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Business Rates UK

This property tax overview explains who has to pay business rates in the United Kingdom. Find out how they are calculated and what to do if you are unable to pay your rate bill.

The VOA have the responsibility of setting 'rateable values' on different properties. Your local council will use the value to calculate your business rates bill.

NON-DOMESTIC RATES: Almost all non-residential properties are liable for business rates. It applies to buildings that can produce an income or have a rental value.

The council calculate individual bills based on the ‘rateable’ value of the property. Typical examples include shops, offices, factories, and pubs.

As a rule, you pay business rates on the value of a commercial building. It may also apply if you only use part of a building for business purposes.

Note: Paying your rate bill is a legal and a civic responsibility. There are severe consequences for failing to pay business rates.

Business Rates when Working from Home

It is not uncommon to be running a business from home (e.g. working online). If so, a property tax may be due on the part of the building used for the business.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) or the local assessor in Scotland will make the decision. It depends on whether the authority appoints a rateable value to that particular part of the home. Even so, Council Tax will still be due on the rest of the property.

You can contact the Valuation Office Agency to check whether you must pay business rates in England.

Valuation Office Agency
03000 501501 (England)
03000 505505 (Wales)
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5:00pm
Check UK phone provider charges.

Note: Properties with a rateable value not over £15,000 may qualify for small business rate relief.

How to Check Business Rateable Value

You can find a property and then check business rateable values online via GOV.UK. The tax service also allows you to:

  • Make a request to edit your property details or change a valuation if you believe them to be incorrect.
  • View the VOA valuation details on other commercial properties.
  • Make an appeal against the rateable value assigned to your property (if you qualify).

Business Rate Refund and Rebates

In some cases, you may qualify for a full refund on business rates. You can also apply to get a partial repayment (called a rebate). For example, it might apply if:

  • The business moved premises but the bank payment process did not get cancelled.
  • The business rates bill got reduced but the council charged you the wrong amount.

Note: Contact your local council to find out about your business rates bill, business rate relief or to pay your bill.

Extra Information on Business Rates

How Business Rates Work

Business Rates Explained

The local council charges business rates on most non-domestic properties. Find out exactly how business rates work and whether you need to pay a rate bill.

Business Rate Relief

Some commercial properties qualify for discounts on business rates. Check to see if your property qualifies and how to apply for business rates relief.

Estimating Business Rates

The help guide shows how to estimate business rates in England and Wales. Even so, your local council will make the final calculation.

Note: Many high street businesses that have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions will now be exempt from business rates. For example, estate agents, lettings agencies, and bingo halls will pay no business rates this coming financial year.

Valuation Office Agency

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) might contact you about your business property. If requested, you will need to send your property lease, rental, or ownership details to the VOA.

Water and Sewerage

Businesses get charged for the water they use and for any liquid waste (effluent) they produce. Check how the charges work for water and sewage business rates.

Business Rates Guide for Owners of Small Businesses in the United Kingdom