What are business rates?

Business rates are a tax, set by the Government, on non-domestic properties, like:

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • advertising hoardings
  • holiday lets

You’ll probably have to pay business rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

The amount due depends on the rateable value of the property.

Any part of a property used for commercial rather than domestic purposes may be rateable. Rates are payable on most occupied and some unoccupied (empty) properties.

You do not usually have to pay business rates for home-based businesses if you:

  • use a small part of your home for your business, for example if you use a bedroom as an office
  • sell goods by post

You may need to pay business rates as well as council tax if:

  • your property is part business and part domestic, for example if you live above your shop
  • you sell goods or services to people who visit your property
  • you employ other people to work at your property
  • you’ve made changes to your home for your business, for example converted a garage to a hairdresser’s

Business rates retention scheme

Part of the money collected by the council goes to central government. 

The business rates retention scheme introduced by government allows the council to keep a proportion of the business rates paid to your local council. The council will use the remaining income to help fund essential services.

For more information see:

business rates retention on Gov.uk