What are business rates
Business rates are a local tax paid by occupiers of non-domestic property.
It is charged on most business properties, such as:
The property does not have to be used for a business. If it is used for any purposes which are not domestic, it is likely to be rateable.
All properties which must pay business rates are given a rateable value (RV) by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). We send you bills based on these values.
If a property is occupied, the person or company occupying it must pay business rates. This is the case even if a lease or licence agreement states otherwise, or if there is no formal agreement to occupy.
If a property is unoccupied, empty rates will be charged to the owner of the property. Empty properties may be exempt for up to three months (non-industrial properties) or six months (industrial properties).
Properties that meet certain other criteria, including those with an RV below a certain threshold, may not have to pay rates. Others, such as charities, can also apply for a reduction in their bill.
Page last updated: 8 March 2023