What are business rates?

Business rates explained as well as data, transitional arrangements and FAQs

Business rates (non-domestic rates) are a tax on business properties. The tax is set by the government and business rates collected by local authorities contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, councils keep a proportion of the rates paid locally.

Business rates are charged on most business properties, such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, the property doesn’t have to be used for a business – if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a business rates bill each year.

Who is liable for business rates?
Normally, the occupier of the property is responsible for paying the business rates. However, in certain circumstances, liability may fall on the owner, leaseholder, sub-lessee, tenant or sub-tenant. It does not matter whether the occupation of the premises is subject to a proper legal agreement or not.

You can check the ‘rateable value’ of your property on the gov.uk website, this is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and used by us to calculate your business rates bill.

Via the link above, you can also:

  • request changes to property or valuation details if you think they’re wrong
  • view the valuation details of other properties
  • challenge the rateable value if eligible

Visit gov.uk for the latest national guidance