Who has to pay business rates

What are business rates

Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic /business property, in the same way that council tax is a tax on domestic property.

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.

If a property is occupied, the person or company occupying it is liable for paying business rates. Sometimes a landlord may charge an occupier rent which includes an element for rates. Even in these cases, the occupier is still the person liable for payment and the bill is sent in his/her name. In these circumstances the occupier would usually pass the bill to the landlord who would make a payment on the occupier's behalf.

Properties that are unoccupied or part-occupied may be exempt.

Appealing your liability

You can ask us to reconsider our decision in writing/email:

You must clearly state what you are asking us to reconsider and provide supporting evidence.

We will respond in writing once we have reviewed our decision. We aim to do this within 28 days although you should receive a reply much sooner.

  • If we agree your liability is incorrect we will send you a revised bill
  • If we decide our original decision was correct we will provide you with a full written explanation.

If you wish to challenge our decision you will need to attend a liability order hearing at the magistrates’ court.

The council does not endorse particular companies or individuals but you are advised only to deal with qualified members of the IRRV or RICS.

The council does not decide your rateable value (RV). If you are unhappy with your banding you need to contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and ask them to review it.