This property tax overview explains who has to pay business rates in the United Kingdom. Find out how they get calculated and what to do if you are unable to pay your rate 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.
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 501 501 (England)
03000 505 505 (Wales)
Check call charges to 03000 numbers.
Note: Properties with a rateable value not over £15,000 may qualify for small business rate relief.
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.
You can find a property and then check business rateable values online via GOV.UK. The tax service also allows you to:
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:
Note: Contact your local council to find out about your business rates bill, business rate relief or to pay your bill.
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 guide shows how to estimate business rates in England and Wales. Even so, your local council will make the final calculation.
THE VOA: 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 RATES: 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