcement agents are unable to contact you after several attempts and have to visit you, a further fee of at least £235 will be added to what you already owe. It is therefore really important that if a Liability Order is granted you contact us immediately to avoid incurring any additional costs.
  • To find out more about how bailiffs can collect debts see:

Never miss a payment

Remember, if you pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit every month you will never miss a payment. To set up a Direct Debit please see:

Debt advice for business owners

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Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:

Adur Business Rates

Telephone01273 263111 (9am to 5pm, Mon to Fri)

EmailEmail this service (revsbens@adur-worthing.gov.uk)

Full contact detailsFull contact details (Adur Business Rates)

Worthing Business Rates

Telephone01903 221061 (9am to 5pm, Mon to Fri)

EmailEmail this service (revsbens@adur-worthing.gov.uk)

Full contact detailsFull contact details (Worthing Business Rates)

Page last updated: 13 May 2021

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