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What are Business Rates?

National Non-Domestic Rates, also known as Business Rates, is a tax on business premises that helps to pay for local services.

Although Business Rates is a national tax, it is collected locally, with 50% going back to Central Government, the remainder being shared between the District Council, County Council and Fire Service. The tax is charged on premises or land (known as hereditaments) that are used for of business purposes. 

The Rateable Value of a property is multiplied by a government-set fraction to produce the annual bill. A number of reliefs are available to reduce the bill, such as those for charities and small businesses. More details are available on our reduce your bill pages.

What are business rates charged on?

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, land or installations, for example:

  • Shops
  • Offices
  • Pubs
  • Warehouses
  • Factories
  • Mobile phone masts
  • Holiday Lets (if they are available for rent for at least 140 days per year)
  • Car Parks

If you use a building or part of a building for business purposes, you will probably have to pay Business Rates.

How & when are properties assessed?

Properties are assessed by The Valuation Office Agency in a rating list with a Rateable Value, which is a valuation of their annual rental value on a fixed valuation date. Each property in the country is assessed every five years and given a rateable value for more information, visit our Revaluation of Business Premises page

 How are Business Rates Collected?

  • The Rateable Value is used to calculate how much each business is to pay each year
  • A business rates bill will be issued in March each year for the following tax year. If you want to know how we calculate the amount of business rates that are payable, please go to our Calculating Business Rates page.
  • Business Rates are normally payable in 10 monthly instalments from April to the following January each year. You can opt to pay over the full twelve months from April through to March. Please call us if you wish your bill to be spread over the full year.

Who is liable to pay Business Rates?

The person liable to pay the bill in almost all circumstances will be the occupier of the premises, but in the case of holiday lets or empty business premises it will be the owner or leaseholder.

I think I should be paying business rates or I suspect someone should be paying Business Rates

If you think you should be paying Business Rates or you think that a local business might not be paying rates, please contact us.

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