Manchester City Council

Business & investment Paying your Business Rates

What happens if I don't pay my business rates?

If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay your Business Rates, you should contact us immediately, so that we can check to make sure you receive the discounts and reliefs to which you may be entitled.

If you do not contact us, and continue to default on your payments, action will be taken to recover any money outstanding. This will involve the issue of a Magistrates' Court summons, and could result in bailiff/enforcement agent action, insolvency or even committal to prison.

If you do not pay the full amount, or you fail to keep to the arrangement agreed, the Council will apply to the Court for a liability order against the account. This grants the Council further powers to collect any amounts outstanding. The account will then be issued to a bailiff/enforcement agent, who will collect the money on our behalf.

Bailiff/Enforcement Agent action
Once your account has been issued to the bailiff/enforcement agent, you should make any payments directly to them. They may be willing to make a short-term payment arrangement with you. If you still do not make payment, or default on an arrangement made with the bailiff/enforcement agent, the bailiff/enforcement agent to remove goods from your property.  The goods will then be sold to cover the balance outstanding and the bailiff/enforcement agent's costs.

If the bailiff/enforcement agent is unable to collect the amount due, the Council will begin insolvency proceedings, to wind up your company or put you into bankruptcy. As a last resort, the Council retains the right to commence committal proceedings, which could result in a term of imprisonment.

The Council employs four bailiff companies. They are:

Rossendales Limited
Wavell House
Holcombe Road
Helmshore
Rossendale
Lancs
BB4 4NB
phone: 01706 830213

Equita Limited
5th Floor
West Wing
Quay House
Quay Street
Manchester
M3 3JE
phone: 0161 834 2460

Marston Group Ltd (formerly Drakes Group Ltd)
Bridgeman House
Sun Street
Waltham Abbey
Essex
EN9 1EL
phone: 0845 600 2112

Bristow & Sutor Ltd
Bartleet Road
Washford
Redditch
Worcestershire
B98 0FL
phone: 0871 677 0070

The Bailiff/Enforcement Agent process from April 2014

1. The bailiff/enforcement agent administration stage is where the bailiff/enforcement agent starts makes initial contact with the debtor. This results in administration fees, but allows the debtor a period of notice to come to a payment arrangement.

2. The next stage is the enforcement stage and involves visiting the debtor's property. This attracts a set fee to cover all work at enforcement stage plus a further percentage fee for debts over a certain value.

3. If goods are seized, the sale of goods stage attracts further costs including fees to cover the removal of goods and the costs of re-selling them, plus a further percentage fee for debts above a certain value.

Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013

Taking Control of Goods (fees) Regulations 2014

Bailiff/Enforcement Agent fees examples

Bailiff code of practice

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