If you Don't Pay Your Business Rates

Thinking of contacting us about your Business Rates? 

If you register for MySouthend you can:

  • view your online Business Rate bills
  • make payments
  • view your account
  • view payment dates and notifications
  • tell us about any changes using our online service, all from your secure online account

Register, or to sign in to your MySouthend account.

Reminder Notice

If you do not pay your Business Rates as shown in your demand, we will send you a Reminder Notice. This will tell you the amount that you have to pay to get your account up to date. You will be asked to pay this within 7 days. You are entitled to receive one (1) reminder notice each year only (You will not receive one (1) notice for each missed instalment).  If you do not pay the amount, you will be issued with a court summons.

Final Notice

A final notice is issued, if you have paid the amount outstanding in the previously issued reminder notice but defaulted on your instalment scheme on a second occasion in any financial year (This does not have to be consecutive instalments) If you receive a Final Notice, you will no longer have an entitlement to pay your account via instalments; the entire year’s charge will be due within seven days. If you do not pay this amount within seven days, you will be issued with a court summons.

If you want to make a payment on your Business Rates account you can do this via our Pay Your Business Rates – Southend-on-Sea City Council web page.

If you are unable to pay the balance in full, you may want to contact us as in many cases a payment arrangement can be agreed.


If you have not paid the amount after a Reminder or Final Notice you may be summoned before the Magistrates Court. This will add a cost of £65.00 to your account. The Summons will give you a court hearing date. If the amount due (including the extra cost) is fully paid before the court hearing date, then there will be no further action.

Why have I received a summons?

You would have been sent a Business Rate Summons because, according to Council records, the account is in arrears and at least one bill and a reminder has been sent previously. If the sum shown on the Summons (including costs) is received in full on your Business Rate account by the day preceding the court hearing, no further action will be taken.

What is a summons?

A summons is an order to attend the magistrate’s court, where the Council will ask the magistrate to grant a Liability Order. This Order allows the Council to take further action to recover the balance if you do not pay.

What if I disagree with the amount?

Please do not wait until the court date to resolve this. You are encouraged to contact the Council immediately on 01702 215001 to discuss your account details.

Are you entitled to a Business Rates Discount or Exemption?

To find out if you may qualify for additional support, please see our website for Small Business Rate Relief – Business Rate Relief – Southend-on-Sea City Council and exemptions.

What if I am struggling to pay? 

I agree that I owe the rate, but I cannot afford to pay in full prior to the hearing? If you are unable to arrange immediate payment, including costs, prior to the hearing, please contact the Council without delay. The Council will apply for a Liability Order unless the full amount, including costs, is paid before the hearing. If, however, you agree a satisfactory payment plan you do not need to attend court and providing payments are adhered to, no further action will be taken.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you can't make full payment (including costs) listed above by the court date, please contact the Council between 8.45 - 13.00 Monday to Friday on 01702 215001 to discuss a suitable payment arrangement to prevent these actions being taken. Please note that any arrangement made will not halt action, the Council will proceed with the hearing to request a Liability Order and the arrangement will be inclusive of the additional £30.00 costs that will be incurred. If you fail to make an arrangement, the Council will continue with proceedings and request a Liability Order at the hearing and you may then be subject to further action (and costs) on your account.

I forgot to pay, why did I not receive a reminder notice?

Before commencing legal proceedings, the Council will have issued a Reminder or Final Notice. Failure to receive such notices does not invalidate the summons.

I have made arrangements to pay by instalments?

According to the council's records, the instalments have not been paid promptly on the due dates and a notice requiring them to be brought up to date has not been complied with. In addition, the notice issued states that the whole of the balance for the year therefore legally becomes due, as shown on the summons.

I have appealed to the district valuer against the rateable value attributed to my property. Can I withhold payment of the charge pending the outcome of my appeal?

A ratepayer cannot withhold payment of the rate due on the grounds that an appeal against the rateable value is outstanding. However, if your appeal is successful, any overpayment will be refunded or credited to your account. Interest is payable on any such overpayment provided that a liability order has not been made against you. Payment will in no way prejudice your appeal.

Why am I being charged costs?

Part of the costs are payable to the court itself and the amount has been authorised by the court to cover expenses incurred by the Council in preparing the summons. Recovery proceedings will continue unless the rate and costs are paid in full.

What is a liability order?

An order made by the court which allows the Council to take further recovery action to collect the outstanding sums due. This may involve the matter being referred to a bailiff, which will incur additional costs and may put your goods at risk of seizure and sale at public auction. Once a Liability Order has been made, the amount due is deemed a debt for the purposes of either bankruptcy or winding up proceedings.

What should I do if I want to Attend Court?

Contact the Council on 01702 215001 first to attempt to resolve the matter, the majority of issues are resolved without the requirement for you to attend the hearing. If for any reason you are unsuccessful in finding a resolution and wish to dispute the granting of a liability order, you should attend the court to provide a defence to the Magistrates

Contact Business Rates

Telephone: 01702 215001

Go to top
Feedback button
Feedback Button