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Difficulties in paying business rates

5. Court hearings

If you do not attend, the hearing will go ahead without you and the liability order will be applied for (unless you have already paid the account, including costs, in full).

If you intend to attend the court hearing please contact the Business Rates team on 0161 474 5188 to discuss your account.

If you choose to go to the court hearing, the magistrates will ask if you have a valid defence which will stop a liability order being granted.

Please read the valid defences to prevent a liability order being granted (PDF 16Kb) document.

What is a liability order?

Once the magistrates have granted a liability order, you will be notified in writing of the situation.

You will again be asked to get in contact with the business rates office to discuss your account when every effort will be made to reach an acceptable payment arrangement to pay the outstanding liability.

If this is not possible, or you fail to keep a previously agreed payment arrangement recovery action will continue.

A liability order gives the council the right to recover the debt from you in a number of ways, including:

  • Passing your account to an Enforcement Agent (before 6 April 2014 known as a Bailiff)
  • Commencing liquidation/bankruptcy proceedings against you