What if I do not pay?

As soon as you realise you are having difficulties paying your business rates please contact the business rates team by calling 01452 396396 or by email BR@gloucester.gov.uk.

We can help you to find out if you are paying the right amount or whether you are entitled to a reduction, for example, your business may qualify for small business rate relief. We may be able to help by rescheduling your installments. Dealing with your debt before it gets worse is important.

What action will we take?

1. Reminder notice

We’ll send a reminder notice if you miss an instalment, you need to:

  • bring your account up-to-date within 7 days
  • continue with your installments

We will not stop recovery action if you only pay part of the outstanding amount.

2. Final notice

We’ll send a final notice if:

  • you fail to bring your account up to date within the 7 days; or
  • miss a further payment in the same financial year

You’ll need to pay the full balance on your account, or we will take court action to recover the debt.

3. Legal action

We’ll apply to the Magistrates' Court to issue a Liability Order if:

  • you do not pay the full outstanding amount; or
  • you do not agree a payment arrangement with us

A Liability Order is a demand issued against you for the full amount of Business Rates you owe and any costs incurred in the process.

Do not ignore a Liability Order. If you do not pay, we will take further action.

4. Further action

If the court issues a Liability Order it gives us additional powers to recover the outstanding amount:

Enforcement agent (bailiffs)

We can instruct enforcement agents to recover the money you owe and additional costs payable by you. They can take goods that belong to you to cover the costs.


We can apply to the County Court for an individual to be made personally bankrupt or a company to be ‘wound-up’. This is a very serious step that would affect your ability to get credit and could lead to you losing your home or business. You would also be liable for solicitors’ costs and insolvency fees.


We can apply to the Magistrates' Court to have a person sent to prison where there is:

  • culpable neglect or
  • willful refusal to pay

Committal action can only be taken for business rates against a named person.