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Who should pay business rates?

Business rates is charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. This includes holiday homes available for commercial letting for 140 days or more per year. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if you occupy a building, or part of one that you use for non-domestic purposes, then you'll probably be required to pay business rates.

Business rates, also known as National Non-Domestic Rates is a local tax on business properties in the same way that council tax is a local tax on domestic properties. 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 business 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.

Certain properties are exempt from business rates. Exempt businesses include:

  • agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms
  • buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people
  • buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls.

There are strict legal requirements for these exemptions. If you think your business should be exempt from business rates you can report this to the Valuation Office Agency.

Last updated: 04/08/2022 10:35

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